I have always wanted to climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. It is an over 16 mile hike (round trip) up the the top of a granite mountain. It is very steep, strenuous and potentially dangerous. You gain almost 1 mile in elevation (4,800 feet) on the way up. The last leg of the trip, to get to the summit is accomplished by pulling yourself up the side of the mountain via cables that are in place from May to October. It is very steep and slippery and besides the cables and wooden planks there are no foot hold or crevasses.
I did some research on it and I guess someone fell while going up the cables last summer and died. This is very scary, but on the other hand, a lot of people climb it everyday while the cables are up.
Danger is NOT my middle name and actually the BF jokes that I am “Safety Suzy”, but for whatever reason I was determined to do this. Here is my adventure:
Those ants are people.
I think I can…I think I can…
This is the final push before you get to the cables. Before this there were a ton of “rock stairs” switchbacks. You have to go one at a time and slow to be safe.
Yes, it’s that steep!At this point I started to have second thoughts. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. But, it was my idea not the BF’s and I dragged us all the way up here. We brought gloves to use so our hands wouldn’t get torn up by the cables. We sat down for a few minutes and then decided to go for it.
My shoes were slipping a lot and I could not get any grip to stop myself from sliding down. I had to use all arm strength to pull myself up to the next wooden slat and rest for a second before doing it again. It was scary! And it didn’t help that I read all those things about people falling off before we went.Peligro! Danger! This doesn’t make me feel any safer:
It’s all down hill from here. This is the view right as we are done with the cables. It looks like it drops straight off!
This is the BF as soon as we got up. He sat down and looked at me like he was going to kill me. He obviously decided against killing me because he couldn’t brag about climbing Half Dome from jail. He called his dad from the top and I asked him to tell the BF not to break up with me. His reply, “I’ll try.” Ouch.
I went backwards on the way down. It was so scary I was afraid I would freak out and I didn’t want to see how high we were or how steep it was. I walked back down facing the rock and basically just tried to slowly slide myself down to each wooden slat and wait until it was clear to go down to the next one. The BF, because he is a great guy, helped verbally guide me down. We did it!
Then, I fell. There are a ton of very steep rock steps that you climb before you get to the cables. I fell coming down these. I had a feeling all day I was going to fall I was just hoping it wasn’t a big fall from the side of the dome. Luckily, only my pride and knee were hurt. I wanted to take this picture to show off my “war wound” and how sad I was. I hope it scars so I can show it off forever. I’ll be like, “and this is from when I was climbing Half Dome and my foot slipped, I saw my entire life flash…”
I climbed Half Dome! I am super proud of the BF and myself. It was pretty difficult and I am in pretty good shape from running. My calves are super sore from all the uphill climbing and then down hill. It took us about 6 hours to get up there and 4 hours to get down. It was a long day. We ran out of water on the way down and only had a little bit of Gatorade on the way up so I think part of my soreness is built up lactic acid in my calves. Boo. I hope you enjoyed my latest adventure. There are plenty more to come!
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