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Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening

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avatar Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 05:58AM
Anybody know the details of what seemed to be a rescue from Half Dome last Saturday evening between about 7PM to 8PM. We were camped on Mt. Watkins, yes, in the rain, snow, fog, cold, when we could hear a helicopter make at least 6-7 trips to what seemed like the top of Half Dome. The cloud coverage kept us from seeing anything but it sounded like the ferrying of a bunch of stuck people off the dome.

The skies did clear later and the full moon really lit everything up nicely.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2009 05:59AM by mrcondron.
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 09:58AM
We heard that a woman fell but survived.

I was looking for more info because we met so many unprepared people on the Half Dome Trail on Saturday.
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 10:56PM
Why could there not be a permit system like any other popular hike (Mt. Whitney) that would limit the amount of people on the trail and cables on any given day?

In connection with the permit process there could be some education regarding the danger of hiking and climbing in bad weather and without proper preparation.

Have you ever been to Mt. Hood? The posted signs and literature provided are enough to scare away all by the most experienced climbers.

I hope the woman who fell was not the young woman I met who was heading up much too late, with no jacket and summit fever.

I was actually amazed and saddened by the Disneyland atmosphere.

My Saturday hike up to Half Dome was not the wilderness experience I expected.

You expect the tourists from Happy Isles up the Mist Trail but not past Little Yosemite Valley.

I'm surprised that the environmental lobby isn't all over this due to the damage that is being done to this area by all the traffic.

Well that's my two cents.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:05PM
Quote
KARENBGROSSMONT
Why could there not be a permit system like any other popular hike (Mt. Whitney) that would limit the amount of people on the trail and cables on any given day?

If the crowd keeps growing, they might just do that.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:08PM
Quote
KARENBGROSSMONT
Why could there not be a permit system like any other popular hike (Mt. Whitney) that would limit the amount of people on the trail and cables on any given day?

In connection with the permit process there could be some education regarding the danger of hiking and climbing in bad weather and without proper preparation.

Have you ever been to Mt. Hood? The posted signs and literature provided are enough to scare away all by the most experienced climbers.

I hope the woman who fell was not the young woman I met who was heading up much too late, with no jacket and summit fever.

I was actually amazed and saddened by the Disneyland atmosphere.

My Saturday hike up to Half Dome was not the wilderness experience I expected.

You expect the tourists from Happy Isles up the Mist Trail but not past Little Yosemite Valley.

I'm surprised that the environmental lobby isn't all over this due to the damage that is being done to this area by all the traffic.

Well that's my two cents.

Grossmont? I'm from Granite Hills High...not sure if that means anything to you.

Well, let's take it this way.

Permit process and trail quotas would be fine, ala Mount Whitney, except for one thing. Way more people "climb" Half Dome than do Whitney. Half Dome is not remote nor in wilderness. Mount Whitney is.

Minaret Lake has a quota of 5 permits. Is that sane? Why have a quota at all?

The administration of Yosemite can be questionable at times and not at others. I think things are fine the way they are. But, as you have figured out, I'm a conservative.

Here, check this out. Here is what Nevada does with historical places:

avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:21PM
Quote
Vince
Minaret Lake has a quota of 5 permits. Is that sane? Why have a quota at all?

Where did you get this? I think it's more like 10. Per Day. The numbers add up.
Half Dome is NOT a wilderness experience.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:27PM
Quote
bill-e-g
Quote
Vince
Minaret Lake has a quota of 5 permits. Is that sane? Why have a quota at all?

Where did you get this? I think it's more like 10. Per Day. The numbers add up.
Half Dome is NOT a wilderness experience.

I was trying to remember in my infinite wisdom if the quote was 5 or 10. You're right. One of those trails up out of Reds Meadow is 5, can't remember which and I'm not going to look it up.

Here is Minaret Lake, first day of summer 2005.

avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 03:40PM
Quote
Vince
Quote
KARENBGROSSMONT
Why could there not be a permit system like any other popular hike (Mt. Whitney) that would limit the amount of people on the trail and cables on any given day?

