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Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.

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Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
July 31, 2010 10:13PM
Next year I hope to stand on top of Half Dome. I would love to hear thoughts and tips on doing this hike. My plan is to hike as far as I can the first day. Do Half Dome as a day hike from there and return to camp. Then hike back to the valley on the third day. Would it be wise to leave much or even anything in camp while on a day hike? On Google Earth I saw a photo that was labeled as a good place to camp. How close can you get to the Dome before you run out of good camping ground. What is the best time of year to do the hike. Avoiding the lightning season would be good if that is even possible. What else?
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
July 31, 2010 10:39PM
Some hikers break it up into a 2-day trip by hiking to Little Yosemite Valley and camping overnight there, then ascending the rest of the way to Half Dome the next morning. A wilderness permit is required to camp in Little Yosemite Valley. Also now, a permit is required to go to the top of Half Dome, but only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays. More information on camping in Little Yosemite Valley, including where camping is allowed, is here:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/lyv.htm

More information on the permit for the top of Half Dome is here:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm

Lightning has struck the top of Half Dome in every month of the year, so there is no absolutely guaranteed time when lightning is not possible. On average it is more common in the summer. You have to evaluate the weather on a daily basis and when in person, on an hourly basis. You would not ascend the cable route if any storms are visible or known to be in the region. Even rain can present a problem as it makes the granite more slippery.

You can only hike to the top of Half Dome when the cables are up, trying to climb it when the cables are down is extremely risky unless you are a skilled rock climber with the right equipment. The dates that the cables are raised up and lowered back down are different each year, but the target dates are to try to have them up by Memorial Day weekend and to lower them right after Columbus Day.

There is much more than this to know about the Half Dome hike, and you should take efforts to research it extensively before doing the hike. This forum, as well as http://nps.gov/yose , http://yosemitehikes.com , http://yosemitefun.com , and http://www.hikehalfdome.com/ , along with the book sold by that site can give you valuable information to make your hike more successful.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2010 10:46PM by Bob Weaver.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 01, 2010 05:39AM
We hiked it in two days, spending the night at the flat area near the "shoulder" of half dome. Get a topo map and you'll see it. It was a dry camp, so we had to carry our water, but it's very close to HD and we were the first and only ones up in the morning. Others camp at the sunrise creek junction, which is also ok. We wanted to get farther than LYV, and besides, we couldn't get a permit for LYV.
You can do it in 3 days if you like, but 2 was ample for us. Spent a couple of hours on HD in the morning and hiked down, arriving at Happy Isles in the mid aft.
We left our stuff in camp while we hiked HD. No problems
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 01, 2010 01:36PM
Whatever you decide to do, Traildad, make sure you start early for Half Dome from Happy Isles, preferably with a headlamp. The mist trail becomes intolerably crowded, and even if you choose to go the JMT route, that is still packed in the summer. The Half Dome trail can also be extremely hot, especially the section in the sand through Little Yosemite Valley. So an early start is a good tip for those two reasons alone.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2010 01:47PM by Ulysses61.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 01, 2010 02:03PM
Quote
Ulysses61
Whatever you decide to do, Traildad, make sure you start early for Half Dome from Happy Isles, preferably with a headlamp. The mist trail becomes intolerably crowded, and even if you choose to go the JMT route, that is still packed in the summer. The Half Dome trail can also be extremely hot, especially the section in the sand through Little Yosemite Valley. So an early start is a good tip for those two reasons alone.

He's talking about doing it by breaking it up into segments of a backpacking trip. I personally chose the Clouds Rest Trail and John Muir Trail junction for a central location where I could start for both HD and Clouds Rest, although it is legal to camp less than a mile away from Half Dome.

