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Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall

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Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 10, 2009 06:38PM
Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 11, 2009 10:53AM
Wow. What an amazing account. So beautifully told, so well written, by wonderfully articulate and perceptive people, it feels like you are there. Very moving - thanks for finding this for us.

Bruce
avatar Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 11, 2009 11:16AM
I was looking at the photos and noted the heavy fog layer with lots of clouds in the immediate area. Why is anyone going up when it's pretty clear that there's a decent chance of rain? At the very least, it could mean slick granite if the fog condenses into mist. I would have just turned back and called it a day.

Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 11, 2009 12:05PM
Quote
y_p_w
I was looking at the photos and noted the heavy fog layer with lots of clouds in the immediate area. Why is anyone going up when it's pretty clear that there's a decent chance of rain? At the very least, it could mean slick granite if the fog condenses into mist. I would have just turned back and called it a day.


Agreed 100%, and when I was up there June 18, I was thinking just that - if it were even threatening to rain, that would be a sign to descend quickly to the saddle. It is not hard, however, to understand the position of those who think "I came all this way, and by gun, I'm not let a little fog stop me!" Having said that, I think a quick weather check the night before, with this kind of thing even possible, would have kept me from going up. There would be other days, drier and better days, for dangerous exploits. Climb Eagle Peak instead - big old climb, no danger to speak of, no crowds, great views and a fine feeling of accomplishment.
avatar Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 11, 2009 12:48PM
Quote
bpnjensen
Agreed 100%, and when I was up there June 18, I was thinking just that - if it were even threatening to rain, that would be a sign to descend quickly to the saddle. It is not hard, however, to understand the position of those who think "I came all this way, and by gun, I'm not let a little fog stop me!" Having said that, I think a quick weather check the night before, with this kind of thing even possible, would have kept me from going up. There would be other days, drier and better days, for dangerous exploits. Climb Eagle Peak instead - big old climb, no danger to speak of, no crowds, great views and a fine feeling of accomplishment.

I many ways I think that's why an overnight trip with flexibility around weather works better. I woke up at 8 AM and was at the cables before 10:30. The early rising day hikers might not get enough sleep. The late starting day hikers get there when there's a greater chance of afternoon rain. I had two nights planned where I'd try Half Dome and Clouds Rest. If the weather didn't cooperate, I would have just holed up in my campsite, maybe explored the nearby area, and tried again the next day.

It worked well for me since there looked to be zero chance of rain when I went up. It was gorgeous blue skies for as far as the eye could see.
Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 11, 2009 12:53PM
Thanks. It's very nice to hear that she survived the fall and will recover. I witnessed the Asian man's fall in June 2007. He, too, hit a similar ledge or divot in the rock (feet first). Instead of arresting his fall, it caused him to flip & somersault out of view. Many figured, including I (watching from the 10th pole or so), that he might have been airborne and perhaps falling to the valley floor. He landed on a ledge not too far below the saddle, so perhaps there was a chance. A couple of hikers were brave enough to go down and help. There was still a heartbeat, and he was still breathing for a short while. Unfortunately he succumbed to his injuries.
Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 11, 2009 03:58PM
Crazy situation must have been scary being up there during the time. Two weeks ago 7-30 in the TM campground there were several park rangers code 3 to a site in the campground. Found out later that day that a man had died of a heart attack. He was a volunteer for some group, working for Yosemite.
Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 11, 2009 04:59PM
I didn't want to be the first to be flamed, but yes, people are dumb. Summit fever. "I came all this way to Yosemite with my friends/family, and we've been planning Half Dome forever, so I'm doing it, dammit!"

Meh...glad she didn't die, but not once in that article did anyone interviewed say "gee, we made a huge mistake trying to do this".
avatar Re: Near-Fatal Half Dome Fall
August 12, 2009 12:33AM
I stopped reading the article when A) I looked at the date and VIVIDLY recalled that I/we were on Mt Watkins during the time of rescue AND we had hiked in while it was snowing; there were no "surprise" weather that day B) I looked at the pictures taken BEFORE going up the dome and there STILL were no surprises as to the weather....

I am going to get a sticker made for my bear can:

Hiking is not a MISSION in reference to the fact that military folks MUST proceed no matter what the prevailing conditions, but recreational hikers are just doing that: RECREATING

Nuf said, over and OUT

(PS, yup, FF, I opened a #$%^& Half Dome post because I was curious if it was a follow up to any number of HD incidents that I had the displeasure of witnessing this season)
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