Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Conquering Half Dome

Tunnel View, leaves me speechless every time
El Capitan

 Lower Pines Campground
Site #26
We fit in the bear box!
Half Dome
Mist Trail
Almost.... there.....
Slowly building up the courage....
Rest break
 View from top of Half Dome
 What it looks like on top of Half Dome
 Tizzy sitting on the edge as always
I never match
You can never get tired of this view
traffic jam

 The gang
Lunch with a view
 Nevada Falls
Vernall Falls
 Enjoying a stroll in the meadows
View from Glacier Point

 Adventure Partner for life
Some of our campfire meals: kabobs, breakfast sandwiches, tacos, and chickn
Night Cap

Hiked: Half Dome September 17, 2015
Miles: 17 miles out and back
Trails: Happy Isle to Mist Trail
Time: 13.5 hours
Elevation gain: 4800 ft
Peak of Half Dome: 8842 ft

Our Half Dome adventure truly started beginning of March 2015. Tizzy and I had to apply for the permit first before we could even get excited or start planning this trip. Then there was the waiting to see if we actually got approved, and then April came around, and then we found out we got the permit! Woohoo! (If you are interested in applying next year, here's the link

So that was the 1st hurdle, next hurdle was securing a campground... seriously, why is Yosemite so popular? The rumors are true though, you've got to plan 5-6 months in advance if you want to camp in Yosemite. Campground reservations open online on the 15th of each month for you to reserve 5 months in advance, so on April 15th I sat on the computer at 6:58 am ready to book campgrounds for September 16-19th, and the doors open at 7:00 am, and score again! We booked Lower Pines for 3 nights. Campsites go fast, within 5 minutes everything was gone. If interested in booking Lower Pines, click here

We decided to break up our drive to Yosemite and stopped in Fresno Tuesday night. If we drove straight through, it would've taken us 8-9 hours. We pulled into Yosemite Wednesday morning and explored around a little before we checked into Lower Pines and set up camp. We relaxed and kept it easy Wednesday night because our Half Dome hike was the following day. We made dinner and went to bed early that night. 

The day of the Half Dome hike, we woke up at 3 am, ate a quick PB&J breakfast, and at 4 am, walked from our campsite to the Happy Isle trailhead to start our hike. We hiked in the dark for the first 2 1/2 hours. By the time we hit the top of Nevada Falls, the sun was just peaking over the mountains. The vertical gain starts pretty much from the beginning of the trail, which pretty much goes, trail, stairs, trail, stairs, trail, stairs, Half Dome chains.... lol. I found the last part of the hike, before you get to the chains, to be the most brutal, you're climbing the Sub Dome, which is the hump before you hit Half Dome, and it's pretty much a never ending stone staircase. Then they eventually do stop, and you're at a flat surface and right before your eyes are the chains to the top of Half Dome. Once we caught our breath we hit the chains. Tizzy made it to the top first, I took my time but eventually made it up there and caught up to her. Tripper tried, but the fear of heights got the best of him, but don't worry, he will be back to conquer it! At the top, Tizzy and I roamed around for almost an hour. There's actually quite a lot of space up there! The views are beautiful! Heading up the chains wasn't bad since it was still early, but heading back down, there were so many people! I'd take 2 steps and have to wait 5-10 minutes because people just weren't moving! Tizzy got fed up and actually went outside the chains, and climbed down lol. (Yes, it's dangerous, just hold on tight!) The hike back was a breeze compared to the hike up, we filtered water at the top of Nevada Falls, and took the Mist Trail back. If you take the John Muir Trail, it's a little longer adding an extra 0.6 miles to your hike. We took the Mist Trail out and back, which is also steeper. Once we got back down to Happy Isle trailhead, we were pooped. We even took the free shuttle back to our campsite, which was 1/2 mile away lol. Hiking 17 miles in one day took a lot out of us! We got back to camp around 5:30 pm, made tacos for dinner, and planned to stay up late, but ended up calling it a night at 9:00 pm cuz we were dead tired. 

After Half Dome, we had another day and a half in the valley, so we kept it easy and explored the area a bit. We took a peak at Lower Yosemite Falls, which is completely dried out this time of year, showered at Curry Village, and headed to Glacier Point for sunset. Glacier Point, right after the sun sets, is amazing. The view is spectacular up there. We drove back to our campsite that night in the dark, made dinner, and stargazed right before bed. Each of us saw 3-4 shooting stars even! It was the highlight of our night. 

It ended up taking us 9 hours to get home Saturday, but the drive was worth it. I can never get sick of Yosemite. 

Until next time Yosemite!

1 comment:

  1. That fooooood! #glamping Your picture of Glacier Point is my favorite so far. PS - love your leggings! Where from??