I didn't leave until it was after 9 AM, and I got to HD before 10:30.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 01, 2010 03:39PM
The vast majority of people doing Half Dome start from Happy Isles and do it as a day hike. Few start from Sunrise, as you did (though I think that's a decent alternative). Those who do it as a backpack generally stay in the campground in Little Yosemite Valley. So I assume Traildaddy is following the prescibed itinerary for most people.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 01, 2010 10:19PM
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Ulysses61
The vast majority of people doing Half Dome start from Happy Isles and do it as a day hike. Few start from Sunrise, as you did (though I think that's a decent alternative). Those who do it as a backpack generally stay in the campground in Little Yosemite Valley. So I assume Traildaddy is following the prescibed itinerary for most people.

Happy Isles or Glacier Point to LIttle Yosemite Valley is a combined quota of 40, and there are usually over 100 campers there every night during summer. It might be worth trying to get the reservation, but I think Sunrise is a decent backup plan (or even primary).

Sunrise (really Tenaya Lake) as a starting point is pretty good as backpacking goes. It's not as close as HI-LYV, but it's not too bad when one can get a night's rest before taking on Half Dome. The permit isn't in as high demand as LYV permits, so it might be easier to get a reservation with shorter notice. I did my HD trip that way. I met a group that actually started from Tuolumne Meadows and made it as far as the John Muir Trail and Clouds Rest Trail junction in one day.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 02, 2010 09:08PM
The photo of the camp site on Google Earth looks like he continued a little past the junction of the Half Dome trail towards Clouds Rest. If the ground is reasonably level closer to Half Dome that might be better. I plan to allow a week or so in case I need to abort because of weather. Once I am back down and heading down the trail I guess I can decide then how far I want to hike. Stay out another night or head back to the valley. Thanks
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 03, 2010 06:44AM
LYV isn't my cup of tea. BUT... if you got that much time...
Why not just get the permit for there and dayhike da dome from there?
Why? well... then you won't have to hike your gear further up...
and you can do what I highly recommend anyway....
go UP the Merced towards Merced Lake going to at least the Twin Bridges.
seems a vast vast vast majority going to LYV have Half Dome Beer Goggles
on and have no idea what they are missing...
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 03, 2010 09:00PM
I am not sure if I completely understand your question. I am hoping to camp as close as possible to Half Dome. Is that what you are suggesting? I suppose that would be the reason if not. I will have to find the spots you are mentioning.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 03, 2010 10:13PM
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traildad
I am not sure if I completely understand your question. I am hoping to camp as close as possible to Half Dome. Is that what you are suggesting? I suppose that would be the reason if not. I will have to find the spots you are mentioning.

I think you're allowed to camp in a suitable spot anywhere along the side of the Half Dome Trail up before the sub dome (where a stairway is carved as the path). I remember seeing a few "previously impacted" areas that looked pretty good. The areas were flat and they were a good 100 ft from the trail. I think there's a spring somewhere along the way, although there aren't plentiful water sources.

The difficulty is in getting the proper permit. There are limited Happy Isles-LYV permits available. The reserved ones are gone quickly, and people line up at the permit office for the FCFS portion of the quota. The other Happy Isles permits don't allow one to camp anywhere near Half Dome on the first night. I think the "pass through" permits require setting up camp on the first day beyond a certain point.

If you're willing to start along Tioga Pass and hike 10 miles, I think you might be able to spend your first night along the Half Dome Trail. The difficulty is that most people want to start in the Valley, and the available permits aren't issued so that someone can camp there. The description of the permits mentions that the Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced Lake permit requires one to camp the first night beyond the Half Dome area. I'm not sure how far though. Does anyone know if the JMT/Clouds Rest Trail junction is far enough? I chose this location because it seemed a good place to tackle both Half Dome and Clouds Rest, and because I could see (and was told) that there were very good water sources. There are several creeks in the area which should flow all year.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 04, 2010 07:12AM
Uh... it was a rhetorical question.

If you are gung ho on camping AS CLOSE to HD as possible on day 1...
you need to get a HI->Sunrise/Merced permit. Period.
If you get LYV then you camp there your first night.
If going to Merced there are signs where you can't camp. It's pretty simple.
2 miles beyond LYV.
If going JMT... then once you start going up out of LYV... pretty much
you can camp anywhere you like ...

