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Author Topic: Half Dome / YNP  (Read 4093 times)
LawDawg
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« on: January 10, 2012, 01:35:50 PM »

I'm starting to plan a trip out west to Yosemite NP to hike Half Dome.  I've just started reading about it and was wondering if anyone else has already hiked it and had some tips for me. From what I've read, I think the cables don't go up until mid June.  So, I was planning on around mid July for my trip to make sure the weather has been good enough for them to reinstall the cables.
I read that there is a shuttle that runs from Yosemite Intl Airport to YNP. Does anyone have any experience with this? Was wondering if I needed to rent a car or if I could get around good enough with shuttles.
It seems that getting a backcountry permit is extremely hard and there is over a year wait.
Any help and info is appreciated, Thanks Guys!!
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Captain Blue
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 02:24:16 PM »

I visited Yosemite in September 2010 and climbed Half Dome. The climb up Half Dome and the cables thing are the craziest things I have ever seen in a National Park. It is hard to believe this is even permitted. I can't give any advice on visiting in July as I went in September. For the climb up Half Dome go early in the morning, bring a good pair of leather gloves, rest up from the long climb up before you start the cables and heed the advice from rangers on the dangers of weather.
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LawDawg
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012, 07:30:00 PM »

Thanks for the advice Cap.  I got my campsite reserved.  I'm staying at Wawona near Mariposa Grove!  How did you get your gear there? Did you have to mail it or buy some there?  Was thinking about my stove and knife.  Figured they wouldn't let my take it on the plane.   Thanks for the help!
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Captain Blue
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 09:37:45 AM »

I flew from Dayton to San Francisco. I was able to bring my stove and knife in my checked bag. We picked up a cannister of fuel at Walmart when we arrived.
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LawDawg
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 12:01:49 PM »

just got back a few days ago from YNP/SNP.  got to do Half Dome.  it was amazing!  one of the most strenuous hikes in my life!   if anyone even has the slightest wish of doing it...you must do it!  you won't regret it.   if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
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Pioneer Spirit
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 02:55:03 PM »

Can you describe the permit process?  Length of hike etc?

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LawDawg
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 07:10:32 PM »

The permit process was fairly easy actually.  In March, NPS accepts applications for permits to hike Half Dome through www.recreation.gov.  They allow 400 people on Half Dome per day. Then on a date selected by NPS, (this year it was in April) all permits are granted at random for the dates requested. My group did not successfully acquire a permit for Half Dome on our first attempt.  We had to wait and apply for the daily lottery. Everyday, the NPS accepts applications for a daily lottery. This is for a permit to hike 2 days from the date of submission. (ex, apply on Sunday to hike on Tuesday). We applied and then knew that night that we were successful.
The total hike was approx 19 miles (1 mile to TH, 8.5 miles to top of Half Dome, then back).  We woke up at 0300 hrs and left our campsite in Wawona by 0330 hrs.  It took approx an hour to drive to the parking lot in Curry Village. I suggest getting up early and driving to the parking lot. It will fill up fast and the shuttle bus doesn't start running until 0700 hrs.
From the parking lot, it was a mile hike to the Mist Trail TH. We hiked the Mist Trail to Nevada Falls and then took the John Muir Trail to Half Dome Trail. On our return trip, we stayed on the JMT to the bottom. We bypassed the Mist Trail on the way down bc of the excessive amount of people that would be looking at the Falls.  There are several different trails that one can hike to get to the Half Dome trail.
At the bottom of the Sub Dome, there was a Park Ranger checking permits, so you definitely need a permit to get on Half Dome. To me, the hike just to get to the Sub Dome was worse than the cables of Half Dome!  Once I started on the cables, it took 56 minutes to get to the top. There was a long line of people bc we all started around the same time. It only took about 10 mins to get back down.
Water was a major concern as well.  Once the trail turns away from the river you have to make sure you have enough water until you return down.  I had 2 liters of water when I left the river.  I rationed my water and had about 5 oz left when I refilled at the river.
Our total hiking time from start to finish was 13 hours 48 mins 41 secs.

Hopefully this helps some.  I'm glad to answer any more questions!
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