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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 07 Oct 2014 (Tuesday) 01:39
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Yosemite: Half Dome-4700ft above the Valley

 
gotaudi
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Oct 07, 2014 01:39 |  #1

At the end of last month we visited Yosemite. Our goal to successfully reach to top of Half Dome. We planned this trip for months. We were fortunate enough to get a permit to hike the trail to half dome. All of us are engineers and getting time off is sometimes difficult so once we found out there was a fire a week before we were supposed to leave we became very concerned. The fire crews in Yosemite did a wonderful job containing and controlling the fire so we were very lucky our trip was not cancelled. The Trail opened just 3 days prior to us leaving.

Our first stop coming into Yosemite we arrived at Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. This root was massive. An interesting thing about Sequoia trees is for their amazing height they have an amazingly shallow root system. The roots are only 10-14ft deep and can cover up to an acre in area.

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3916/15338382025_bd857b937d_b.jpg

This photo was taken from Sentinel Dome the day before our Half Dome hike.

IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2942/15338381645_d96a4736a1_b.jpg

The day of the big hike there were 3 of us (Down from 6, the others decided not to do it). We woke up at 4AM, Ate a quick breakfast and loaded our gear in our backpacks. I took 5 Liters of water, a sandwich, a headlamp and the 5Dmk3 with a Canon 24-105mm L and the Samyang 14mm. We started from our camp site and walked to the trail head at 5AM. We walked up Vernal falls and half way up Nevada falls in the early dark morning.

This was taken just before Little Yosemite valley.
IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2943/15315344806_962aa48f2e_b.jpg

Hiking up half dome is hard, I mean really hard. It attacks your physical and mental abilities. First you hike up to the base of Sub Dome (Thats half domes little Sister designed to kill your legs). The hike to Sub Dome was about 7 miles from camp. Sub Dome is a machine of switchbacks comprised of granite steps. Nature’s hardest stair master. Once you get use to the never ending stairs the steps just end. You must trust your footwear and walk up the rest of the steep granite slope.

IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2944/15151612289_901d02701f_b.jpg

Once at the top you are presented with half dome. There is a presence up there. She just sits there like she is waiting for you. Waiting for you to make a decision if you are ready for an experience of a lifetime. You have to pump yourself up. When you’re on a 45 degree granite face, second thoughts are not what you want. At this point I put away the camera, put on my gloves and strapped on my backpack... we were going up.

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3836/15151842317_da420c1de2_b.jpg


The section that is most commonly referred as "The Cables" is comprised of 2 cables roughly waist height rising the last 400 vertical ft of the hike. The granite is worn slick from over the years of use. This requires a large amount upper body strength to climb. There were a couple times where you are stopped and you hear a clink, clack clink.... then see a water bottle bouncing down the granite face toward the valley floor. It puts it into perspective as you grasp tighter on the cables. You can’t help but think there is nothing to stop you if you slip. But we pushed through it. My wife got to the top first (and quickly) We got to the top and WOW! Simply amazing. We did it. This is up standing only feet away (felt like inches) from a drop of over 4700 ft down to the valley floor.

IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2943/15338068562_3c1e39c2e4_b.jpg


This is a photo of the Sierras behind Half Dome. My next adventure will be clouds rest (That’s the peak in the background). I hear it has even more spectacular views.

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3841/15315343076_e12e68033c_b.jpg

Thats the journey of Half Dome according to the GPS it was just about 17 miles round trip from our camp site (Upper Pines)

Here is one last photo taken the last night of our stay. This was after a wonderful (seriously no sarcasm) thunder storm came through for a few hours around 8PM. Being in a tent with my Wife with the rain, lightning and thunder is the most amazing experience and really made it a nice time. Around 12AM the storm cleared through and we saw this. It was taken in a Meadow with the 5Dmk3 and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4

IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2943/15315342056_59e4155567_b.jpg

Thanks for taking the time to allow me to share this with you. Questions, Comments, and Stories about your time hiking are welcome!

Link to most of the photos taken on the trip...
https://www.flickr.com …l/sets/72157647​560662768/ (external link)



  
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dkizzle
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Oct 07, 2014 09:28 |  #2

Thanks for sharing the photos. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Too bad you didnt do any panos...


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njstacker22
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Oct 07, 2014 09:44 |  #3

Great photos. I've seen half dome with my eyes but never had the pleasure of climbing it.