Back to CLOSEST. hike all the way to the subdome stairs and the sign.
turn right towards Tenaya Canyon... and look around...
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 03, 2010 10:32PM
This is from the Yosemite site.

The first camping available is at the Little Yosemite Valley Campground. Camping is not permitted between Yosemite Valley and Little Yosemite Valley. If you would like to camp in a dispersed Wilderness setting, you must be at least two miles past the campground (at or beyond either Moraine Dome or the Half Dome/John Muir Trail junction). Camping is not permitted on top of Half Dome or at Lost Lake.

Yosemite Park website



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2010 10:33PM by traildad.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 03, 2010 11:30PM
Quote
traildad
This is from the Yosemite site.

The first camping available is at the Little Yosemite Valley Campground. Camping is not permitted between Yosemite Valley and Little Yosemite Valley. If you would like to camp in a dispersed Wilderness setting, you must be at least two miles past the campground (at or beyond either Moraine Dome or the Half Dome/John Muir Trail junction). Camping is not permitted on top of Half Dome or at Lost Lake.

Yosemite Park website

Yeah - their instructions can be a bit confusing at times. I would note that it's about 1.0 trail miles from the Little Yosemite Valley campground to the junction of the John Muir and Half Dome trails. Still - a lot of people prefer to camp near water sources, especially if using disinfection tablets.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 04, 2010 05:02PM
I have not been able to find Moraine Dome yet, so I am not sure which way that is. I use a filter, but it seems that the water goes fast, especially when using dehydrated food. Water near camp or at least on the way to Half Dome so I can refill in the morning and again when returning to camp.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 04, 2010 08:38PM
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traildad
I have not been able to find Moraine Dome yet, so I am not sure which way that is.


Quote
traildad
This is from the Yosemite site.

The first camping available is at the Little Yosemite Valley Campground. Camping is not permitted between Yosemite Valley and Little Yosemite Valley. If you would like to camp in a dispersed Wilderness setting, you must be at least two miles past the campground (at or beyond either Moraine Dome or the Half Dome/John Muir Trail junction).


From your previous post (copied, in part, above) there seems to be an excellent chance that it is located within a two mile radius of the LYV campground.

Look in the NE direction. (What ARE you using for a map?)
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 04, 2010 09:36PM
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traildad
I have not been able to find Moraine Dome yet, so I am not sure which way that is. I use a filter, but it seems that the water goes fast, especially when using dehydrated food. Water near camp or at least on the way to Half Dome so I can refill in the morning and again when returning to camp.

The Moraine Dome campground is about two miles east of the Little Yosemite Valley Campground. The campground is clearly marked on the National Geographic Trail Illustrated maps. Just click on the little "+" on a magnifying glass and navigate to LYV using the controls. Moraine Dome is about NNE of LVY, and the Moraine Dome backcountry campground is almost east.

http://www.natgeomaps.com/ti_206
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 05, 2010 01:02AM
Quote
traildad
I have not been able to find Moraine Dome yet, so I am not sure which way that is.

It's on the Merced River up from LYV.

Quote

I use a filter, but it seems that the water goes fast, especially when using dehydrated food. Water near camp or at least on the way to Half Dome so I can refill in the morning and again when returning to camp.

Try camping along Sunrise Creek up a bit from the Clouds Rest junction.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 05, 2010 12:29PM
I've always wondered what that camping symbol meant on the Natl Geo maps; always thought it was misplaced. Up till now I've never heard anybody make reference to Moraine Dome camping. If somebody wanted to do the Red Peak loop clockwise starting from Mono Meadow then Moraine Dome is O.K. for the first overnight?
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 05, 2010 01:59PM
Quote
tomdisco
I've always wondered what that camping symbol meant on the Natl Geo maps; always thought it was misplaced. Up till now I've never heard anybody make reference to Moraine Dome camping. If somebody wanted to do the Red Peak loop clockwise starting from Mono Meadow then Moraine Dome is O.K. for the first overnight?

