Hiking Half-Dome

Hello Half Dome

Hiya Bookish Friends! Today I am bringing you a different kind of post that I sometimes do on my blog, which is a post about my camping trip and hike up half dome. I did this hike with one of my friend at the end of August and it was one that had been on both of our bucket lists. She applied for permits earlier in the year, which you need for the cable part, and then we were off for an epic adventure.

Half-Dome is part of Yosemite National Park in and is 8,800 feet above sea level and an elevation gain of 4800, which I definitely felt! It is also a 14-16 mile round trip hike and my friend and I started very early so that we would have enough daylight in the evening. We were camped in Bass lake, which is an hour and a half away from the park entrance and didn’t park until 0630. We started the actual hike at 0730 and got back to our truck at 2000. It was a long day to say the least.

At the top of Nevada Falls

My friend and I were determined to make good time during the beginning part of our hike and we were able to get up the Mist Trail, which is all incline and stairs in about 30-40 minutes, which we were really surprised by because we have never finished this hike that quick. We attributed it to the time we started and few people up as early as us to start hiking. It went a bit downhill once it hit 10 AM because the sun was already starting to peak out and beginning to get warm. I also did not take into account the altitude at which we would be hiking and how it would affect us. We had to stop several times to hydrate and snack on food we had brought and then continue the rest of the way. Prior to this hike I made sure to prepare myself physically in order to be able to tolerate the miles of hiking we would be doing. Cardio, specifically HITT cardio was my friend prior to taking this trip. I still feel that no matter how much training you do, even though I am grateful that I prepared myself, that it will always kick you butt especially if you haven’t taken into consideration the altitude. Half Dome was in preparation for another hiking trip I am going to be taking in the second week of September, which is hiking The Alps in Switzerland, France and Italy.

A few things I learned about during this hike: make sure your filter is cleaned before taking long hikes. I made this novice mistake and it burned me bad. I had cleaned my water filter before leaving for the hike but not before the hike, HUGE mistake. When I needed it most, my filter did not work and I was out of water for the hike back down Half Dome. Thankfully, another hiking duo took pity and let me use theirs. Secondly, break in your hiking shoes! I got new shoes for this hike and thought I had worn them in, but I was sorely mistaken! Thirdly, bring a first aid kit. I had one in my truck, but did not bring it with me. Even though my friend and I left the hike unscathed, there were a few individuals during our hike down that did not. We helped out as best we could, but since we are both nurses neither of us had anything on us that could help. Lesson learned. Lastly, mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation. Being on the cables on the side of Half Dome is scary. You are high up with only cables and your upper body strength to keep you safe. There were several times where my inner voice was becoming negative and I had to put myself in check to not think that way. Staying positive and encouraging myself kept me motivated to get to the top.

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves” – Sir Edmund Hillary


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