1. victor
    victor May 31, 2016 at 4:27 am

    I really underestimated the hike up Half Dome, which was the first day on the trail for me. I left my pack in a food locker at the LYV campsite and left for Half Dome without any water in hand. I thought at the time that it would be a short there and back trip. Pretty foolish.

    Fortunately I asked for and received a bottle of water from a day hike group somewhere above treeline. I made it to the base of half dome with that group. We were pretty much the last group to make it. The cables looked quite intimidating, and I was planning on turning around, but the dayhikers convinced me to go for it. Donning a pair of gloves that was available, I made the climb up. Definitely coming down was a lot harder than going up.

    Being new to the trail, the sight of clouds in the sky while on Half Dome made me nervous, but there was probably nothing to worry about there.

    Managed to make it back to camp before dinnertime; a tiring first day on the trail. Although the sun was setting, the dayhikers I had met still had quite a ways to go to return to the valley!

    1. Marisol
      Marisol June 7, 2016 at 6:07 am

      I was going to ask about the “climb down.” I know there are many stories about the way up but knowing me and my fears – going DOWN is what I am really worried about. Thoughts?

  2. Steve
    Steve May 31, 2016 at 6:07 am

    I believe the hike up Half Dome is one of the highlights of the JMT! My Son and I were finishing our trek heading South – we had our permit for the climb (a Ranger asked to see it when we were coming down) and made it a point to camp the night before at the base just below the cables – there are a few good spots on either side of the trail within yards of the climb, but no water. We headed up early in the morning, in the dark, and made it to the top before the sunrise – what a spectacular view and sight!!! The added bonus was that we didn’t get stuck in the “conga line” that occurs most days in mid-morning when the hordes of folks from the Valley get there. We went up and came down with virtually no line! Early morning & sunrise on Half Dome – Priceless!!!

  3. Jim
    Jim June 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for the article! I am in a group of 3 with JMT (and Half Dome) permits starting in late July. We are undecided on doing Half Dome though because we have pass-through permits for the first night and won’t be able to leave our gear at LYV. So my biggest concern is what to do with our packs? I have yet to hear or find a safe option. It’s either hike with them all the way up (dreadful) or hide them in the forest near HD junction which means possible theft by day-hikers or destruction from bears/critters thereby ending our JMT on day 1.
    Any thoughts? I hear varying opinions/advice from one source to the next. Perhaps we can pay someone staying at LYV without plans for the afternoon to hang out and guard our packs at the junction until we return? haha 😉

  4. A Good Itinerary – Part 1
    A Good Itinerary – Part 1 June 13, 2016 at 8:31 am

    […] 1: Happy Isles to Sunrise Creek, ~9 miles. If you are intending to hike Half Dome (see last week’s post for more on that), then you are going to want to stop at Little Yosemite Valley. Otherwise, take advantage of your […]

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