Ascent of Half Dome on 2015-09-02

Climber: bob l

Date:Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Half Dome
    Elevation:8840 ft / 2694 m

Ascent Trip Report

Our small group left Curry Village about 6:30 am. Kind of a late start, but we all wanted coffee first and the restaurant didn't open until 6:00 am. After starting from the village area, it's a short walk to the Mist trailhead. On this path, Half Dome is already in view. It's beautiful for sure. Our weather was perfect too. The beginning section of Mist trail is easy and only slightly uphill. There's even a nice bridge or two and lots of cameras were busy. The hike starts to turn real as it nears the first waterfall, Vernal Falls. Here, cascading water overlaps your heavy breathing as you navigate a neat stone stairway up. Steep stone steps are a common theme throughout this entire hike and this is your first tackle with them. It's nice at the top of the waterfall. From here, it's a moderate climb up to the second, bigger, and more impressive waterfall, Nevada Falls, then another section to the Muir trail junction. Yes, there are lots of stone steps through these parts. Next, it's a long, but moderate march through the forest to the base area of Half Dome. At this area, where many other hikers were resting, you can see your 2 remaining challenges: Sub Dome, which is a large mound before Half Dome, and then the famous cabled section on the face of Half Dome itself. The hikers, who were already up in these 2 remaining areas, looked like a slow moving line of ants. Sub Dome is tough. It's a slow steady grind up an uncountable number of stoned steps. Then, you are at the cables. This is probably one of the greatest places on earth to experience "doubt". It looked to me like it was on every hiker's mind before they reached out and grabbed a hold of the cable. But, as others have said, once you start to climb with the cables, it's actually very navigable going up. It's awesome really. On top, the summit area is huge and serene. It's a once in a lifetime type of spot and I easily spent an hour up there just enjoying it. When it's time to go down, that nemesis "doubt" will probably try to ruin the start of your descent with the cables, but going down them was easier than coming up. The rest of the descent down the mountain is long and tiresome, but for me, it was accompanied by a great feeling of satisfaction. I don't see how a hiking list could be complete without this one checked done.
Summary Total Data
Ascent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 

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