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My Hike To Half Dome In Photos.

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posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 06:36 PM
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Hello all. I thought it would be a nice break from the political BS to take a look at some of the photos I took during my hike to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. I uploaded a ton of photos so it may take a while to load them all. They are a mix of photos from my phone and from my Nikon. I am not a very good photographer but I thought they turned out well. Hope you enjoy!

My friend of 35 years had taken a trip to Yosemite about 2 years ago. It was then that he got his first glimpse of Half Dome. He called me up a week later and said, "We half to climb it. It looks amazing!". I'm always down for an adventure so I told him to let me know when he would like to plan it. Come to find out, you need a permit to climb Half Dome and they are not necessarily easy to come by. They only give out a limited number each year using a lottery system. You basically give them three dates you would like and wait and see if you get one of them. We failed to get a spot last year but this year we got lucky.

My friend lives in Yuba City, CA. I drove from Portland, OR all day Friday to his house. We packed up his truck and then drove to a campsite about three hours from there. The closest available campsite we could get was in Groveland about a forty minute drive from Yosemite Valley. We got there about 7:00pm and pitched the tent. Neither of us could sleep very well and we were up and ready to go by 5:00am.

We pulled into the park about 5:45am and found a parking spot. We prepared our packs, put on some mole skins (protect feet from blisters) and was on the trail by 7:00am. Here is the route we would have to take.





The trail started out as a gradual incline but then quickly turned into a pretty steep climb. Soon it was mostly switchbacks made from carved stone stairs or rocks.




Here is one of the first waterfalls we came across.



Top of the falls.

The terrain would flatten out here and there but it was mostly a grueling climb upwards. We moved at a pretty decent pace stopping when we needed to catch our breath or let the burning muscles in our legs rest. Weather turned out to be perfect. It was about 80 degrees and clear. We avoided the sun for a good part of the ascent.

2nd waterfall.


Our first glimpse of Half Dome.

We are about halfway there and coming around the back. Here is a topographic map of the climb.

As we start making the turn to approach Half Dome, we first must climb up to the Sub Dome. The top of Sub Dome leads to the final climb to the top via the dreaded cables. Here are some photos I took while resting. This was before the climb up to Sub Dome. The views were breathtaking. It almost seemed fake, as if I was looking at a painting. All in all, we were in good spirits, but our bodies were starting to get a little sore. Unfortunately, one of my mole skin patches had rolled off my right heel and I had developed o huge blister which had broke and was now bleeding. I covered it with a band aid and stuffed some tissue in my sock. It hurt like hell.

Looking up to Sub Dome with Half Dome in the distance.

Before climbing to the top of Sub Dome, you must present your permit to the Park Ranger stationed there. From there, it is a very steep climb up dozens of switch backs. The climb gets very dangerous here as there is very little room for error. It is mostly granite that is covered with tiny pebbles making it easy to slip.

The views from the top of Sub Dome were even better.


Almost there!





Finally made it to the end of Sub Dome. Time for the final nerve-wracking climb.

So here are the cables.

The final climb is about 400 feet to the top via a series of cables to keep you from falling to your death. It was way steeper than I had planned on. About every 10 feet our a series of metal poles holding the cables up. At the bottom of the poles are wood planks that are used to get a foot hold when resting. It is recommended to wear gloves when climbing. It was a really scary experience to climb up this. The worst part was having to pass other people coming down. There isn't much room to pass each other and usually you would wait to pass at one of the poles. The adrenaline was pumping big time!
Made it to the top!



That's me in the red with my friend. This is how we celebrate our 40th birthdays.










Looking over the edge down the face.


The climb was supposed to take about 5 hours to the top. We did it in 4! We didn't even realize we were hiking at that pace. We stayed up there for about 30-45 minutes and tried to get our minds right for the climb down the cables. We were both dreading it. Climbing up is one thing but going down was much more dangerous for me. Here is a look at the cable before we headed down.


My trail shoes could not get a decent grip on the granite. I was basically using all of my upper body strength to hold on to the cables and slide from one post to the next. To make matters worse, there was quite a few people on their way up which made the climb down much slower that I would have liked.

Once down safely, it was a huge relief and sense of accomplishment. No time to reflect though, we still had to hike all the way back out! After the adrenaline had worn off and we were about half way down, our bodies really started to hurt and get weak. We did finally make it and by the time we got back to the truck, we could barely climb into it to drive back to the campsite.

All in all, this was an amazing experience we will never forget. The scenery was breathtaking. I've never seen something so awe inspiring. It was also the hardest thing physically and mentally I have ever done. I was literally on the verge of collapsing by the end. I am fairly fit. I play basketball and soccer 5 days a week while my friend is an avid runner. It was still a difficult hike for the two of us. If I were to do it over, I would definitely take it slower on the way up.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey. The photos really can't do it justice but hopefully will give you an idea of what it was like. I hope to hear from others experiences who have made this hike.

edit on 13-8-2016 by jtrenthacker because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-8-2016 by jtrenthacker because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-8-2016 by jtrenthacker because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 06:47 PM
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Nice hike, breathtaking view. Never been to the top of Half Dome, but stomped a lot of boonie in Yosemite when I was younger. It was a different place back then.

I been stood on by a bear there, nearly froze there, nearly drowned, nearly died there thrice.

Fond memories.



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 06:48 PM
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a reply to: jtrenthacker

It is breathtaking (just the photos) and awe inspiring!
You had me at hiking and somewhere new.

Congrats on making the trip and fantastic pictures by the way they are quite good.



Just gorgeous, really.



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 06:49 PM
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a reply to: jtrenthacker

thx for sharing, i loved every picture!



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 07:03 PM
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Incredible pictures. Also it was a nice positive change from all the news lately. Thanks for sharing with us s&f



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: jtrenthacker

I'm not much of a hiker/outdoors-man but those pics look AWESOME.

S + F

edit on 13-8-2016 by gladtobehere because: wording



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: jtrenthacker

You're a bloody good photographer for someone whose not a good photographer.

and I don't know whether to laugh or cry because thanks to your thread, the timing-gods and my wifes casual glance at my screen, guess where we are going on our next holiday?

No, go on, guess.

This will be nice and cheap for me [rolls eyes], I WAS planning on going camping in my back yard but both you and me have screwed that bloody idea up haven't we?

So, yeah, thanks for that, I think!!!

Seriously though, it's been on my list of places to visit for a long time, I missed out in February so perhaps next year. Simply breathtaking - it's everything I imaged and I'm really motivated now.

Cheers.



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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originally posted by: Sublimecraft
a reply to: jtrenthacker

You're a bloody good photographer for someone whose not a good photographer.

and I don't know whether to laugh or cry because thanks to your thread, the timing-gods and my wifes casual glance at my screen, guess where we are going on our next holiday?

No, go on, guess.

This will be nice and cheap for me [rolls eyes], I WAS planning on going camping in my back yard but both you and me have screwed that bloody idea up haven't we?

So, yeah, thanks for that, I think!!!

Seriously though, it's been on my list of places to visit for a long time, I missed out in February so perhaps next year. Simply breathtaking - it's everything I imaged and I'm really motivated now.

Cheers.


I appreciate the kind words. It's not hard to take great photographs with scenery like this.

Sorry for causing your savings to drain, lol. Seriously, I am so glad I was able to experience it. I'm not a world traveler by any means, but this is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Someday I would like to make it over to the Alps.

Coincidently, we met some Aussies at the top. One lived in San Francisco, and the other two were visiting from Melbourne. Nice people.

If you need any advice or information, let me know. I will help the best I can.
edit on 13-8-2016 by jtrenthacker because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 07:49 PM
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These pictures are awesome. This makes me want to grab a camera and go outside


Thanks for sharing!



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 08:25 PM
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What a lifetime experience! And with awesome pictures, too! Thnx for sharing.

I think someday you will get to the Alps.

a reply to: Sublimecraft

The Sierra Nevada mountains are usually covered with snow in February (in a normal year!), and Yosemite might have some snow on the valley floor. Hiking would be extremely limited, but the valley would still be beautiful. From the valley floor, you're looking up at features like El Capitan, Half Dome, and all the waterfalls. Depending on the year's weather pattern, the Sierras could have snow from November through March. And remember to post your pix, too!



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 08:37 PM
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Awesome!

My wife is scared of heights. I had her read this thread and view the pics - her hands were sweating and her feet shaking.

Lol



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 08:41 PM
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originally posted by: six67seven
Awesome!

My wife is scared of heights. I had her read this thread and view the pics - her hands were sweating and her feet shaking.

Lol


I'm generally ok with heights as long as I have plenty of room to stand and nobody gets near me. However, there were a few times, especially the cables, that I was pretty nervous.



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 09:15 PM
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a reply to: jtrenthacker

Wow! I know the area, but I've never made the climb. Really good photos. You say you're no photographer, but you managed to make the waterfalls look like glass.
I particularly like the angular granite outcroppings in the photo 16th from the top.

Thank you for letting us "hike" with you. I don't think I can ever make it, but have enjoyed the hell out of climbing it vicariously through you.



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 10:02 PM
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Cool Level Elevated to: Lando Calrissian

edit on 13-8-2016 by zazzafrazz because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: jtrenthacker

Thank you for this, I enjoyed it very much. Brought back memories of my time in Yosemite in 2001. I also remember thinking the views looked more like paintings than real. Your photo's are excellent!

soulwaxer



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 10:33 PM
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a reply to: jtrenthacker

Excellent thread.
My friend has been up there and said his legs were shaking,he stared at the floor all the way up the final climb and did not stop to rest as he feared he would wimp out if he did.

He is going again in September and he has a fear of heights.....glutton for punishment I guess.



posted on Aug, 13 2016 @ 11:51 PM
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a reply to: jtrenthacker

Thanks for the memories. I made that hike at 16 in 1963. Hoo boy. The next summer we put in at Bishop and hiked the Muir all the way back down into the park. I forget how long it took.. What I do remember well was all of the switchbacks, how we would be in these huge mountain valleys and hike from one end to the other quickly enough only to finally reach those switch backs and then for hours, back and forth, back and forth, until we would reach the pass and see the next valley spread out before us, and down down down those switchbacks, though the valley and up the next set to the next pass and a whole new vista. Freekin awesome

Back then there were few people hiking those long distances and we would go for days and days not seeing anyone else. And those cold cold mountain ponds with water close to freezing. And the best water ever. Hiking along getting thirsty, slowing down, taking out a Sierra Cup, dipping it in any of the small streams and drinking that crystal clear pure water.

One of my many fantasies is to reincarnate in the early 1900s and spend a lifetime up in that range.



posted on Aug, 14 2016 @ 12:09 AM
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Wow, breath taking indeed! You must have a lot of stamina and guts! Thanks so much for sharing your little journey with us!



posted on Aug, 14 2016 @ 03:49 PM
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Wow! Beautiful and breathtaking! Thank you for sharing your experience and pictures-- man that cable part looks tough!! I would have been very nervous, especially if my shoes weren't grippy. I will never be fit enough to make that kind of climb I think haha! so Thank you so much for posting- great thread, and you're right- a welcome relief from the usual!



posted on Aug, 14 2016 @ 07:29 PM
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Thanks for the post, you got some great pics. Looks like you had an awesome day!




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