Climbing Half Dome - 7 June 2003



One of
the most
on Earth

November 2006
Four Mile Trail

July 2004
Clouds Rest
The Waterfalls
Glacier Point

September 2003
Lizzie's Birthday

June 2003
Yosemite Bug
Half Dome
Swimming and Glacier Point

March 2002
With the Boys

Yosemite National Park, California is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. And thanks to Dennis, we're able to appreciate the mountain trails above the valley. Dennis has led us on several expeditions in the valley - Half Dome twice and Clouds Rest. Thank you Dennis.

The first time we went to Yosemite was when the boys came to visit in March 2002. We bought the digital camera on the Friday and then headed off for the mountains - staying in Mariposa overnight. A really great weekend.

On other occasions we've stayed both in Yosemite Valley and in the Merced Gorge approach to the valley.

Our favorite place to stay is the Yosemite Bug - about 10 miles north of Mariposa and 25 miles south of Yosemite Park on Highway 140. It's a 'Rustic Mountain Resort'. It has cabins, home cooking, good value beer and wine and a log fireplace. It's a real get away from it kind of place:

Dennis, Ali, Andrew and I set off early to climb Half Dome. Dennis was the leader - he'd been there before. It's quite a trek. You have to climb Vernal and Nevada Falls to Lower Yosemite Valley. The climb up Vernal Falls is the 'mist trail'. Guess what? You get wet. However we'd brought our ponchos from Niagara Falls - so we didn't get especially wet. The climb up Nevada Falls is steep.

The second stage of the journey is a long ascent from Yosemite Valley to the base of Half Dome itself. We stopped for lunch and Ali decided to wait for us to return from the summit. The third stage is on open rock above the tree line. Quite scary really. It's very long and if you slipped, you could fall off the mountain!

The final part of the assault is a very steep rocky climb. There are steel cables and a walkway to make this possible - it would be suicidal for an untrained person to attempt the summit any other way. When we arrived, there was an electrical storm and that was the end of our climb. Too dangerous to climb the cables with lightening in the air.

So we all turned around and headed back down the mountain - determined to come back again soon. I wasn't too bothered about turning back - I was quite spooked by the open, exposed mountain. I was a little frightened by it. However we did return in September and were successful in reaching the summit.

At the bottom

First little slope

Ali and Yosemite Falls

Andrew with camera

Andrew puzzled by camera

Heading up the trail

Bottom of Vernal Falls

Dennis and Ali

About to walk below Vernal Falls

In the waterfall

Ali looking drowned

Almost top of Vernal Falls

Top of Vernal Falls

Nevada falls from below

Lunch - what a view

Dennis at lunch

Robin at lunch

Andrew at lunch

Looking down from cables

Looking up the valley from cables

Dennis at cables

Left of the cables

Andrew at the cables


Keresa, Jacob and Shane

Dennis at Nevada Falls

Robin at Nevada falls

Andrew at Nevada Falls

Andrew still at Nevada Falls

Andrew's still puzzled by camera

Ali at Nevada Falls

A lot of water

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Created: Tuesday August 5, 2003