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Me and my dad were thinking about doing the hike to Half Dome next summer at Yosemite. I was wondering, has anyone here hiked up there before? And is it hard? It says it takes about 8 hours to get to the top. I have heard you have to pull yourself up the cables with your arms because it gets very steep.

It looks like an awesome hike!

Check out this picture of the cables I found...

 

Here is a picture found at www.skellington.com (not taken by me obviously)

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We did half of that hike to some waterfall thingy, and the rest didn't look too hard. Besides, the view should be well worth it.

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^Well, after the water fall I think you gain like another 3,000 ft. or something. And also you are in very high elevation, and the air is a lot thinner.

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I talked to some people who did it while I was there one time. It is a whole day hike. The cables are to help keep your balance, you don't pull yourself up just by the cables, but walk along them, holding on to keep your balance on the steep incline. It's kinda like a steep staircase, but the only stairs would be the metal ties used to secure the cable poles to the rock.

 

http://heracles.itsc.adfa.edu.au/~sme/photos/croquet-sonoma-2000/up-halfdome.jpg

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I did it years ago, back in my more ambitious hiking days. It's a very strenuous day hike, especially if it's hot. A much better idea is to get a wilderness permit and camp out in Little Yosemite Valley, hitting Half Dome the next morning, before the afternoon thunderstorms roll in. And it's a little freaky, especially going down, since the granite's steep and slick, and you're in the middle of a conga line of people. Nothiing too tough, though. Another great hike to the heights, better views than Half Dome's in some ways, is the trail to Clouds Rest.

 

And then there's the hike up Mount Whitney...

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^Hmmm. I'll think about turning it into a more that one day hike. I kind of wanted to do it in one day, just to see if I could do it. Yes, I would probably be very tired, and wish I would have never done the hike, but it would feel good after it's done to say I did a hard hike like that in one day. But then again, I do like taking easier way out of things!

 

So with the permit, is there places you are supposed to camp, or can you camp anywhere? Thanks for the info by the way!

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Hike to half dome...one question is if you hike regularly? If you do, then you might be able to do the day trip hike. But definitely camp in the valley, start the hike at sunrise or even before. The hike to the aforementioned "waterfall thingy" I'm guessing is Vernal Fall, which is quite an easy hike.

 

What you'll probably want to do depends on what time in the season you go in. If the water is still high then you're probably better off taking the John Muir Trail so as you don't get drenched in water early in the morning. But if the water is low then you can cut some time and mileage off by taking the Mist Trail. And that's where the trail starts getting harder. The Mist Trail is built out of stone steps, levels off, and then goes into steep switchbacks. Once you reach Little Yosemite (which is where you would camp if you make it a 2 or even 3 day trip) it levels out for a while until you split off to Half Dome. It switchbacks up more and gets steep when you get to the sub-dome part of it. At the saddle between the sub-dome and the actual Half Dome you drop your pack and pick up old work gloves (if you didn't bring any) and go up the cables.

 

"The cables are to help keep your balance, you don't pull yourself up just by the cables, but walk along them, holding on to keep your balance on the steep incline. It's kinda like a steep staircase, but the only stairs would be the metal ties used to secure the cable poles to the rock. "

 

Well this isn't entirely true. If it weren't for the cables, this would be unclimbable without being a total rock climber. Slick rock, 45+ degree angles, and exfoliating granite you go up and over makes it very difficult. You do pull yourself up, with the cables suspended above 2x4s every 6 feet or so.

 

I myself have never done the hike, many other hikes in the Valley, but never up to Half Dome. If you want to do it in a day, I would not reccommend it if you aren't used to hiking. If you want to do it in a couple of days, I would not reccommend it if you aren't used to backpacking. Not sure of your abilities.

 

If you're interested in Yosemite too, just went there and there's a trip report here

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I love Yosemite, I have done half dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point.

 

Half dome is tough, when I did it they were calling it the "death march", it does require a reasonable level of fitness - I do a lot of extreme fitness so I didn't have a problem but it is still quite draining. Coke never tasted so good after.

 

I say go for it and if you absolutely can't make it all the way just turn around, there's plenty of nice scenery even before you get to half dome.

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I was going to do it last year with some friends. But after having issues fitting into Millenium Force... I realized I was a fat ass... and I should wait until I can get back into shape.

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

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