If you get Mono Meadow Trailhead you have to camp in the Illiouette Basin on your first night.
Or go away from LYV (i.e. if you can get over Red Peak pass on day 1 ... go for it... or up over Buena Vista... )
You are not allowed to camp at LYV on your first night unless you get a LYV permit.
(i.e. GP->LYV or HI->LYV)
If you want to pass through LYV then you need to get the HI->LYV passthru permit.

These may be new rules or whatnot b/c Old Dude and I have gone GP to Half Dome spring on day 1...
and also have gone from Mono Meadow to Lost Valley on day 1...
Regardless... those are the rules that are in place at the moment.

They perhaps wouldn't need these rules if everyone practiced LNT principles... but that's just dreaming.
It's pretty sweet that you can just camp anywhere you like almost though and that
the permit is free (unlike SEKI).
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 05, 2010 10:36PM
Ok now I see Moraine Dome. I guess I was reading it with the idea of a hike to Half Dome, so I wasn't looking over there. I wouldn't think you would want to continue on past Moraine Dome if you were heading to Half Dome.

It looks like the hike from 120 by way of Clouds Rest, over to Half Dome and down to the valley could be enjoyable. What are the pluses or minuses of choosing the route going by Tenaya Lake instead of Cathedral Lake?
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 06, 2010 06:57AM
Quote
traildad
Ok now I see Moraine Dome. I guess I was reading it with the idea of a hike to Half Dome, so I wasn't looking over there. I wouldn't think you would want to continue on past Moraine Dome if you were heading to Half Dome.

It looks like the hike from 120 by way of Clouds Rest, over to Half Dome and down to the valley could be enjoyable. What are the pluses or minuses of choosing the route going by Tenaya Lake instead of Cathedral Lake?

I like the views from the Sunrise trail better than the ones from the Cathedral trail. The Sunrise trail is shorter than HD from HI and we made it out and back well before sunset. The parking at Sunrise is ridiculous, but get there early and you won't have to park a mile away.

The plus for me would be going to Clouds, which is higher, less populated, and a better view than Half Dome. I would skip HD entirely, as well as LYV. Gone back twice, each time wondered why the heck I was doing this... I loved Clouds - the hike is better, not through deep sand (ugh) or with 1,000 other people walking two and three deep up the trail in inappropriate shoes... LYV jams you into a dark little campground with everyone else and the bears are bad, the permit checks are random (sometimes after dark) and it gets darn cold in there.

I would camp near the junction of the Clouds Rest trail - there's a water source and some good spots up there.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 09, 2010 06:43AM
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traildad
Ok now I see Moraine Dome. I guess I was reading it with the idea of a hike to Half Dome, so I wasn't looking over there. I wouldn't think you would want to continue on past Moraine Dome if you were heading to Half Dome.

It looks like the hike from 120 by way of Clouds Rest, over to Half Dome and down to the valley could be enjoyable. What are the pluses or minuses of choosing the route going by Tenaya Lake instead of Cathedral Lake?

The key words you said were "I'm going to take a week... "

That's all I'll say.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 09, 2010 09:25PM
Well the point of taking a week is to have multiple chances to summit Half Dome. I would hate to go all the way just to miss out because weather was a problem.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 10, 2010 07:36AM
It's Yosemite. You will have excellent views from any high point - Clouds is a better view. Dana is a waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy cooler view. Hoffman. Even Sentinel Dome, that puny little two mile hike from Glacier Point, is just a couple hundred feet short of the "mighty heights" of Half Dome in terms of elevation. North Dome is a better view and an eight mile round trip minus the punishing granite steps, and about 10000000000000 tourists. It doesn't matter where you go, there are views, and vistas, and scenery, and awesomeness. That's why some of us keep going back....

