Sunday, August 30, 2009

it should be called full dome. there is nothing half about it.

so where do i even begin in telling you about half dome. pretty much, i had absolutely no idea what i was getting myself into. if you don't know what half dome is, please check your california quarters from now on. it is a huge chunk of granite coming out of the yosemite valley in eastern california. also, please note that half dome is the inspiration for the north face logo. now i know why this hike inspired an entire sport brand.

there were 9 people with us - and we started hiking at 2am. we had people fly in from texas, new york, utah, and dc to go on this adventure with us. such an amazing group of friends. here we are about 4 hours later once we'd reached the upper valley. we were already getting delirious and throwing logs at each other people's faces around this time. or, in other words, scott porter was throwing giant logs at my head. below, dave haynie is just showing us how strong he is.

jason and i switched packs somewhere along the trail - here we are drinking from our own camelbacks. that would be half dome behind us. that's how far we still had to go. oh my.


we passed this sign along the way. no biggie, right.....

and about 6 hours into our hike, we got to the cables. people die hiking half dome and this is where they die. i'm not kidding. you know how i like living on the edge. i am so outdoorsy - i was ready to conquer this thing. i will punch half dome.

and the next time scott porter asks me to turn around, i will. you can see here how steep the climb is.

i had climbed up about half of the cables when i realized that the shoes you see right there were not going to cut it. the little wooden boards that you can climb to are about 7 to 8 feet apart from each other, and after slipping and doing a pull up to the next platform to save my own life, i realized that if i went up one more step, i would slip to my death. i just stood there shaking. luckily scott took good care of me and helped me scott down half of the mountain on my bum while holding the cable in my bare hands. seriously - i was looking death in the eye for a few seconds there on the cables. i just knew that i couldn't do it. not that i didn't want to. but. i'd rather be alive than say that i made it to the top of the cables at half dome. maybe in a few years if someone invites me to go back, i will get some good hiking shoes and give it another go. here is an awesome photo of steph b at the top of half dome. what an incredible view.

i am happy to report that we all made it home safe and sound without sleeping for 40 hours and after hiking about 20 miles.

if a marathon is anything like that, bring it on. i am going to punch you, marathon. and a big thank you to scott porter for taking all of the above photos. your arms are number one, your shoulders are number one, YOU are number one. oh. and to jason boyd for carrying my bag like a super star. and for rachael - for being so damn good looking.

it should also be noted that a few years ago, a guy i was dating told me that one of his goals in life was to hike half dome. i told him that he was crazy and that something like that would never be on my list or would i do something like that. looks like i'm crazy. go figure.


Joy said...

Argh! Painful! Way to choose life over death. You should be proud of yourself, because that is a very hard hike, especially when you get to the dome. I did it a few years ago with a friend of mine (Jamie, you know her). When we asked a ranger where the trail head was for Half Dome, he looked at us and slowly replied, "Well, just so you know, it isn't just a little hike. It's a hike for very advanced, experienced hikers." He just had no idea how hardcore we were! We went all the way up and back in 9 hours. PAIN. I remember climbing with the cables on Half Dome like you mentioned, and thinking, "I could VERY easily slip and die right now!" So good work-- that's not a hike for the faint of heart.

Rachael said...

You are welcome. Being so good looking has always been difficult for me to deal with but I'm happy that it has helped you, if even in a small way.

heidikins said...

You, m'dear, are 100% Pure AwesomeSauce!


bex said...

We turned around half-way up the cables too! It is freaking scary up there.