My Half Dome Hiking Experience - Exploring My Life

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My Half Dome Hiking Experience


Half Dome is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, located in north-eastern Mariposa County, California, at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley possibly Yosemite's most familiar rock formation. The granite crest rises nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley floor and 8,800 feet above sea level. It is a Yosemite icon and a great challenge to many hikers.
(This Photo is took from the net - just i draw the rough trail route to get an idea of  half dome hiking )
I got to know about Half dome just 3 months back (Mar-2013), from that day I got so much interested to hike this place, Finally I got the chance to be on top, on June-07-2013. I should thank to my friends (Annamalai & Alok) without them surely I won't reached the top. To do the Half dome hike we need the proper permit

We have applied for the daily lottery on Wed(12 am), and we got selected in the lot, On Thursday Annamalai done all the pre-activities for the Friday hiking. He Prepared south Indian dishes Chappathi , Potato Masala , & Chenna Masala. We have started out trip from Fremont, CA by 6pm and reached Oakhurst - Days Inn for our night stay (10 pm). We had our home made dinner and take gud sleep.

Friday - The day we reached the top .......

Early morning 5am we started from the room after 1hr travel we reached the Yosemite Curry Village - Parking (near by YARTS shuttle stop # 16). Sharply by 6.30 am we started the dream hiking. 

Hike Distance:  16.5 miles round trip via John Muir Trail (Mist Trail). But personally I feel it will be close to 20 miles or more. Along the way, we saw the outstanding views of Vernal and NevadaFalls, Liberty Cap, Half Dome, and--from the shoulder and summit--panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra. 
While climbing the top after few miles, I got tired and lost my energy,  Even though my friends motivated not to quit and the end i reach the top by 2pm. I felt very difficult when mounting up sub dome & Half dome. 

The "sub dome" is part of the Half Dome hike. It's not a destination on its own, although you can hike to the base of the sub dome without a permit. To proceed further to reach the half dome you need proper permission. Two rangers will be there in the base of sub dome to check the permit.
Once we reached the sub dome, which got more enthusiast to climb the Half Dome, which is steep and very difficult. The last 400 vertical feet (130 meters) up the eastern slope are so sheer. Without the cables or serious mountaineering gear, the ascent would be impossible. We can find the poles holding the cables up every ten feet or so along the slope. Normally it will take  10 to 12 hours to hike to Half Dome and back. But we took 14 hours to finish our hike. If you plan on hiking during the day, it's smart to leave around sunrise (or earlier) .Hikers should definitely have flashlight to avoid the struggle down the trail if dark appears.
Reached Sub Dome - Ready to climb the final stretch
View from top of the Half Dome
Things to take before hiking :

  • More Water & Energy Drinks ( I took 6 water bottles & 6 Gatorade)
  • ( Everything is finished before I reached the top)
  • High energy foods - Bars, nuts, trail mix, jerky, candy, etc.
  • Fruits
  • Footwear - Quality hiking boots (good soles and ankle support)
  • Medicines -  Pain-killer,  Blister first aid, Spray for Muscle Cramp.
  • Backpack
  • Camera
  • Cap
  • Sun glasses
  • Sunscreen and Lip Balm
  • Skin Wiper
  • Flashlight (Torch Light)
  • Trekking Poles will be very helpful
  • Hand gloves with  good grip.
  • One Trash bag - To collect your trash
  • Rain gear (based upon weather)
  • Layered clothing (based upon weather)

Tips while using the cables:

  • Take your time and be patient with slower hikers
  • Allow faster hikers to pass you (when possible)
  • Remain on the inside of the cables
  • ( I saw some hikers are climbing the half dome by using outside of the cables ).
Enjoying the Amazing View of Yosemite Valley
Caution :

  • Drop your hike when Storm clouds are in the area, The ground is wet (the cables and rock is more slick when it is wet.
  • I strongly suggest you be physically prepared for this adventure. This is an “extremely strenuous” hike. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and for the many aspects of the wilderness such as insects and animals. (Warning Sign)
  • Black bears frequent Yosemite's Wilderness and are adept at grabbing backpacks from hikers and campers--during both day and night. 
  


Date of Hiking : June-07-2013
Camera Used : Sony WX150



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