Looking down at Yosemite from Mt Dana:


Looking down at Half Dome from Clouds Rest:


Hiking up to Yosemite Falls to look down on it:


Don't just helicopter around Half Dome all week - go find as much awesome as you can. I know, everyone has to do Half Dome - well, dang. There are so many other places to go, and you're willing to miss them all just to go to that big rock? It'll be there 1, 10, or 50 years from now. Go see as much as you can. It isn't worth hovering around waiting for.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 10, 2010 12:47PM
AlmostThere has it right. Given the difficulties and bothersome crowds I have no desire to do Half Dome. I've been everywhere else he mentioned except Clouds Rest and believe me, there are better views available. I really think HD is probably better to look at than look from. The only thing it has going for it is bragging rights (if that turns you on). Everybody knows what Half Dome is. Many never heard of Clouds Rest, North Dome, or Sentinel Dome so if you tell them about it you may get a blank stare.

When I first discovered Yosemite many years ago it was always the valley, Glacier Point and the Mist Trail on a quick overnighter. I heard about something called Tioga Road and Tuolumne Meadows but had no desire to drive another 30 miles to see a meadow! What did I know? Now, I hardly ever go near the valley but make a beeline to the trails in the greater Tuolumne watershed. There is so much new to see from that jumping off point. A week on the trails can take you around the PCT/Rodgers Canyon/Grand Canyon loop or Lyle Canyon all the way to the Minarets and back. And none of it is visible from any road! To heck with Half Dome I say. Leave it for the tourists. You asked for opinions.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 10, 2010 08:51PM
One can assume that it will all be there 50 years from now. No guarantee I will be though. I don't know if Hiking from Tuolumne Meadows past Tenaya Lake to Clouds Rest and up Half Dome would totally qualify as helicoptering around Half Dome. I value the opinions, and have changed my perspective from the traditional hike up from the valley and back. Half Dome is very much an iconic image of Yosemite and the grandeur of Nature. Considering my physical conditioning, the idea that I could stand on top has a very high "cool" factor for me. I know that for some of the regulars, the simple fact that it is so overdone is a good reason to avoid it. I am not that far removed from the valley visitors. Some of us are mere infants on the trail of discovery that is backpacking in Yosemite. Again, I value the opinions, especially the ones that help me to improve the trip I am planning. Thanks Ken
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 10, 2010 09:25PM
If you feel that it is truly important to do it... yes, do it. You don't have to feel like you are being criticized for it. We all have our goals - mine is to get down into Tehipite Canyon. (You probably have never heard of it - it's remote. It would be like having Yosemite Valley all to oneself.)

I simply wonder that there are so much more spectacular hikes that get no press at all by comparison, and for less hassle and fewer miles - Dana is three miles. Hard miles, yes. But three miles to over 13,000 feet for the very best views of the area I have yet seen, of Mono Lake, all of Yosemite, and so many peaks and valleys - three miles of hard hiking versus the eight miles of hard hiking plus standing in line on granite for an hour or two. I saw four other people on Dana. It was nearly mystical. Climbing through subalpine and alpine meadow is much different than passing the many toilet paper blossoms just off the trail on the way to Half Dome. We had views all the way up those three miles, it wasn't just stopping for air (which we did a lot) but stopping to drop a jaw at the constantly changing panorama. I wanted to spend the night up there. I don't think it's allowed, I think it's a no-camping zone, but am tempted to night hike it just to see the stars from up there... awesome vantage point. I may have found my annual pilgrimage....

I felt no wonder at all on Half Dome. I am still recovering from that final step to the top of Dana, when Mono Lake popped into view, and the panorama appeared, and I literally lost myself in it. I think I tasted some of the magic that keeps Bill-E-G going out every week....
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 12:29AM
Quote
AlmostThere
. . . snip . . .
I simply wonder that there are so much more spectacular hikes that get no press at all by comparison, and for less hassle and fewer miles - Dana is three miles. Hard miles, yes. But three miles to over 13,000 feet for the very best views of the area I have yet seen, of Mono Lake, all of Yosemite, and so many peaks and valleys - three miles of hard hiking versus the eight miles of hard hiking plus standing in line on granite for an hour or two. I saw four other people on Dana. It was nearly mystical. Climbing through subalpine and alpine meadow is much different than . . . snip . . .

