Ascent of Half Dome in 2007-08

Climber: Ron Stangeland

Others in Party:Can't Find ClimberID br>Melissa Stangeland
Bryan Stangeland
Matt Loeber
Carol Loeber
Perry Bryan
Cindi Bryan
Anna Bryan
Date:August, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Half Dome
    Elevation:8840 ft / 2694 m

Ascent Trip Report

Writing this by memory, but we started very early in the morning (it was still dark). We made it to the saddle right before the climb up the Dome on the ladder and stopped and ate lunch. The climb up the ladder looked ominous while we watched others climb up it. It appeared to be straight up! We sat there for about a half hour eating and enjoying the view and it first appeared we might all turn back. However, first Perry, then I stood up and started walking toward the ladder, then Bryan & Anna followed and we began our final ascent up the Dome. Matt had already summitted the Dome many years ago and with the large crowd on the ladder, decided to forego the attempt this time. The 4 of us began climbing the ladder. It was somewhat slow going as there were many on the ladder, either ascending or descending. I kept my mind occupied keeping track of the ladder steps (there's about 50 steps, 10' apart) and calculating how many more I had to go. I never looked down once I started, just kept looking up. It's was not nearly as scary as I had anticipated, plus, it doesn't feel nearly as straight up as it seems when you're observing it head on. However, as I was climbing up, I wondered to myself how scary it would be coming down. We finally got to the top (how long? seems like about 30 - 45 minutes) and had a great view, except in the valley they had a controlled fire going on and quite a bit of smoke filled the valley. So, that was a little disappointing. But, the views everywhere else were great! We stayed up on top about 15 minutes (it's a lot bigger area on top than I expected) then began our descent. The descent down did not bother me at all. I faced forward like everyone else and focused on the person in front of me rather than looking straight down. Going down was much faster than going up and we caught up with the others (who had already started trekking down). It got hot on our way down and we ran out of water. Fortunately, we had a water filter and had several opportunities to refill our water bottles either at a lake or river. We ended up filling several other hikers water bottles who had run out of water as well.
Summary Total Data
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear

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