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Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?

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High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 16, 2020 03:25PM
Planning on being in the valley next Thursday (have reservations for Wed and Thursday night at the lodge). I am hoping to get a last minute half-dome permit and send my two teenagers (16,18) up to half-dome. While I've hiked half-dome a number of times in the past, I'm not in good enough shape to accompany them, and they've never done it. They're both physically fit.

My concern is the weather. The high is showing 91 for the day. If it stays that way, what do you think of hiking half dome that day? A start earlier than 6:30 or 7 may be challenging for them. I can try to drill in their head to stay hydrated but they're teenagers. and also can't really social distance on the cables, and you're in the presence of others for 15 minutes. What are you guys' thoughts?

I am aware of other hiking opportunities, but just trying to make a decision on half-dome.

-Mom (always worrying)
Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 16, 2020 03:54PM
Can't help regarding temperature and social distancing. That will have to be your call.

Did want to point out that during hotter days in the mountains, there is danger beyond the heat alone. Hotter days generate more convective (rising) airflow, which can result in formation of Cumulonimbus clouds (thunderclouds). Very important to exercise good judgement when at high points, particularly in the open, during electrical storms. This is made more important given the steel cables used for the final ascent to the summit of Half Dome. Don't be at a high, exposed place during an electrical storm, or when one is nearby. Do get up and down before the storms form, typically in the afternoon.

Be sure this is understood by your hikers, at the very least.
Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 28, 2020 11:26AM
Problem with images.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2020 11:27AM by recycling1991.
Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 17, 2020 05:02AM
You say the high is projected to be 91...is that in the valley? It'll be cooler on HD. Yeah, impossible to social distance on the cables. Personally, I wouldn't do it but it depends on your risk tolerance if want them to do it. And I agree with ags about the T-storm risk. T-storms are very dangerous on HD. If you decide not to let them go, there are a lot of other good trails to hike around the valley and the rim.
Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 17, 2020 06:11AM
My teenage son and I did HD 2 years ago. It was a mid-July weekend and the temps were in the mid 80's. While we didn't have any weather-related issues we both went through 5 liters of water that days. We each carried 4 liters on us (3-liter bladers and 1-liter loose bottle) and we had to filter the last liter right after we got off HD at a spring by the trail. With warmer weather, the electrical storm risk is higher but make sure they are ready supplies wise to hike that long distance in those temps.

-Chris
Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 17, 2020 08:34AM
Temperatures decrease about 5.5 degrees for every 1,000ft. elevation on a clear day. If the temp on the valley floor in 91 then you can expect the top of HD to be near mid 60's. LYV can be quite warm since there's little air flow mid-day in summer. By the time you get back to Vernal fall bridge you'll really feel the warmth.
Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 17, 2020 11:12AM
Thank you all for the feedback. All very useful. I didn't think about the thunderstorms. The behavior explanation reminded me of my physical geography class. :-) It's good to remember that as some of my alternative hike ideas were Dana or Hoffman (assuming the snow level is not too high). I called and they said they snow level is 11,000 ft, so maybe Hoffman. (hoping to go to Lee Vining for a night or two after the valley)

I know it would be cooler at elevation, but didn't remember the ~deg/elevation.

Thanks for the measure on water. Good to have #s.

At the end, I may decide to wait, due to COVID-19. My son of course says mom, if you can make it up the cables, you don't have COVID-19. I know that's technically not true, but overall, the mist trail can be crowded and you can end up hiking behind the same people for quite a distance.

Thanks again!
avatar Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 21, 2020 09:56AM
The John Muir trail is an alternative to the mist trail, and in my opinion easier to travel going up, despite its 1 mile additional length.
Re: High of 91 too hot to hike half-dome? what about social distancing?
June 23, 2020 08:53PM
Well, we didn't get the last-minute HD passes. I had decided that I was going to accept the COVID-19 risk and send the kids up, but no luck this time. Maybe next year.

Will try some of the high-country hikes, unless the threat of thunderstorms is too high. Current forecast: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am.
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