I'm sorry, but I just don't think that Dana is all that special. By far the better bang for the buck is the view from the top of Mt Gaylor. Maybe not as much distance stuff, but that distance stuff on Dana is so far away as to not be visible, and the near by stuff on Gaylor ( Gaylor Lakes basin, Tioga pass, etc ) is mystical. I'd rather spend an hour on top of Gaylor than Dana.

On the other hand the best idea is to do BOTH for your mental benefit. Have your own experience and opinion.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 07:54AM
Quote
qumqats


I'm sorry, but I just don't think that Dana is all that special. By far the better bang for the buck is the view from the top of Mt Gaylor. Maybe not as much distance stuff, but that distance stuff on Dana is so far away as to not be visible, and the near by stuff on Gaylor ( Gaylor Lakes basin, Tioga pass, etc ) is mystical. I'd rather spend an hour on top of Gaylor than Dana.

On the other hand the best idea is to do BOTH for your mental benefit. Have your own experience and opinion.

Good luck getting anyone who's determined to do Half Dome to consider either. Half Dome is the fad hike of the parks. I agree that Gaylor is a nicer view than many peaks, but still like Dana better.....

I think folks would be better off to do Half Dome and then a bunch of shorter hikes to high points and understand better what it's really about. People who drag themselves on the trail, crawl, with blistered feet, with ill-fitting shoes, empty water bottles dangling, are all going to depict Half Dome as the VERY BEST HIKE EVER because they don't want to imagine they suffered that much for anything less. Somehow the suffering elevates it to this crazy high status when it's not even that hard a hike, relatively speaking. Or it doesn't have to be - they could take more food, better shoes, more water, or just a water purification method and get more on the way.

I think a great deal of my antipathy for the entire Half Dome fad is just that - I hate seeing people suffer. So I appreciate traildad's approach a lot - doing it as a backpack is smarter. My first time up (and last) was a backpack.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 07:11PM
If you mean me that is determined to do Half Dome then I suppose yes. I wasn't exactly looking for opinions on trips I should do instead of Half Dome. Opinions on doing Half Dome as a backpack trip rather than a day hike. I really wouldn't consider the day hike. This has nothing to do with a fad hike. I know you see the crowds and it is easy to lump me in with the rest. I didn't even know that you could hike to the top of Half Dome until a few months ago, much less considered doing it myself.

I am not going to Half Dome because it is high. When I hiked from Glen Aulin to May Lake I passed by this spot. It is a little over 9000 ft and the view from May Lake was even higher.



The views were great and I enjoyed the feeling that I managed to haul myself up that high. Who doesn't get a special feeling in their soul when they look at Half Dome. The idea of standing on top really appeals to me. Maybe someday I will feel differently. Trying to convince me otherwise is kind of like telling a teenager that their first love will not last forever. It is all about perspective. You can't know my reasons and there is no way I can show them, so I will leave it at that.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 08:16PM
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traildad
The views were great and I enjoyed the feeling that I managed to haul myself up that high. Who doesn't get a special feeling in their soul when they look at Half Dome. The idea of standing on top really appeals to me. Maybe someday I will feel differently. Trying to convince me otherwise is kind of like telling a teenager that their first love will not last forever. It is all about perspective. You can't know my reasons and there is no way I can show them, so I will leave it at that.

Absolutely. The Half Dome hike is a checklist item for some people. Some people might be jaded because they've done it before and don't like the crowds. Some people will enjoy it because it is popular. Why try and talk someone out of doing it if it's really something that person wants to do?
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 08:43PM
Jaded?

You don't get it.

Half Dome is only the beginning. There's a whole mountain range attached to it....

Let's go.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 10:10AM
Quote
qumqats
I'm sorry, but I just don't think that Dana is all that special.

Did you lean over the edge and look down at the glacier?
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 05:03PM
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eeek
Quote
qumqats
I'm sorry, but I just don't think that Dana is all that special.

Did you lean over the edge and look down at the glacier?

Yes, actually went down a bit to a point to get a slightly better view. A bit scary considering the slope and all the lose rock down that side. I didn't go that extra 4 feet so that I look straight down.


