Climbing the Cables Part I

370-28BW rev 25 JUL 13 El Capitan and Half Dome

In a few days I will have completed an objective that I’ve wanted to achieve since I moved to California almost 30 years ago.  I will have hiked to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

During the last three months, my friends Glenn Sander, Debbie Perham, Angie Briones, Penny Hunter, Bill Gingras and Doug Harrold have been training as if we were going to climb Mt. Everest.  We’ve been hiking several times each week and our weekend hikes have been progressively longer, tougher and with greater elevation gains.  This past weekend we went somewhere in excess of 16 miles and 3600′ up in order to earn the traditional end-of-hike margarita.  As we like to remind ourselves, we are badass and awesome!  Unfortunately, Bill won’t be joining us for our adventure but hopefully he’ll be there for our next one.

The Half Dome hike shouldn’t be much harder than our training hikes. The trail is about 15 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 4800′.  We plan to head out at 0 dark 30 and we’re expecting to be on the trail for about 12 hours.

For our final preparation for the hike, we intend to eat our way through the eastern Sierra.  Our first stop will be the restaurant at Convict Lake for a low calorie, light meal. Yeah, right!  Our next stop is the Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining and I’ll be having, of course, the bison meatloaf. It will be my first time “home” since Murphey’s Motel was sold earlier this year (see my blog of 18 May 2013).  Assuming that we can still walk after all of that food we’ll take a hike the next day from Glacier Point to Sentinel Dome where we’ll eat again.

Finally, up the rock we’ll go.  Heights don’t thrill me exactly but my acrophobia hasn’t stopped me so far.  Last year I summitted Mt. Dana and I plan to do a few more peaks in excess of 13,000′ before the season is over.  Climbing up the cables, though, is a little more daunting than scrambling up a mountain.  Thousands of people have made the trip so it can’t be too bad.  I’ll keep telling myself that!

Next stop, Mt. Everest!


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