Hiking Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California

Me, my sister, my cousin

Saturday I was on top of the world.

No, I conquered the world.

I conquered something larger and much more difficult to reign in… fear.

I hike up approximately 8.5 miles before I had the decision to finish that last mile of literally straight up and terrifying, the top of Half Dome.

My mind, that little voice, kept telling me it wasn’t safe, it was too high, there were just cables that you use to pull yourself up, that I couldn’t do it. And because this voice told me not to do it, I did it anyway.

Me! That’s the angle that you climb the cables at… (how my cousin too that picture, I will never know…

And I’m telling all of you, get to Yosemite and hike this hike!

From the valley to the top of Half Dome and back (+ a mile each way to the car) our total hike was about 17.5 miles. Started at 4:40 am and ended around 3:30 pm. And I did it. I reached the top of the most incredible, breathtaking, so high and so steep, Half Dome.

The actual hike (ok, ANY hike in Yosemite) is gorgeous. Right past the trail head, the path veers straight up, making the first mile capture your attention… well, at least the attention of your quadriceps. Then there are waterfalls, via the Mist Trail, rushing beside you as you climb the never-ending stair case of rocks. By the time you reach the top of this portion, you’re completely soaked.

Sister in black, I in purple, Sharon (cousin) in pink skirt

There are a ton of switchbacks and numerous parts of the trail with stairs. Lots of stairs. I love it. 😉

Fair warning, all of these pictures are taken with my iphone camera. Most aren’t too bad… and oddly enough, I had service for most of the hike, including at the top. The fact I had my phone on a hike was kind of sad, but I needed a camera!

After you climb and climb you finally reach the base of the Dome. Then you have another mile left of basically scaling rocks alternating with climbing stairs before you reach the actual cables. That mile was scary enough to have people turn back. Fiiiiiiiiiiinally you reach the base of Half Dome, the cables, and the decision of whether to proceed or to stop.

We sat at the base for a few minutes, eating an apple, drinking some water, and me trying to fight that little voice telling me, you’re going to die. Seriously, I had some doubts about making it up… and then making it down!

And we reached the top… well, my cousin and I.

Absolutely incredible. Going up the cables was complete upper body strength. I was happy I lift weights… it took some muscle power! And it was slightly scary. Ok, for me it was very scary and the top seemed to take forever to actually reach. But then we looked out upon the entire world. At least it seemed that way.

Top of Half Dome

Sharon and I
Me, proceeding down the cables
I made it down.
Me, Sharon, Chrstine. Now we just have another 8 miles down the trail…

I have a lot of pictures and a lot of videos. Let’s save a few of those videos for tomorrow. Or just head on over to What Runs Lori Facebook page and view everything! (Don’t forget to like the page, too!)

Overall, one of the best experiences ever. I can’t wait to go back!

What is your favorite hike? This one is definitely mine. I am in love. Better than the Grand Canyon for me.

Any Half Dome survivors out there???


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