Saturday, August 7, 2010

Half Dome - Yosemite

I climbed Half Dome in Yosemite with N.M. on Tuesday, August 3, 2010.  All of the hikes this summer were conditioning exercises leading to this experience.
A view of Half Dome.

 We left Sacramento at noon on Monday and arrived in Curry Village about 3:15 p.m. I selected this accommodation based on the recommendation of "Mr. Half Dome" Rick Deutsch. I attended a Half Dome presentation he made at REI and bought his book, which I found very valuable.  Check out his website for some interesting resources.

On April 7, 2010, I made online reservations for a tent cabin in Curry Village.  I was able to obtain a Curry Signature Tent for a total of two nights for $292.82.
Curry Village Signature Tent with bear box.

The Signature Tent is a heated tent during the winter.  It has wooden walls, and three windows and a door.  It had one double and two twin beds, which included towels, pillows, sheets and a wool blanket.  It also has a metal shelf with a digital safe. The sheets and blanket felt crisp and clean.  The towels were small and course, but clean.  The metal bed frame was a bit squeaky and short for my 6' 2" size.
The interior of a Signature Tent.
Half Dome at sunset from Curry Village.

No cooking is permitted and all food must be stored in the bear locker outside of each tent.  Upon checking in, you are provided a key to unlock the padlock on the door of the tent.  You must bring your own lock if you want to keep humans out of your bear locker.  We didn't bring one, but didn't have any problem with theft.  We didn't even hear a bear come through the camp at night.

The big problem with this camp is the rocky gravel they have as ground cover.  I am sure it eliminates the mud problem when it is wet, but at night, you can hear your neighbors making their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

These tents have a single electrical outlet.  I used one to to charge my iPhone and used its alarm to wake us up at 5:15 a.m.  I had a quick breakfast of a Clif Bar and a banana.  We drove the car a short distance to the trail head parking lot and then walked about a half mile to the trail-head.

It was about 6:15 a.m. and we had hoped to start at 6:00 a couple of minutes after the sunrise.  After we had gone up a way, I realized I forgot my trekking pole.  I left my hiking partner to wait as I raced back to the car to get it.  By the time I got back it was about 6:45 a.m.  The little diversion added an extra mile to my hike. 
Trail-head sign.

The trail to the base of Vernal Fall has a smooth asphalt surface. The next leg of the trail becomes a bit rougher, but as throughout this trail, significant work was put into building this trail.  This includes a granite staircase up to the top of the fall. 

People has been swept over this fall while soaking their feet, so there is a hand rail at the top near the water.

The next leg of the hike took us near Nevada Fall.  We walked over this on our return, but could see it from a distance.  We got a little closer than most when we apparently took a side trail that fortunately rejoined the main trail. 

Nevada Fall (from side trail).

Mist Trail granite staircase up to Vernal Fall.

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