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Re: 8 Days in the Valley

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8 Days in the Valley
June 23, 2015 01:57PM
I just got back from an 8-day camping trip in Yosemite Valley with my wife and various other friends & family. This would be the first trip back to Yosemite for my wife and me since our honeymoon there last November.
Sadly, my annual pass ran out in April, so I forked over $60 for a new one (still a bargain).
The first hike of the trip consisted of many of the adults and children hiking parts of the Mist Trail. I decided that I'd rather visit Sierra Point http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,8448 with my wife and a friend.
We parted ways with the rest of the group at the sign for the rock piles and were off. We made it there with only a few minor detours. The views were amazing

.

We were lucky enough to get a permit to hike Half Dome on Tuesday. I had done it 20 years ago in college, but this would be the first for my wife. We had been training for it over the past few months, and were disappointed when we failed to get our permit in the general lottery.
We started our hike at 5:55 am and hiked the JMT up past the falls.



We felt great and made it to the sub dome with no real issues, other than fixing a few hot spots on our feet before they grew into something worse.



The cables were fairly crowded, which forced us to go at a slow pace which was just fine with me as I was using that as an excuse to catch my breath.
Once at the top, we had lunch, and took some obligatory photos from the top,



and recreated a photo I took 20 years ago.



The hike back down was not as easy as the hike up. My wife's feet finally got the best of her, and slowed her to almost a crawl. That, and an asthma attack didn't help (thank god for the rescue inhaler).
As the sun was setting lower on the horizon, and our pace slowed to try to minimize the pain on her feet, I decided to take the Mist Trail down and save a mile or so.
The hike past Nevada Falls was not too bad,



it was just when we crossed the foot bridge above Vernal Falls that we needed to pull out the headlamps and finish the hike in the dark.
My wife will attest that the Mist Trail below Vernal Falls in the dark with only a headlamp is pretty creepy. We were both relieved to make it past those steps and to the bridge below Vernal Falls.
Thankfully, my friend was waiting at the trail head with his car and pizza for us at 10:51. That was a welcome sight after 17 hours on the trail!
We allowed a few days to let our feet heal a bit before we drove to TM and had a nice little hike to Elizabeth Lake and Unicorn Peak.



In the end, it was a nice and relaxing trip with just enough adventure to make it exciting and have a few stories to tell over many years to come.

Re: 8 Days in the Valley
June 23, 2015 05:23PM
Thanks for posting, that's a long day on the trail! I'm curious what time you made it to the cables? Me and my son will be going up there in a couple of weeks, and I'm wondering what time it usually starts to get really crowded.
Re: 8 Days in the Valley
July 05, 2015 11:14AM
I checked my photos from last year. We had a split group of 16 and I was the sweep. Left Happy Isles at 5:30am and were all on the sub dome at 10:50am. Some of our party had to wait for us, the trailing end of the group, by the permit ranger's command that we had to proceed up the sub together. We were supposed to be together on our descent, but the guardian ranger lady wasn't present then.

Hot then, too, Water filter is a must.
Re: 8 Days in the Valley
July 05, 2015 11:18AM
hulkman75...just got back from 19 days of camping...in the valley June 14, then moved to Tuolumne June 21. You had a clear day on Half Dome compared to our hike up Clouds Rest the 19th...had smoke from a fire in Wawona and elsewhere.



your pics on Half Dome look like the day we had on the 16th?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2015 11:22AM by hikerchick395.
avatar Re: 8 Days in the Valley
June 23, 2015 09:33PM
I remember being up at Glacier Point once and watching a whole string of headlamps and flashlights coming down in the darkness...and from much farther up that the Vernal Falls bridge. Sounds like you all had a great trip. And nice pickup of Sierra Point!
Re: 8 Days in the Valley
June 24, 2015 08:53AM
Justin-T, we made it to the cables about 12 and took a break to reapply sunscreen & hydrate. We probably had about 40 people hiking up the cables with us. It was close to 90 degrees during the hike. We each drank about 9 liters of water. I'm glad I brought my water filter, otherwise we would have been begging for water from other hikers. I met quite a few people who were forced to turn around because they ran out of water on the sub-dome. It would drive me mad to know I went through all that work to get a permit and hike all that way only to be turned around for lack of water or a filter.
Re: 8 Days in the Valley
June 24, 2015 09:48AM
Mad enough to turn green and rip your shirt off?

(I had to do that)
Re: 8 Days in the Valley
June 24, 2015 11:13AM
Quote
hulkman75
Justin-T, we made it to the cables about 12 and took a break to reapply sunscreen & hydrate. We probably had about 40 people hiking up the cables with us. It was close to 90 degrees during the hike. We each drank about 9 liters of water. I'm glad I brought my water filter, otherwise we would have been begging for water from other hikers. I met quite a few people who were forced to turn around because they ran out of water on the sub-dome. It would drive me mad to know I went through all that work to get a permit and hike all that way only to be turned around for lack of water or a filter.

Thanks, good to know. 9 liters is more than I want to carry, for sure. We plan to camp the night beside Sunrise Creek at around 7,100', so it looks like if we get going for Half Dome by 7am we should easily be able to beat everyone who started at Happy Isles. Unless there are nut-jobs who run that trail…?!
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