Sunday, December 20, 2015

Half Dome

Go full screen on this one!

What a great time lapse vid!  Yosemite and Half Dome share a special place in my heart and soul.

I discovered the unparalleled beauty of this valley in 1979, during a road trip with two best friends from college (UNLV).  I had just finished my favorite year in college (junior) and we were on a west coast swing.  Our trip went from Vegas to Santa Cruz, SF, Bend, OR, Lincoln City, OR and finally Yosemite.  Our friend Scott had grown up in Yosemite and was keen for a hike up Half Dome.  He said it was a day hike to the top and back.  What he failed to mention was the amazing beauty of the glacier made valley.  Our first highlight on the Muir Trail was the mist and rain from Vernal Falls.  The next was the spectaclar water show at Nevada Falls.  It just keeps getting better!  Little Yosemite Valley was next and then the climb to the base of the backside of the dome.  No not the sheer front wall, just a nice pitch up the backside with the cables.  Back then, not alot of folks did this climb.  Today it is hugely popular and permits are required and checked to summit this monolith.  We started up the cables and scenes from the old TV show Batman came to mind.  Batman and Robin always seemed to be climbing up buildings with a rope and that is kind of what it felt like.  We made it to the top and the view was awesome.  We even stepped out on an outcropping of rock called the "diving board".  I vowed to myself to return to this beautiful location often.  And I did!  I returned many times with a boat load of friends each time.  We had an annual Father's Day trip for many years. Back then we could sleep on top for the night.  What a place to wake up on!  It was a guys weekend in the mountains.  I estimate that I have lead over 75 folks to the top and back.

After climbing back down the Muir Trail and arriving on the valley floor about 6pm, we were pretty tired but totally excited about our journey.  We took off for Vegas and our return home.  I guess I have been to Yosemite 20 or so times.  Even got my future wife to the top, Bridget. 

If you ever find yourself planning a trip to this special place, think about going on this hike.  Permits and being in great shape will help.  The hike is about 8 miles one way.  But the elevation gain is about 4000 feet.  That's what gets you.  Put a trip to Yosemite on the top of your Bucket List!  You can thank me later.

No comments: