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Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?

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Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 01, 2012 10:50AM
How is the hike with light bacpacks from Merced Lake HSC to Yosemite Valey with Half Dome?Possible?
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 01, 2012 12:06PM
Yes it is possible, I've done Merced Lake> Half Dome> Mono Meadow in 1 day.

Chris
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 01, 2012 12:22PM
Of course it is possible. It's 17 miles without huge elevation.
Ask yourself what you gonna do otherwise. Merced Lake from Tuolumne is about 15 miles and just as much elevation, if not more.
You can skip Half a Dome if people in your group can't make it.
The high trail which connects to JMT isn't nearly as nice as simply
hiking down the Merced thru Echo and Lost Valleys though.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 07:34AM
It's possible but....the views of the Merced River Canyon and the cascades are so gorgeous and there are great places with flat rocks for sunning, having a snack, cooling off your feet...why rush it.

I am not a fast hiker. By the time breakfast was finished at Merced Lake HSC (slow service that day), we left camp at 9am. Got to Curry at 6pm. We did not do Half Dome. It's 14 miles w/o Half Dome. And the downhill on the JMT below Nevada Falls at the end of the day was tough on my calves.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 07:38AM
If you're not a trail runner, don't hike at a consistent 3-4 miles per hour, or don't like hiking in the dark... hmmm....

Sure it's possible. I hike with folks who've done 30 miles in a day (I don't do that myself if I can help it). Do you want quantity or quality?

Take a headlamp. There's some very tempting napping spots.

I wouldn't even bother with Half Dome, myself. The tourists will slow you down.
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 12:03PM
It's possible? Yes. Will they do it? Doubtful.

They should do what I already said and Mom seconded... take the Merced down.
It trumps Half a Dome.
Problem always is... the general turkey out there asks "Did you climb Half Dome?"
and "How many miles did you hike?" to which the answer should be:
There's more to the park than the Big Rock and
All of them

Have fun,
Signed
Touristy Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 03:58PM
Quote
chick-on

Problem always is... the general turkey out there asks "Did you climb Half Dome?"


Couldn't someone who decided to climb, lets say, Sentinel Dome only half way up then come back down honestly state that they climbed a "half dome" while visiting Yosemite? wink

.
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 04:39PM
Quote
plawrence
Couldn't someone who decided to climb, lets say, Sentinel Dome only half way up then come back down honestly state that they climbed a "half dome" while visiting Yosemite? wink
You can honestly say you climbed half a dome.

Everyone wants to climb Half Dome for a good reason. It's darn kewl.
Those who say they don't... well... they probably already have done it.
If you love Yosemite and love hiking... hello... pretty sure you should go up Half Dome.

Plus you can see Turlock.
...
tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 09:26PM
Quote
chick-on

If you love Yosemite and love hiking... hello... pretty sure you should go up Half Dome.

Climbing Half Dome is back on my bucket list of things to do at Yosemite since the new permit system appears to have cured the problem of overcrowding (not just on the cables, but on the trail itself).

Before the Park Service instituted the Half Dome permit system, climbing Half Dome via the cables simply didn't appeal to me since I didn't want to spend a whole day dealing with the zoo that Half Dome and its trail had become.

.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 09:57PM
Yes but they have over-corrected the system and now make it very difficult to get permits. People now resort to getting to the cables very early in the morning to avoid the ranger. The point is, that shouldn't be illegal and there should be no need to avoid the ranger.
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 11:31PM
Quote
chicagocwright

Yes but they have over-corrected the system and now make it very difficult to get permits.

Honestly?

You didn't have too much difficulty in obtaining a permit. None of my friends who wanted a Half Dome permit this past summer had difficulty in obtaining a Half Dome permit from the Park Service (by legal means).

As long as one's dates are flexible, one shouldn't have too much difficulty in obtaining a Half Dome permit (as long as the Park Service doesn't restrict the permits even further in the future).

.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 03, 2012 10:26AM
When I got my permit I "practiced" a month ahead of time to make sure I knew how the system worked. Then the morning I got my permit the system had a quirk and I nearly got timed out. All the permits for my date were gone within a minute.

