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Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?

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Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 04:48PM
Hello,

I am planning a long day hike from Tenaya Lake, up to Cloud's Rest, then to Half Dome and down to Happy Isles. Our group are fit and experienced hikers, but not rock climbers. We have all done Half Dome before.

Looking at trail maps and Google Earth, it seems that we could descend Cloud's Rest, but instead of descending all the way to JMT and then back up to Half Dome, we could head south along the ridge between CR and HD, passing Quarter Domes and saving significant mileage and elevation loss/gain. Obviously, we would stay on the top/eastern side of the ridge to avoid Tenaya Canyon below to the west. Has anyone done this, or have any indication on how doable this would be? Are there any physical features that would make this difficult or impossible without technical skills and equipment?

I called the Yosemite wilderness office and spoke with someone about this - he said it looked doable, but he hadn't done it. Also, I see that the "current conditions" page shows the snow level at about 9,000 feet - our hike would be the week of July 20 - will there likely still be snow at that level then?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 04:51PM
Quote

I called the Yosemite wilderness office and spoke with someone about this - he said it looked doable

It has always looked doable to me as well. But, like the guy you spoke to, I've never done it either. I do remember reading somewhere that it's quite doable and a good way to go between the two.

Quote

Also, I see that the "current conditions" page shows the snow level at about 9,000 feet - our hike would be the week of July 20 - will there likely still be snow at that level then?

Snow should not be a factor.
Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 05:56PM
Thanks to both of you for your replies. I found the photo below online - it is apparently taken from Half Dome shoulder "sub-dome?", looking towards Cloud's Rest. As you can see, it looks like my route is workable, staying to the east of Quarter Dome and the dropoff into Tenaya Canyon, but west/north of the visible Granite Slab. The regular CR trail heads down to JMT parallel to, and east of, that slab.

avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 06:21PM
Quote
cholla
staying to the east of Quarter Dome

If you have the time, a side trip to Quarter Dome is worth doing.
Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 05:01PM
Wow, this is a really interesting question. I have no particular insight into the route, but I will say DON'T rely of Google Earth to tell you much. There have been more than a few times I thought something looked easy enough on GE, but in reality turned out to be a huge problem. There may be enough obstacles you will have to overcome, or bushwacking to be done that the energy you save by bypassing the long way around is expended on going X-country and overcoming these obstacles.

That being said, if I were planning something like this, I might look to do the same. Let us know if you make it, I'd be quite interested.
Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
July 27, 2009 05:34PM
Hiked last week, from Tenaya Lake up to Cloud's Rest, then down the other side. I got to the switchback that would be the right place for the XC to Half Dome Trail, and we explored the beginning of the XC route, but our group was not comfortable doing it at that time. We agreed that it definitely looks doable. We went back to the Cloud's Rest trail, and continued down to JMT to Happy Isles. A great hike for sure, but the XC will have to wait for another day. One person in our group said he heard others had successfully done this route as well. Didn't see any indication of a social trail.
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
July 27, 2009 05:57PM
There would be no social trail. It's rarely done.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 06:46PM
It's doable. At the first switchback after coming off CR head for Quarter Domes and check them out then head for the spring just off the HD trail. The XC leg from CR to QD is sandy on granite so go slow.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 06:48PM
I'll bet there's a use trail.
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 06:53PM
Didn't see one but we were just going our own way.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 07:50PM
Quote
mrcondron
Didn't see one but we were just going our own way.

Goat'ing it?
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 07:59PM
The proper term is: Goataineering
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 08:13PM
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Bee
The proper term is: Goataineering

You expect proper from moi?
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 29, 2009 08:19PM
Here is a link to a photo. I don't know how to get them to post directly to the thread.

http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php/v/mrcondron/IMG_5863.JPG.html

This was taken from the eastern most dome looking back up towards CR well more towards the south but that is the sandy granite hillside.



Old Dude



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2009 08:24PM by mrcondron.
Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 30, 2009 10:23AM
Mike,

When you did this, did you hike down the steep hill in the center of your photo, or around the base of it? It looks to me like we could stay on the CR trail switchbacks until the longer one, just before the CR trail heads down to JMT parallel to the granite. Then, we could stay in or close to the tree cover all the way to HD, unless we go to ionQuarter Domes. We'll be right next to it anyway, right?

Was the route worth the savings in elevation loss/gain and distance?
avatar Re: Cloud's Rest to Half Dome - cross country?
June 30, 2009 07:11PM
We camped at Qtr Dome so we headed there as early as possible. If you don't intend to go to the domes then you could stick to the trail and maybe do about one mile more with a couple hundred feet in elevation but maybe the trail will be faster. I'd go to the domes.



Old Dude
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