Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We climbed Half Dome

Two weekends ago Tanya and I jumped into the "Ghost Ship", our van. Yes, I am one of those guys who names his vehicles. Lets see, there was Betsy, Goldie, Peaches, Sharky, and now Kota. But, anyway, ...Tanya and I drove up to central California to visit Yosemite National Park and climb "Half Dome".
I'm going to let the pictures talk for themselves, and even though they are incredible. Pictures can't truly give you the perspective of what this place is like. I must say the park was one of the most beautiful and amazing places my travels have taken me thus far. If you are an outdoor enthusiasts and have not visited Yosemite yet, put it on your list.
Tanya and I arrived at the trail head at 6:30am we wanted to get an early start, plus we read this trail is extremely busy later in the afternoon. We wanted to get ahead of that traffic. The hike to the top of Half Dome is approximately 17 miles round trip, at the trail head a sign read it takes on average 10-12 hours to complete. When I read that I said to myself " Not me, not today, I do not plan on being out here for 10+ hours".
The hike starts on a paved trail for the first mile or so. Then it turns to challenging stairs and single track trail for the rest of the way, until you reach the cables to climb to the top of the Half Dome.

The place where the trail begins, and many thru hikers of the John Muir trail(JMT) also start here. If you can see the bottom the sign, the distance to Mt Whitney Via the JMT is 211 miles. We have added that epic trek to our bucket list!
The first few miles as I mentioned are paved and relatively easy going. The terrain consists of rolling hills. This section is handicap accessible, so bring friends and family who may not be able to walk the trail. I say this because I think everyone should experience this place.

Then the stairs begin, for any Lord of the Rings fans. I felt like I was climbing the stairs into Mordor. Challenging, but the scenery takes away or should I say puts the effort in the back of your mind.
Another spectacular view, the outdoors are so beautiful. The stress of life and the pollution of the world just fades away. If more people would get out and experience and visit places like this their perspective of life might change. The little things we let control our life's would fade away.

The Yosemite valley, forged by glaciers 10,000 years ago. Pictures don't do it justice, you must see it yourself.

There it is, that's where we are going. To the top of Half Dome.

Yes, those little spots are people climbing the cables to the top. It was much much steeper and more challenging of a climb than I expected.

At the top, all smiles now! We weren't smiling a few moments ago half way up those cables. As you can imagine going back down the cables was very interesting, but we survived to write about it. We jammed back down the trail, and about that 10-12 hours. It took us 6 hours and 15 minutes for the round trip.

Get out there and live people, the world is waiting.

Marc and Tanya

1 comment:

Reese said...

Man oh man, what a great trip.