Up Mt Dana
Views from the top of Mt Dana
Down Mt Dana in Dusk/Dark

Unfortunately there were some fires in the area that day so the visibility wasn't very good.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 06:30PM
What an excellent story. Holding that up as a trip to aspire to is something I love to see. My backpacking is about going to places that are special, (to me). That sounds really special. To offer your ideas of a great place to see I don't consider to be criticism. Bordering on ridiculing someones choice might be different. I hope you don't think I am upset etc. I understand we don't always express our passions in the most positive way, but you did today. I think you have inspired me to add a new place to my list. Thanks Ken
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 10, 2010 09:27PM
Ken,
OK, I will say more. You SHOULD do Half Dome. Absolutely. Everyone would loves Yosemite should.
IMO there is no "best" view. ALL the views are "best". It's ALL good. To me, even walking in the
forest has it's beauty. If I haven't been thru an area just a little meadow gets me smiling.
Maybe a rock outcropping. It's nature. It's beautiful.
My suggestion was to backpack TO LYV and base there. That way you don't have to carry your
gear up further. You can enjoy the dayhike to Half Dome. Maybe Clouds if you have the time
and gumption. But my point was... while you are right there... hike up the Merced (especially early
in the year when the water is really flowing) and enjoy the incredible domes and cascades further
upstream. There's some incredible stuff to be found further upstream that many ignore.... their
intention entirely Half Dome. Incredible glacial polish and erratics... and one of my favorite
domes in the park. Anyway, whatever you do... have fun.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 10, 2010 09:35PM
I think we forget we all find our magic in various places....

I have never found magic in large groups of people. Small groups, yes. One or two, yes.

And elevation - I am so prone to vertigo, it's a wonder I haven't yet toppled off something just because I'm swaying and quaking so much. But 8,800 feet - not cutting it anymore. I need to get up into alpine granite these days.

LYV, the trail heading up to Half Dome, the junction at the CR trail - base camping and dayhiking from any of those would be good.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 06:39PM
If I get lucky and am able to avoid weather problems I will have time to spare. I was thinking about what I would do to extend the trip in that case. It sounds like your suggestion of hiking up the Merced would be a great way to spend the time. I wouldn't have to get permits for a new hike or travel to a different part of the park. Sounds like a good idea. Ken
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 10, 2010 06:40PM
Quote
traildad
Well the point of taking a week is to have multiple chances to summit Half Dome. I would hate to go all the way just to miss out because weather was a problem.

I talked to a couple of guys that made it all the way to the cables last Sunday. That's when the thunder started and they headed back down.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 10:20PM
My wife started the JMT from Happy Isles this Sunday (I'll join her later in Evo Basin via Lamarck Col...), so I helped schlep some of her gear from the valley to Sunrise. There were several early Half Dome day hikers who I have no doubt made it to the top before the storms got bad. When I left Sunrise that evening via the Sunrise Lakes trail, there were several groups who had successfully summited Clouds Rest before the storms hit.

Funny thing is, I summited neither, walked a few miles in the rain/light hail, carried a loaded backpack almost 6000 vertical feet, and spent maybe all of 30 minutes at Sunrise helping to set up her tent just as the storm broke... And it was still a wonderful trip!

Or, a decade or so ago, we were day-hiking Whitney (motto: "if you think Half Dome is a circus..."winking smiley, but the clouds were building early in the morning, and somewhere around the 97th switchback above Trail Camp, we decided to turn back. That too was a wonderful trip!

Long story short, if you want to summit and can, great! If not... I think I would almost prefer the consolation prize of being in a thunderstorm in the mountains, and I would never feel that I missed out due to a storm. (Maybe I'll change my tune after a week in Colorado's Weminuche...)
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 11, 2010 09:44PM
The best place to camp that is very close to Half Dome is by the spring at 37*44'59"W (N actually) and 119*30'53"W. You will have water available at the spring. Leave your gear at your camp on the day you do Half Dome. It's an easy trip back down to the valley floor from here too.You will arrive at the cables so early there will be virtually no one there. Don't spread this around.

