...the Half Dome hike becomes an extremely strenuous one. Included is a harrowing 425 foot vertical climb up the approximately 45-degree incline on the back side of the granite slope. Not to worry; this is accomplished with the aid of two steel cable handrails.
Each of the two cables is actually assembled in thirds, with each run anchored to the granite rock. The cables are held upright by 68 pairs of 3-foot pipes placed into 5-inch holes drilled into the rock. To allow a hiker to stand vertical, 2-by-4-foot boards are loosely fastened to the pipes.
The pipes and boards are put in place by the NPS (National Park Service) trail crew every late May (weather permitting) and removed in early October (usually after Columbus Day). It takes about 20 skilled people to carefully handle the pipes and boards. They are secreted away in the off-season. The cables themselves remain on the mountain year-round. Although not prohibited, it is not advised to ascend Half Dome during the off-season unless you are a skilled big-wall climber. It is very dangerous to use only the cables to rappel up and down.
On the way down from the summit of Half Dome I managed a selfie. In the photo my left hand is holding onto the cable and you can see the a part of the cable on my right. As I remember it, I was about 2/3 down when I thought it was selfie time.
lunch three KIND bars: Almond & Coconut 570 calories
dinner Homemade Chili, red delicious apple 968 calories
SNACK three Keebler fudge cookies 255 calories
TOTAL CALORIES CONSUMED 2343 CALORIES
MapMyWalk 6.74 miles (14104 steps) 90 minutes 1287 calories
CALORIES BURNED 1287 CALORIES
Saturday net calories 1056 calories
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final thought for the day:
According to the sign at the trail head, the trail to the summit is 8.2 miles. According to Rick Deutsch, the cables portion of the trail is approximately 600 feet. Those cables are the most talked about part of this trail. Mathematically, they represent a tiny fraction of the distance:
Total trail length=5280 ft/mile x 8.2 miles=43296 feet
600ft divided by 43296 feet=1.3%.
That last 1% of the Half Dome Trail is a portion of the trail that one will never forget. I know I won't.