In connection with the permit process there could be some education regarding the danger of hiking and climbing in bad weather and without proper preparation.

Have you ever been to Mt. Hood? The posted signs and literature provided are enough to scare away all by the most experienced climbers.

I hope the woman who fell was not the young woman I met who was heading up much too late, with no jacket and summit fever.

I was actually amazed and saddened by the Disneyland atmosphere.

My Saturday hike up to Half Dome was not the wilderness experience I expected.

You expect the tourists from Happy Isles up the Mist Trail but not past Little Yosemite Valley.

I'm surprised that the environmental lobby isn't all over this due to the damage that is being done to this area by all the traffic.

Well that's my two cents.

Grossmont? I'm from Granite Hills High...not sure if that means anything to you.

Well, let's take it this way.

Permit process and trail quotas would be fine, ala Mount Whitney, except for one thing. Way more people "climb" Half Dome than do Whitney. Half Dome is not remote nor in wilderness. Mount Whitney is.

Minaret Lake has a quota of 5 permits. Is that sane? Why have a quota at all?

The administration of Yosemite can be questionable at times and not at others. I think things are fine the way they are. But, as you have figured out, I'm a conservative.

Here, check this out. Here is what Nevada does with historical places:


http://vimeo.com/4321799

Take a look at what the video opens with, haha.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2009 03:41PM by dqniel.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:11PM
All I can say is that I am glad that I hiked Half Dome before I took up backpacking, otherwise I never would have done it. Never! The the solitude of the "next peak over" is plenty good for me -- heck, it trumps, stomps and surpasses anything remotely positive that I felt when I did Half Dome...pretty soon I won't even remember doing Half Dome. Now, Star King...and Dana -- those might stick with me for a while...we shall see!

Bee Cowboy
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:17PM
Quote
Bee
All I can say is that I am glad that I hiked Half Dome before I took up backpacking, otherwise I never would have done it. Never! The the solitude of the "next peak over" is plenty good for me -- heck, it trumps, stomps and surpasses anything remotely positive that I felt when I did Half Dome...pretty soon I won't even remember doing Half Dome. Now, Star King...and Dana -- those might stick with me for a while...we shall see!

Bee Cowboy

You should hook up with Moosetracks on the Whitney board.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:21PM
Quote
Vince
Quote
Bee
All I can say is that I am glad that I hiked Half Dome before I took up backpacking, otherwise I never would have done it. Never! The the solitude of the "next peak over" is plenty good for me -- heck, it trumps, stomps and surpasses anything remotely positive that I felt when I did Half Dome...pretty soon I won't even remember doing Half Dome. Now, Star King...and Dana -- those might stick with me for a while...we shall see!

Bee Cowboy

You should hook up with Moosetracks on the Whitney board.

Funny you should mention this, because she was one of my early inspirations for taking this "hiking thing" to the degree that I have. I even mentioned her on this last trip, and someone else knew who she was. I am considering going on her girlie trip at the end of July, but I am not sure that I am qualified to be in her playgroup, yet.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 10:14AM
Wow! Very few incidents for years and now it's becoming unsettlingly common.

People seem to be taking the hike to HD too lightly.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2009 10:15AM by sierranomad.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 10:45AM
I don't want to come across as cold but with the rain that was falling all over the place Friday and Saturday nobody should have been even attempting HD. Like I posted previously we hiked to Mount Watkins in the snow and rain Saturday afternoon. Everything was socked in so I imagine HD was wet. Fools rush in.....

I guess that some people feel that they have so much invested in the attempt at HD that they will put caution aside and forge ahead with the original plan regardless of the conditions.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:57AM
As I've posted before, it's a combination of ignorance, misinformation, lack of proper clothing, food, hydration, departure timing, and weather sense. I just don't believe many of these folks have a clue what they are attempting. The've just heard about it and decided it's sounds cool so let's do it.

Jim
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 01:21PM
Quote
tomdisco
As I've posted before, it's a combination of ignorance, misinformation, lack of proper clothing, food, hydration, departure timing, and weather sense. I just don't believe many of these folks have a clue what they are attempting. The've just heard about it and decided it's sounds cool so let's do it.