The rub is "as long as one's dates are flexible". I will likely never have a trip to Yosemite where my dates are very flexible. They should not make scofflaws out of people who are willing to go at off peak times. And that is besides my belief addressing the issue of how they have gone too far restricting access during peak times.
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 03, 2012 11:03AM
Quote
chicagocwright

The rub is "as long as one's dates are flexible". I will likely never have a trip to Yosemite where my dates are very flexible.


It's all about one's priorities. If climbing Half Dome is an important enough goal for someone, they ought to be flexible enough in their trip planning for Yosemite to be in Yosemite on the day they were able to obtain a Half Dome permit for their hike.

The Half Dome cables had become far far overcrowded and the Park Service had to do something. What they have now implemented is pretty reasonable.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2012 03:44PM by plawrence.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 03, 2012 01:24PM
Quote
chicagocwright
They should not make scofflaws out of people who are willing to go at off peak times. And that is besides my belief addressing the issue of how they have gone too far restricting access during peak times.

When they first introduced the Half Dome permit system it was only on weekends, when it was really busy. Predictably that year the weekdays then got just as busy as the weekends were previously. The problem wasn't solved, just shifted. If I understand what you are proposing correctly, that before or after a certain time of day, you don't need a permit, I would think that a very similar shift would happen, that the cables would be crowded at those times when you don't need to have a permit. Plus you would have a lot of people potentially hiking in the dark and people pushing themselves physically to make it by the permit time, creating a greater risk for nearly everyone. Sounds good in theory, but not in practice.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 03, 2012 05:34PM
It seems to be "good enough for government work" is the best thing you could say about the new permit system. But my suggestion isn't necessarily no permits required during off peak periods. But instead, a different set of permits for those times, staggered if you will. And I really don't think the demand for off peak times would be the same as the shift from weekends to weekdays. Finally, this is besides the fact of my anecdotal evidence that the cables are now vastly under-utilized even during the peak periods. It was a weekday and not a weekend but it was 2-4 pm on a perfect weather August day.
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 03, 2012 07:57PM
2-4 is a normal Sierra thunderstorm time.

Being an "Advanced" hiker, with a suggestion from chick-on to change the status to Super Chick-On, and having never been up Half-Dome...

I think "ability to be flexible" is reasonably correlated with "living somewhere near California". If the suggestion is to better utilize a 2-4 PM time period which may or may not be safely available, depending upon how far west the Arizona monsoon moisture is pushing, then I'm thinking that suggestion only helps those who can already be flexible.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 03, 2012 11:47PM
Then if those crazy Californians would just take the 2-4 time spot us Californian-Alaskans would be happy with any other time. Of course, I used the 2-4 time spot coming all the way from Chicago and driving all the way from Phoenix!

In other news I experienced the largest earthquake I have felt since the World Series quake. It was a 5.8 about 25 miles away. Killed everyone in my friend's nativity except for one wise guy. The baby might be okay...
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 05, 2012 07:02PM
Wasn't a matter of 'crazy Californians'...I've happily canoed in Minnesota's Boundary Waters...in early July. Would I enjoy an autumn trip? Sure. Could I have reasonable assurance that buying an airline ticket for an autumn trip there wouldn't result in my arriving at an already-iced-up place? No, because I must plan such a trip in advance, and weather patterns vary. I've also enjoyed a trip to the Everglades around Christmas time (more to the point for the original poster). It wasn't a risk-free time, in fact there was a tornado watch on my first night, but the odds were much better for me than planning such a trip in the spring. And, I'm sure there might be perfectly fine October days for sea kayaking in Glacier Bay, but the odds are much worse than they were when I planned such a trip for early July.

Basically, I guess I was saying that locals can be more flexible for sub-optimal times because they don't need to plan as much in advance (so they can see what weather patterns are setting up), and if a good opportunity presents itself during an otherwise iffy period then they can easily take advantage, but someone flying across the country faces cost and logistical hurdles.

