Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Little Yosemite Valley Campground (mile 4.3) to Half Dome to Little Yosemite Valley Campground (mile 11.3).

Today's miles: 7
Trip miles: 11.3

What a day. After a rotten night of constant tossing and turning, I welcomed daybreak and was once again up at 6 am.

We hit the trail at 7:30 am, eager to hike the 3.5 miles and 2700 ft up to Half Dome.

We saw yet another deer, this time a mere 5 feet off the trail. I find it amazing how comfortable deer are around people in Yosemite.

Throughout the hike, the views of Half Dome constantly shift and change, providing stunning views of this beautiful piece of granite.

At 10:30 am, we arrived at sub dome after many switchbacks made of rocky, uneven steps.

My cousin, who is afraid of heights, made a beeline for the cables, leaving in such a hurry, he forgot to take water with him. I think he would have psyched himself out had he waited til after our snack break.

My mom on the other hand, opted not to make the final ascent up the cables as it would have put too much pressure on her broken wrist.

Though it was a tough choice, it was the correct one as the climb would have put too much pressure on her right hand, wrist, and forearm.

After I video taped my cousin's mad dash to the top, I put on my gloves, secured my water to my belt and went up the cables.

Though I had summited Half Dome once before, I was just as nervous. Glad there was good conversation to be had enroute to the summit with the two French men from Oregon in front of and behind me.

The views from the top of Half Dome are stunning! It is truly a one-of-a-kind hike with grand rewards.

My cousin Armen (right) and me

panorama with diving board just left of center
I don't have an issue with heights, but the view from "diving board" makes me cringe. I decided to overcome my fears and go there, having skipped out on this adventure my first time there. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I even posed there!

Appreciating the incredible view
No trees on Half Dome? There is one now

Before descending the cables and leaving The Dome after an hour or so, my cousin and I wanted to write a message to my mom and let her know that she was there with us.

After that, I had to get upside down before heading down!

We descended the cables, took a few group photos at sub dome, and had a chance encounter with a gnome with broken legs.

Left to right - my cousin Armen, my mom & me
The trail back to Little Yosemite Valley Campground was hot and dry, but beautiful nonetheless.

I saw a lizard eat an ant, and this amazing splot rock with a tree growing in the void.

Truly awesome.

Once back at camp, it was time to wash away the miles with a dip in the Merced River again. So refreshing!

Now it's time for dinner, followed by another night of stargazing.

Oh, I almost forgot. I have to thank my cousin Armen for sacrificing his safety and dry, clean clothes to save my water bottle cap. He fell into the river and got soaked after a bad toss by me.

Mind you, this was at 7:30 pm. Luckily, one of the two community fires at camp were ablaze, so he was able to somewhat dry his clothes.

Glad we can laugh about it as he only suffered a scraped knee, but it definitely could have been worse.
“One day's exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.” ~John Muir

posted from Bloggeroid

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