Jim

Don't forget ego. Probably the most dangerous of all.
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 02:24PM
I was actually hoping to find out more info as well, but here is what I can tell you. After hiking up to Half Dome on Saturday afternoon, me and four other people spent the night camping at Little Yosemite Valley and heard the same helicopter you did for 30 minutes or so. We met a ranger the next morning just as we were leaving. He said that a woman going up the cables, lost her grip and/or slipped. He didn't say how far she fell, but she bounced off several poles as she fell and nobody was able to arrest her. Somewhere towards the bottom of the cables, her body caught a crack, crevice or something just enough to break her fall, and she came to a stop right before plunging to her death. At that point, she was unconscious, but at least a former EMT happened to be up there and was able to help until rescue arrived via helicopter. The ranger didn't say and/or didn't know what the extent of her injuries were.

Ted
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 02:34PM
Sunday morning we spoke with the Ranger at the Little Yosemite Valley camp site. The woman slipped on the cables, was knocked unconscious when she hit her head and fell outside the cables. For those who hiked HD that day, she luckily pinned herself in the same crevice where that brown hat was. Ranger says she was very lucky to be alive. They made 4 attempts to take her off the mountain but the helicopter couldn't land because of the cloud cover- it finally did.

After that, I don't know her condition.

After we finished around 4pm, the rain soon started and I was amazed at the number of poorly equipped people (running shoes, cotton sweatshirts, etc) heading up to HD after 5pm. I am sure I passed this woman.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 05:32PM
Quote
yookee

After we finished around 4pm, the rain soon started and I was amazed at the number of poorly equipped people (running shoes, cotton sweatshirts, etc) heading up to HD after 5pm. I am sure I passed this woman.

Heading up after 5PM with threatening weather? This is insane.

Jim
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 05:51PM
Craft a warning, rule, or regulation that covers that.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:31PM
Quote
mrcondron
Craft a warning, rule, or regulation that covers that.

Mike,

Ken Salazar is making up a sign for me right now. I''ll bring it out in July.

Jim
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:42PM
What's it going to say? "Idiots must turn around and go back now."?



Old Dude
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:45PM
Quote
mrcondron
What's it going to say? "Idiots must turn around and go back now."?

Would that work for high heels on the Mist Trail?
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:50PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
mrcondron
What's it going to say? "Idiots must turn around and go back now."?

Would that work for high heels on the Mist Trail?

Oh, no -- defininitely NOT!

It takes a great deal of finesse and balance to wear high heels, thus, totally exempt from the "idiot" warning.

Years and years of wearing spike heels has translated out wonderfully for hiking, as my fall count is very low..(knocking on head now)

Bee Cowboy
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:52PM
Quote
Bee
Years and years of wearing spike heels has translated out wonderfully for hiking, as my fall count is very low..

That explains the lack of trip photos.
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:51PM
Seriously, though, maybe they should start regulating it, at least from the cables on up. Require a license to ascend the cables, and to get the permit you must go through a training class operated by the park, for a fee. Once you have gone through that class, you get the license and you can go up. I would think the park service would consider this when the alternative is the possibility of multi-million-dollar lawsuits. Even when the injured party is completely at fault, there is still nothing to stop them from filing a lawsuit. You would think the park would start being a lot stricter, not only to protect the park visitors but to protect the park itself from a legal standpoint. What is the park going to do, for example, if someday someone at the top of the cables slips and causes everyone on the cables to fall like a bunch of dominoes? Or if lightning hits the cables and fries 100 people simultaneously? I don't know of any private entity which would allow the situation to remain as it is now, because of the potential liability. At the very least, they might consider building a masonry stairway similar to the one at Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2009 06:56PM by Bob Weaver.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:53PM
The park is mostly exempt from silly lawsuits.
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:57PM
There's nothing silly about it if it's you or your loved one that is injured or killed.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 06:55PM
When a person enters the park they assume all risks.



Old Dude
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 09:36PM
Quote
Bob Weaver
Seriously, though, maybe they should start regulating it, at least from the cables on up. Require a license to ascend the cables, and to get the permit you must go through a training class operated by the park, for a fee. Once you have gone through that class, you get the license and you can go up. I would think the park service would consider this when the alternative is the possibility of multi-million-dollar lawsuits. Even when the injured party is completely at fault, there is still nothing to stop them from filing a lawsuit. You would think the park would start being a lot stricter, not only to protect the park visitors but to protect the park itself from a legal standpoint. What is the park going to do, for example, if someday someone at the top of the cables slips and causes everyone on the cables to fall like a bunch of dominoes? Or if lightning hits the cables and fries 100 people simultaneously? I don't know of any private entity which would allow the situation to remain as it is now, because of the potential liability. At the very least, they might consider building a masonry stairway similar to the one at Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park.

If they start messing with things, I think that's when they would open the door to lawsuits. As it is, the incidence of deaths or injuries on the cables is extremely low, especially when you consider the situation.

If they start "improving" things, say build steps (what are the chances they'd ever get away with doing that?), then someone slips on the steps and guess who's to blame. Mess with the existing cables, with their proven track record, same problem. Require a license, and sure enough someone will find something they didn't cover in the class and sue them for that..."you said not to go up if it was raining or snowing, but it was hailing..."

As it is, people fall or (rarely) get killed due to their own poor choices, in general. If the park limits those choices, then they become "Mama" and they'll be blamed for allowing any unsafe choices to be made.

It's not up to the park to protect the visitors, this is a common misconception. To do so would mean radical changes in all National Parks...fences around dangerous areas, remove animals, hiking on paved trail only; i.e. Disneyland. Courts have upheld that idea pretty consistently.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 09:48PM
Quote
Bob Weaver
Seriously, though, maybe they should start regulating it, at least from the cables on up. Require a license to ascend the cables, and to get the permit you must go through a training class operated by the park, for a fee.

I hate that we are at this point, but I agree with Bob. Not hand-holding, but education to instill some respect/healthy level of fear. There are now too many people wanting to hike HD to continue without restriction, IMO. People go up thinking that it is Disneyland. The class would dispel that notion (in addition to giving some basic, practical training).

Jon
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 12:04PM
Quote
mrcondron
What's it going to say? "Idiots must turn around and go back now."?

I'm not sure. Remember, it's being put together by somebody living in DC. Probably 40 pages long on paper, which never gets to the point.

Jim
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 12:45PM
"All of the forces of nature put in place at the time of creation have met here at this place and entered into a conspiracy to kill you. If you give them the slightest opening you may very well be dead before this day is over."



Old Dude
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 06:26PM
Quote
mrcondron
"All of the forces of nature put in place at the time of creation have met here at this place and entered into a conspiracy to kill you. If you give them the slightest opening you may very well be dead before this day is over."

O.K., I really did not talk with Ken Salazar.

Jim
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 08:09PM
Just because people are ignorant it doesn't mean they deserve to die. I don't like societal hand-holding, but when it's a life or death situation (as it is with Half Dome) then rules and advice need to be clearly posted to deter the ignorant/idiotic. Even worse is when their idiocy or ignorance puts those that did properly prepare in danger.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:20PM
Approximately 1 in every 10,000 people die in auto accidents plus about 1 in 300 is injured in an auto accident. What is it now? Nine people in 35+ years on Half Dome? Get excited about the death rate in cars well before worrying about Half Dome.



Old Dude
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:47PM
Quote
mrcondron
Approximately 1 in every 10,000 people die in auto accidents plus about 1 in 300 is injured in an auto accident. What is it now? Nine people in 35+ years on Half Dome? Get excited about the death rate in cars well before worrying about Half Dome.

Perfectly stated. The nanny state already wants to tell us what we can do, when we can do it, and how we can do it. The day they build masonry steps to the top of Half Dome, they might as well put queue lines to the top. Part of the wilderness experience for me is making wise judgments. I've seen many, many people turn back from the cables or even from the bottom of the steps for that matter when they realized it was beyond their abilities. Certainly, I don't want to see anyone get hurt or killed anywhere in the park, but please leave some of the "wild" in wilderness. There isn't much left.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 04:55AM
What troubles me most about the Half Dome Cable situation is the increasingly slick surface of the granite due to the polishing by the many thousands of feet. In that sense, the conditions have become more dangerous than in years past regardless of the weather or crowds.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 10:13AM
Quote
mrcondron
...death rate in cars well before worrying about Half Dome.

