Friday, October 9, 2015


This picture below is the best way to illustrate why the permit system used for access to the Half Dome cables became necessary.  Contrast this picture posted on the National Park Service website with my picture of the cables.   It is difficult for me to imagine how much more difficult (and/or annoying) it might have been to climb that last 425 feet to the top of Half Dome constrained by the parade of people ahead of me.  On the day that I made my ascent, one thing kept me back, my own need to recoup my strength, catch my breath, and muster the courage to take another step forward (up)   I wish I had timed myself, as I can't tell if my entire climb took 15, 20 or 25 minutes.   I simply do not know.  Looking at this photo posted by NPS - it is easy to see that the climb could easily have taken an hour.   In fact, the line just to get started looks like the kind of line I often see at a Starbucks which usually encourages me to leave the store.

This 'gif' and text were lifted from

How many people are too many for a wilderness trail? Half Dome, one of the most popular attractions in Yosemite National Park, lies in designated wilderness. In 2008, up to 1,200 people a day tackled the famous trek up the cables; the high level of use has led to both safety and environmental concerns. The National Park Service (NPS) is developing a plan to provide long-term stewardship of the Half Dome route in a manner that is consistent with the Wilderness Act and the NPS Organic Act.

Contrast the photo above with my photo of what the 'traffic' on the cables looked like on the day of my hike.  In fairness, our hike took place at the tail end of the season.  Still, if I was faced with hundreds of hikers on the cables, I think the experience would have been much different.  

On the day that I climbed the cables, It appears that the total number of people on the granite rock face of Half Dome is less than 10 people and that number would include people going UP and DOWN.  

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this information came from
Yosemite—Cables on Half Dome Pre-Season Lottery Lottery applications for permits to climb the Cables on Half Dome are required during the peak season, which is from the Friday before Memorial Day Friday through Columbus Day. The lottery application period is open between March 1 and March 31 each year. announces results in mid-April. Applicants receive an email notification of lottery results also in mid-April. Changes to lottery applications may be made only during the lottery application period, and only by calling at 888-448-1474. Visit the Cables on Half Dome pre-season lottery application information web page for more details, as well as this application Tip Sheet!
Yosemite—Cables on Half Dome Daily PermitsApproximately 50 permits are available each day by lottery during the hiking season. The application period for the daily lotteries occur two days prior to the hiking date between midnight to 1 p.m. Pacific Time and notifications are made later that night. For example, to hike on Saturday, submit your application on Thursday between midnight and 1 p.m. Pacific Time and receive an email notification of results late on Thursday night. Results are also available online or by phone the next morning. Visit the Half Dome Daily lottery application information web page for more details.
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THIS IS THE CURRENTLY USELESS INFORMATION REGARDING THE UPCOMING 2016 SEASON... MY ADVICE WOULD BE TO CHECK THIS WEBSITE AS MARCH 1st, 2016 approaches.... That was the MONTH AND DAY in 2015 that the lottery applications opened to the public during the current season that ends within a few days.

Important dates for 2015: 
Half Dome Cables will be up Saturday, May 2, 2015
Daily Lotteries to begin Thursday, April 30, 2015
Due to the low snow pack, the Half Dome Cables will be put up on Friday, May 1, 2015 allowing permitted public access to begin Saturday, May 2, 2015. Day use permits will be available through a daily lottery which will run 2 days in advance of the hiking date. Daily lotteries will begin on April 30th. Each day the application period will begin at *12:01 A.M. (PST) and end at 1:00 P.M. (PST). Lottery results will be available early the next day (the day before the hiking date). Notification will occur through the email address listed on the application. If no email address is available, then a voice message will be left at the mobile number listed on the application.
You may apply for a hiking permit for up to 6 people, and you may apply only once per daily lottery. The name you specify on your account will be designated as the group leader, and therefore, must be your legal name. You may also specify an alternate group leader by their legal name. A permit is only valid when the group leader or alternate leader is present along with the group at the base of the sub-dome. The group leader or alternate leader must carry a copy of the permit (electronic or paper) and a government issued photo identification. The name on the government issued photo identification must exactly match the group leader or alternate name on your permit.
Persons proceeding beyond the base of the sub-dome or ascending the cables without a permit are subject to citation or arrest (Federal misdemeanor). Refunds or date changes are not available because of inclement weather. Hikers must always use proper judgment when assessing whether or not to proceed to the summit. Permits are required 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to proceed beyond the base of the sub-dome or to ascend the Half Dome Cables. Day use permits are valid for 24 hours starting at 12:00 A.M. (PST) and ending at 11:59 P.M. (PST) for the date issued. Day use permits are not available for application or pickup in Yosemite National Park. Day use permits are available only through
* An exception will occur on April 30th (one day only) when the application period will begin at 8:00 AM (PST). 
For more information about hiking Half Dome please visit:
      Attention: Before visiting Yosemite National Park for safety information click on this link: For safety information specifically regarding hantavirus, go to

Know Before You Go
  • The group leader or alternate listed on the permit must be present (with photo ID) to use the permit. Resale or auction of advance reservations is prohibited. Any resale or auction of permits will make the permit/contract null and void.
  • General Rules and Regulations for Cables on Half Dome are located here.
  • FAQs for permits for Cables on Half Dome can be found here.
  • Boots with sufficient ankle support and traction are recommended.
  • Protective gloves for the cables are also recommended.
  • The summit of Half Dome is extremely dangerous in the case of lightning; Check forecast before your hike and summit early in the day to avoid afternoon thunderstorms; If a storm appears nearby, descend immediately with caution and patience on the cables and steps.
  • The summit is typically 15-20*F (8-11*C) cooler than Yosemite Valley and windy conditions are common; Be prepared for cool temperatures and rain showers.
  • No trash service on trails.

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Thursday MENU

breakfast     Quaker Oat Instant Oatmeal, 3 cups Fruit Loops dry cereal 950 calories
lunch           Panera Bread Roasted Turkey & Avocado 1/2 sandwich
                    Turkey Chili Bowl                                                                540 calories
dinner         Hormel Chili Turkey, Multigrain rice cakes, toast coconut 1250 calories   
SNACK      honey crisp apples, organic date pieces, granola                   826 calories

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65 minutes, MayMyWalk 5 mile walk, brisk pace    988 calories  

Thursday NET CALORIES 2588 calories  

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fitbit day 35
16900 STEPS
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