On my mac alt/option 0 will give º. I didn't know that.



Old Dude



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2010 01:43AM by mrcondron.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 12, 2010 05:12PM
Excellent, I will check it out. Thanks Ken
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 12, 2010 05:57PM
Quote
mrcondron
The best place to camp that is very close to Half Dome is by the spring at 37*44'59"W and 119*30'53"W.... Don't spread this around.

Mike's one dimensional coordinate system?

[Addendum: you can create a "degrees" symbol by holding down the "Alt" key while typing in 0176.]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2010 06:01PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 13, 2010 01:46AM
I've always wondered why people said that about me.

On my mac alt/option 0 gives º. I hope I remember that next time I point out a couple of lines of location.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 13, 2010 12:05PM
Quote
mrcondron
I've always wondered why people said that about me.

On my mac alt/option 0 gives º. I hope I remember that next time I point out a couple of lines of location.

Let me try that out. It's now 60º outside.

Great. I used to cut and paste to get that.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 13, 2010 12:25PM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
mrcondron
I've always wondered why people said that about me.

On my mac alt/option 0 gives º. I hope I remember that next time I point out a couple of lines of location.

Let me try that out. It's now 60º outside.

Great. I used to cut and paste to get that.

I'm seeing an underline below the circle. Copy this one instead: °
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 13, 2010 12:54PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
mrcondron
I've always wondered why people said that about me.
On my mac alt/option 0 gives º. I hope I remember that next time I point out a couple of lines of location.
Let me try that out. It's now 60º outside.
Great. I used to cut and paste to get that.



I'm seeing an underline below the circle....


Wondering if that might be an artifact of the particular font that he is using.
A quick search found multiple links, the following two being among the better ones:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=9221
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_type_degree_celsius_on_a_mac
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 13, 2010 10:45PM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
eeek
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
mrcondron
I've always wondered why people said that about me.
On my mac alt/option 0 gives º. I hope I remember that next time I point out a couple of lines of location.
Let me try that out. It's now 60º outside.
Great. I used to cut and paste to get that.



I'm seeing an underline below the circle....


Wondering if that might be an artifact of the particular font that he is using.
A quick search found multiple links, the following two being among the better ones:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=9221
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_type_degree_celsius_on_a_mac

I'll try a bunch. It's showing up OK on my side.

alt/option-0 : º - this is showing up as a bigger symbol
shift-option-8: ° - a little bit smaller
alt/option-shift-q: Œ
alt/option-q: œ
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 13, 2010 11:07PM
Man, talk about thread digression.....



Old Dude
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 14, 2010 05:35AM
Quote
mrcondron
Man, talk about thread digression.....


Hey! You started it with your asterisk-based, 1-D Polish Coordinate System.

FYI:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode
http://www.unicode.org/standard/WhatIsUnicode.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode_input
[Originally, we wanted szalkowski to provide these Unicode links in his last post but decided against it in favor of the two "instantaneous gratification" operational links. (No, Mike, We're not going to explain the hexadecimal number system to you. If you really understand the decimal system and/or the binary number system, then it is trivial to figure out.]

(Numerically Yours)
The Marmots



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2010 06:19AM by szalkowski.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 13, 2010 08:56PM
whew, for a moment I thought you gave away the co-ords to MY secret spring. BTW isn't that spring now on the main trail and not on a spur trail? We used it a few years ago. I just today got back from a two night BP from Sunrise TH to an off trail camp which included twice up Clouds Rest and Half Dome (once) with spectacular views day and night. Half Dome may be crowded but you meet some interesting people. I was on the summit by 7 A.M. yesterday and it was great. Perseids were pretty good too.
Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 14, 2010 08:03PM
Going during the Perseid, that's an interesting idea.
avatar Re: Opinions and tips on Half Dome as a backpack trip.
August 14, 2010 08:05PM
Quote
traildad
Going during the Perseid, that's an interesting idea.

We saw quite a few from the car while driving up last Saturday morning.
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