Archive for October, 2008

Now Here's A Crazy Idea …

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Half Dome from Glacier Point

Now here’s a crazy idea.

Yesterday, my long ambitious journey up Yosemite’s iconic landmark begins. On the weekend of the summer solstice in 2009, if all goes as planned I will attempt to hike up this famous 17-mile trail with anybody who is interested to come along.

My agenda are twofold: first, cross this item out of my “bucket list” and second, improve my current fitness level so that I could enjoy hiking more. I am not sure whether I will have the guts nor the endurance to climb up the banister cables yet. A granite path that’s 475 feet high with an almost 45 degree incline. But that’s not the crazy part, they say it takes about 15 minutes to go up that portion.

From what I read, the real challenge would be the brutal 4,700 feet of elevation gain that you will make from around 4,000 feet at the trailhead by the valley floor. The fact that you have to complete it within 10 to 12 hours while the sun is still up means that pacing with primary focus on safety would be very important.

Now this is not something I am doing on a total whim since I’ve visited Yosemite more than a couple of times. And one summer in 2006, along with a bunch of friends and relatives, we hiked the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls (first time to the top, second time to the base). Granted that is nothing compared to the full Half Dome route but I was definitely at a worse physical condition at the time and yet that experience very much made an impression upon me. I said to myself that it won’t surely be the last and that one day, I hope to be able enough to prepare for the Half Dome Hike at least once. Some would even call it the Hike of a Lifetime. [That to me translates as: “it’s so brutal, you probably might never do it AGAIN”].

Vernal Falls

So starting today and with about 9 months to get in shape (most guidebooks recommend at least 2 months), I am inviting you to join us on this epic adventure. Summer is the busiest time for the park and accomodations go rather quickly.

The plan is to drive into the valley the previous afternoon, check in at one of the valley accomodations and get to bed early in time to hit the trailhead by 6:00am the following day after a quick breakfast.

I intend to post more details on this blog with my research notes and how my own training is coming along. It’s not a do or die operation. If we make it up there, then fantastic, otherwise no biggie, the mountain will always be there.

As I said, it’s just a crazy idea. But it’s so crazy that it just might work!