FIELD NOTES FROM HALF DOME
“Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra.” – National Park Service
Yosemite National Park is iconic as it is inspirational. With Lady Luck on our side, we were granted 8 permits in the lottery to climb Half Dome, Yosemite’s most familiar rock formation of granite, on Memorial Day.
We planned a 3 night backpacking trip: one day for the approach to our base camp, one day for Cloud’s Rest, and Half Dome on the last day.
Our trip was full of opposites: shade and sunshine, summits and descents, rain and heat. Our first two days and nights were spent hiking in our rain shells and staying dry in our tents.
Luckily for us, the weather turned for the better as we were able to summit Cloud’s Rest the next day.We set up camp, built a campfire in the backcountry, and were able to dry off as the sun set on us – a revitalizing way to prepare us for the main objective of the trip: to climb Half Dome!
THE BIG HIKE
We started up Half Dome early in the morning to beat the heat and the crowds – we pretty much had the cables all to ourselves! At sub-dome, we fueled up on Munk Packs and made our way to the cables. When we finally reached the top, we soaked up the magnificent 360 degree views of Yosemite.
After ascending 10k feet and hiking over 27 miles, over the course of the weekend, it was time to head back down to the Valley and enjoy some well-deserved pizza.
– Bernice Ngo of @bernini_n
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