Human society is concerned about the death rate in cars: speed limits, drunk driving laws, seat belts, airbags, child safety seats..

What concerns me most isn't HD's overall track record, but the dramatic increase in accidents in the last 2 or 3 years.

Jon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2009 10:14AM by sierranomad.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 11:02AM
Of all the deaths on Half Dome in the last decade or so I would give only one of them accident status and that would be the Asian guy that fell from near the top. I think he just lost his focus and had a slip. He seemed to be doing everything correctly.
All the other deaths involved stupidity or arrogance including this episode. That includes the guys killed by lightening.

Most auto deaths are hardly accidents either. Same mentality. Unfortunately auto deaths involve a huge number of people that just happened to be there minding their own business.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:33PM
I have too good a memory for stuff like this.. but .. saw that pict. already Vince.
Sorry to bust your chops... It's just one of my pet peeves...
Don't worry I'm going to beddy bye now... I won't give you a hard time anymore.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:33PM
I do like the photo though.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 08, 2009 11:44PM
Quote
bill-e-g
I do like the photo though.

I know I've posted it before but not everyone has seen it. And you know...here's another thread that deteriorated into something that didn't go the way it started. <sigh>

Lightning photos, anyone? LOL
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 07:55AM
Speaking of HD accidents, I saw this pic on the web and thought it was pretty crazy. I have nothing else to add to this topic other than, for me, HD was a once-in-a-lifetime hike. Too many people (stupid people doing stupid things), and like others have said, not a real "wilderness" experience. It's a circus, but something you have to do, at least once, if you visit Yosemite regularly as I do.



The story that goes along with the pic is:

On October 1, 2006, 21-year-old Scott Clancy was ascending the cables on a drizzly autumn day. It was
damp, cold and chilly. He was wearing smooth soled shoes. Almost no one else was venturing to the
top on this blustery day. He went outside the cables when he passed a descending hiker over half the
way to the top. He lost his grip, slipped and fell nearly 200 feet. Horrified onlookers could do nothing.
Perhaps it was a stoney outcropping that snagged him and he finally stopped parallel to and about 60
feet to the right of the base of the cables. Beneath him lie a 2,000 foot drop and certain death. Nearby
hikers could do nothing but offer words of assurance. Help was summoned and a helicopter rescue
team dispatched. The man lay motionless while maintaining maximum friction with the surface to avoid
any further slippage. Rescuers attached ropes to the cables and rappelled out to him. They traversed
back, bringing the man to safety. He was unhurt, but near hypothermia as he waited hours for the
rescue team to arrive. Sonora resident David Wirtanen witnessed the fall and took these remarkable
photos. He said that there was absolutely nothing anyone could do to assist the man. Don't play the
lottery with your life. DO NOT go up if the rock is wet. Keep inside the cables. If you have any trepidation,
turn around; there will be many more opportunities.
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 10:48AM
Saturday was my first time doing the Half Dome hike. I was also surprised at the amount of people that seemed unprepared and ill equipped for the hike. I did a lot of research and working out to get ready for the hike. Even so, I was not mentally prepared for the scene at the cables when I got to the top of Quarter Dome. I got there before noon and waited for an hour for the rest of my party to arrive before going up the cables. When we started up around 1, the cables were crowded, it was foggy, but it wasn't raining. Standing in one place for 3 to 5 minutes at a time waiting for people to move became too much for three my group and they turned back. I continued on. I was jostled from time to time by the backpacks of those coming down (I left mine on Quarter Dome) and there was some waitng, but it cleared up near the top and I was able to use both cables the final third. I hung out for a bit on top and made my way down the cables with not nearly as much delay.

