Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moonlight Hike to Half Dome

It looks like we have plan ... Leave San Mateo at around 7 PM om July 7 and drive to Yosemite Valley. At midnight or so start the hike to Half Dome from the valley. Photos at dawn from the top of Half Dome ... Hike down, nap and drive home.


The Old Bag said...

damn! I'll be in Minnesota that weekend!

A Midnight Rider said...

Very nice. A full moon fiasco. On foot, not much unlike this group

Well mayby a little unlike them.

shawnkielty said...

Too bad, Jeanne ... we'll miss you.

Well, MR, I am hoping for a low key event, no fiascos. A simple 8 mile hike in the dark. Rest, eat, and hike back.

Megan said...

Which way will you go up, the Mist trail or John Muir trail?
A group of us will be doing Half Dome in the dark the week after you and are debating which way would be better in the dark.

shawnkielty said...

Hi Megan.

I haven't really decided yet.

If everything were unknown to me -- I would clearly pick the John Muir trail, because it is supposedly easier. I have never actually been on it though.

I've been on the Mist trail several times, however, so am inclined toward that, just because I know the route.

I'kll try to post the details of our trip right away, so you'll be able to see how it went before you go.

Megan said...

I hope the hike went well for you and your group. The other thing we are wondering about is whether the cables had dew on them and if it was slippery. (I'm hoping not since it's pretty warm now). We hope to leave by 11 pm and make it up to the top as the sun is rising over the mountains.

shawnkielty said...

Megan ...

We took the mist trail and it was fine to travel on with headlamps. Some people were traveling without lights. The wetness is brief and not too serious, nothing compared to what it was in May ... you won't even need to change clothes ... despite the 45 degree temps. The exposure (to falling) is not signifigant in the dark and most of the group had no idea it was "scary." By the time you come back in the morning it won't be scary any longer.

As far as the dew ... if your there when the temps reach the dew point ... the cables will be wet. We were far to late for that. Carry a pair of cheap deerskin or leather gloves and I bet you'll be happy.

Although the cables are scary from your desk ... I believe that the climb proceeding the cables is more dangerous and more scary ... If your balance is good and you can walk up a stair case ... it will be dandy. It's exposed and steep ... and you should be tired ... so I would recommend waiting for the early morning alpenglow to light the way. you'll know your there when you get to warning sign.
Above the steps portion of the trail is a section where you stand up and walk across exposed granite. Just keep pointing at the highest point you can see and pretty soon you'be at the top of the Sub Dome. By then you should able to see the cables. but if it's still dark just head straight down and up in the direction you've been traveling.

Personally ... I think it's further than the 8.x miles on the map. It may take longer than you think.

You know ... yesterday ... I would never have considered going again ... but today I am already talking about going again in September.

Have fun ... and be safe.

Megan said...

Thank you so much for all the info and advice. We took the Mist trail and were fine. 13 of the 15 people in our group made it to the top! We managed to climb the cables before the sunrise over the mountains. It was amazing!

shawnkielty said...

Megan ... It sounds like your trip went really well. I am glad I could help. We are going to do it again in September. If I can walk by then.