In my mind a 'better' policy would help those who face such hurdles (this is a _national_ park after all) without further inconveniencing people who live close enough for a quick short trip.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 06:02PM
So you say Merced down to Valley is better than claim Half Dome?
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 08:27PM
I don't think anyone will claim a hike is "better" than Half Dome (although some claim Clouds Rest is "better".) But the fact is if you are physically capable of doing the cables it is obvious that Half Dome would pretty much be at the top of a hiker's list of great things to do. Half Dome has, in my opinion, a very undeserved reputation for being crowded and full of "tourists". There is a picture that has frequently been shown of long lines at the cables. I counter that with my own personal photo of a mid-afternoon photo on a perfect weather day in August where I was the only person on the cables. Frankly, since the permit system was implemented, I haven't heard of a report complaining about the crowds. I believe the complaints are about something in the past that doesn't happen anymore because of the system and come from people who did the hike back when it was crowded and soured their opinions.
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 09:21PM
Yes, the new Half Dome permit system seems to have made crowds along the Half Dome cables a thing of the not so distant past.

.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 03, 2012 05:41AM
I will claim that I have been on a lot of hikes that are better than Half Dome, because I have.
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 08:05PM
I've never climbed Half Dome and I never will. The idea that if I lose my footing or my grip I would die, is just not appealing to me.

But I thought that the Merced River Canyon with its cascades and pools was THE most beautiful hike of the entire High Sierra Loop (and extensions, since that portion to the valley is not really part of the HS loop).
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 02, 2012 09:20PM
Quote
Mom

I've never climbed Half Dome and I never will. The idea that if I lose my footing or my grip I would die, is just not appealing to me.

There's a lot of trails in Yosemite that where if you lose your footing you could die. The ever popular Mist Trail below Vernal Falls is one of them. A couple of years ago, a professor from Texas lost his footing on this part of the Mist Trail, tumbled down to the river and perished.

.
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 04, 2012 10:00PM
I've done half dome before and after the permit system. While the crowds have gone down slightly since the permit system was put in place when I went up this past summer the half dome trail was basically a line of people going up. It was not the usual pass by someone else every once in a while but a constant single file line of hikers going up and down the trail. The cables however were not bad at all due to the weather.

Chris
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 05, 2012 05:02PM
I climbed Half Dome the first year of the permits on a weekday. We went up the cables around 1:00 pm and it was crowded. For 3/4 of the way up it was move to the next post when the person in front of you moved and wait. The wait was 30-60 seconds or so at each post. I didn't really mind as I had planned all day for the hike. We did hang out on top till around 4:000 pm or so, to avoid the crowds on the way down (we were staying in LYV and didn't need to hurry down).
Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 05, 2012 05:40PM
This is kind of a totally separate question but does anyone think it is advisable to climb outside of the cables? I had read the surface was much less slick so I climbed the entire way on the right side outside the cables--I used the cable and the the part of the plank sticking out on the right. Again, I was by myself, but I also feel pretty comfortable with climbing. I was also surprised to find ledges where I was able to completely chill and take pictures outside of the cables. I have also heard that when it is crowded going outside of the cables can "freak" people out who are inside the cables.

I'm not yet planning another trip and likely won't be back on the cables for a while but I just wonder what others think on this question.
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 05, 2012 06:48PM
Quote
chicagocwright
This is kind of a totally separate question but does anyone think it is advisable to climb outside of the cables? I had read the surface was much less slick so I climbed the entire way on the right side outside the cables--I used the cable and the the part of the plank sticking out on the right. Again, I was by myself, but I also feel pretty comfortable with climbing. I was also surprised to find ledges where I was able to completely chill and take pictures outside of the cables. I have also heard that when it is crowded going outside of the cables can "freak" people out who are inside the cables.

I'm not yet planning another trip and likely won't be back on the cables for a while but I just wonder what others think on this question.

I prefer the outside on the right also. It is slightly uphill from the cables so you would fall into the cables as opposed to away from them as you would on the left side.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Is it Possible?Merced Lake-Half Dome and Valley in 1 day?
December 05, 2012 07:34PM
We hiked from Merced HSC to the Valley in one day two summers ago. We had 20 pound backpacks. It was a long day, but a very beautiful hike down. I can't imagine adding the detour over to HD and back that same day. Is it possible? Sure, but I think you would be too focused on checking off boxes rather than taking in the beauty. To each their own. That was a long hike for our group, after having had been out a week. I actually tightened my backpack waist strap too tight that day and developed Meralgia Paresthetica in my left leg. It still bothers me to this day.

Quote
chatka
How is the hike with light bacpacks from Merced Lake HSC to Yosemite Valey with Half Dome?Possible?
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