What type of setup were you using to carry your camera?


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Jon ­ Clemens
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Oct 07, 2014 10:03 |  #4

It's been almost 60 years since I made that hike. Thanks for sharing the pictures as it shows that the mountain hasn't really changed in that time. But, needless to say, I have. So climbing up Half Dome is a little beyond my range now.


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bigjohninva
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Oct 07, 2014 12:10 |  #5

Great set!


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gotaudi
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Oct 07, 2014 12:11 |  #6

dkizzle wrote in post #17198914 (external link)
Thanks for sharing the photos. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Too bad you didnt do any panos...

Yeah I wish I had taken more photos. We wanted to get back by 5PM so we were kind of rushing to finish (we finished at 4PM) so I couldn't stop and take many photos.If I didnt it again i would backpack up to Little yosemite valley and camp there overnight then do half dome and take my time and even take a tripod up there.

njstacker22 wrote in post #17198938 (external link)
Great photos. I've seen half dome with my eyes but never had the pleasure of climbing it.

What type of setup were you using to carry your camera?

I was using a 5DmkIII with a Canon 24-105mm L, and a Samyang 14MM f/2.8

Jon Clemens wrote in post #17198977 (external link)
It's been almost 60 years since I made that hike. Thanks for sharing the pictures as it shows that the mountain hasn't really changed in that time. But, needless to say, I have. So climbing up Half Dome is a little beyond my range now.

Thats great I think anyone that wants to and is able to climb Half Dome should do it at least once. Its an experience that I will never forget. My wife and I really want to backpack the John Muir Trail starting from Yosemite valley to Mt. Whitney (Total of 215 Miles long)




  
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GTogs
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Oct 07, 2014 17:05 |  #7

What an incredible journey! It looks like a real challenge!


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GoHokiesGo
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Oct 07, 2014 17:15 |  #8

Fantastic shots and a great story to summarize the hike too!

I'd love to make it up there someday, and the pictures certainly make me want to go even more.


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N23
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Oct 08, 2014 09:37 |  #9

Congratulations. It was for me the toughest hike I've ever done. I doubt I could do it again so that part of the checklist is complete. I wanted to take pictures while ascending the cables but didn't want to let go of the cables to grab the camera.


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gotaudi
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Oct 08, 2014 10:30 |  #10

GoHokiesGo wrote in post #17199962 (external link)
Fantastic shots and a great story to summarize the hike too!

I'd love to make it up there someday, and the pictures certainly make me want to go even more.

Thank you, It was an adventure. If you ever get a chance you should go for it.

N23 wrote in post #17201317 (external link)
Congratulations. It was for me the toughest hike I've ever done. I doubt I could do it again so that part of the checklist is complete. I wanted to take pictures while ascending the cables but didn't want to let go of the cables to grab the camera.

So far this is probably the second craziest thing i've done in the back country. A couple of years ago me and some friends did a overnight backpacking trip to San Gorgonio Mountain which still stands as the craziest hike to date.

When I was ascending I wanted to take a couple photos but I was scared of dropping my camera (priories) haha. I Think next time Ill take a point and shoot for that section a DSLR is too much going up.




  
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zmaerdstyle
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Oct 08, 2014 12:54 |  #11

Awesome! I hope I can do that someday myself.




  
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Kirby
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Oct 08, 2014 20:53 |  #12

Great shots from your adventure. As a three time conqueror of Half Dome I share your pain in getting up the switchbacks of the subdome. It's surprising how many make the trip to that point only to give up and turn around.


"It's the photographer's task to explore,photograph and share with others... that which they otherwise might miss" -William Neill

  
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gotaudi
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Oct 09, 2014 00:06 |  #13

Kirby wrote in post #17202551 (external link)
Great shots from your adventure. As a three time conqueror of Half Dome I share your pain in getting up the switchbacks of the subdome. It's surprising how many make the trip to that point only to give up and turn around.

I respect people that make a decision that they are not ready to continue at that point but I know me and I would not forgive myself if I turned around on subdome. Its so close yet so far away....




  
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Tigerkn
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Oct 14, 2014 10:44 |  #14

Looks like an awesome trip. Thanks for sharing.


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Becca
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Oct 14, 2014 11:13 |  #15

Beautiful! But it would scare the crap out of me!


Becca
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Yosemite: Half Dome-4700ft above the Valley
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