On the way back, it started raining about halfway between Quarter Dome and Little Yosemite Valley. One thing that was highly stressed in my research was to not climb if it was raining or the rock was wet. As insane as the cable were to begin with, it was pure insanity to climb when it was raining. We were amazed how many people we met and how many were wearing tennis shoes, sweatshirt and the only equipment they had was a bottle of water. We met people ascending who were obviously not backpacking almost all the way to Nevada Fall which we reached about 5:00. We heard about the accident when we got back to Happy Isles and there were park investigators looking for witnesses.

As for a permit system, while it would have made the cables less crowded and easier for me, it may have not stopped the accident. The permit system doesn't gauge readyiness or ability. I got a Whitney permit for July and didn't have to provide my age, fitness or skill level, IQ, etc. I don't know the skill level of the women who fell, but I anyone was climbing the cables that late in the day and in the rain, I would imaging she was a novice. If they do start considering skill or fitness in allowing people on the trail, who decides the standards?

Part of staying safe on the trail is knowing when to say when. Of the members in my party, one turned around with a bum knee after only a mile, one (age 62) stopped at the bottom of Quarter Dome, one stayed on Quarter Dome with back spasms and three turned back on the cables. I am not saying we were smarter than most, but putting pride aside may save your life one day.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 11:14AM
Well put.

(that bump is not Quarter Domes. It's just the bump. Quarter Domes are over by Clouds Rest)



Old Dude
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 12:21PM
Oops. Obvioulsy, I needed to do more "research". winking smiley
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 12:48PM
It's a common mistake but it seems to make sense. You should hike to them sometime.



Old Dude
Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 11:11AM
Half Dome is the wrong hike if you're looking for a wilderness experience, and on a Saturday, no way. Likewise Mount Whitney main trail, in season.

There are different reasons people hike. For those who seek solitude or want to get away from all people, there are a lot better choices, but certainly Half Dome isn't even on the list. Like some others, I love the HD hike, though I try (and usualy succeed) going when traffic is light. I don't mind others on the trail, they're just people too. Yes, some are touristy idiots, but most aren't. The top of Half Dome is a spiritual place to me, there's an aura and calm that affects people; even if there are people up there, they're usually quiet and respectful, enjoying the moment.

The past 3 years have had a lot of Sunday paper "Looking for something to do? Climb Half Dome!" articles that probably never should have been published.

If you're going to save people from any danger, what will you do about the people that go up during rain or thunderstorms? Post a ranger there who can declare it 'closed'? What about the rest of the trail, up TO subdome...will you demand a permit for that too? Put a ranger at the JMT/HD trail intersection? What about Snake Dyke climbers, or face climbers?

Will permits make it a wilderness experience? Only if you limit it to maybe just a few. Then how will you get one? So you still don't get your wilderness experience.

At some point people need to be responsible for themselves, and in National Parks that's traditionally been the policy unless there is severe danger that a normal person wouldn't have been able to anticipate...avalanche dangers on trails, etc. They could get rid of the bears, the deer, any remaining mountain lions, fence off dangerous parts of the river.

El Cap and the Merced river are the two biggest killers in Yosemite. If we're going to regulate Half Dome because of danger, shouldn't we start by closing El Cap to climbers, and fencing off the river?



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 11:19AM
Also well put.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 01:02PM
I'm to the point now where I know the tourist areas and expect a crowd. I spend more time BS'ing with people along the trail and don't really care if I make it to the end or not. What's that phrase, getting there is half the fun? For me it's more like 99 percent of it.

Here's my cousin last weekend near Running Springs:



avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 01:34PM
Quote
Vince
Here's my cousin last weekend near Running Springs:





No surprise there. Would love to see what he would manage to do on something challenging like the Rubicon Trail.
avatar Re: Half Dome Rescue Saturday Evening
June 09, 2009 02:53PM
Quote
szalkowski


No surprise there. Would love to see what he would manage to do on something challenging like the Rubicon Trail.

I asked a friend of mine, who has driven the Rubicon, whether or not the Bronco would make it. Imagine his response. I didn't have to...I already knew the answer. I stay on the tame stuff.
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