You can't prepare for things out of your control like Amy breaking her foot in April causing her to have to bow out of the hike or Rob coming down with the nasty flu a day before, putting him out of commission too. Nevertheless, our group soldiered on, determined to catch a glimpse of Half Dome, if not by hiking, by driving. Our group members included: Tim, Matt, Amy, Rob, Shalom, Stephanie, Janell and myself.
So on Friday, June 22nd we piled in to two cars and made the drive up to Yosemite. We stopped at a BBQ joint close to the park and then settled in to our awesome cabin in the woods. Stephanie, Janell and Shalom prepared an amazing meal all with food provided by my church Hope. Shalom's guacamole was amazing, I am still thinking about it. We all went to bed around 9pm anxious about the next days hike.
Shalom, Stephanie, Janell, Tim and I woke up at 4am to start on our long day hike to Half Dome. We were on the trail by 5:30 starting at Glacier Point and were greeted by two grazing deer and dew covered ground. We saw the sunrise over half dome and would not see another person for 4 hours.
Our hike encompassed many different terrains. We traveled through tree shaded lowlands, grassy fields, over waterfalls and eventually ascended over the tree line onto granite rocks which ultimately led us to our destination, the base of Half Dome.
The base of Half Dome is where you momentarily stop hiking and another challenge begins, climbing the cables to the top. It is so intimidating to look at. It's straight up the side of a smooth granite rock, the only thing keeping you from not falling off the side is two cables. And you just see a line of people going up the right side and another line of people coming down the left side. At the base of the dome is a pile of gloves left by people who have completed the accession and donated for the use of other hikers.
Janell and I were feeling quite nervous about this dangerous trek but the rest of our group provided good encouragement and support. We soldiered on. But sometimes, once again, things don't go a perfectly as planned, my mind got the best of me that day and would only allow me to get 1/3 of the way up the cables. My fears of heights and anxiousness set in and I couldn't get passed it, and went back down to the base while the rest of my team bravely kept going.
Upon their return they spoke of the difficultly of the climb up the cables, how to never look down and gripping the cables with all their might. But they also spoke of the amazing views and how you felt as if you were on top of the world! And although I was disappointed in myself, I was proud of them and also proud of how far I had come 14 miles and we still had more to go.
We made out trek back down the mountain taking a different route so we could see Vernal and Nevada Falls. Both of the falls were absolutely breathtaking. I was amazed and the power of the water falling and the amount of it. Truly beautiful and fills you with awe of God's creation.
After it was all said and done we arrived at in Yosemite Valley around 7pm. We had hiked 22 miles in 14 hours, truly something to be proud of! After finding my car Matt and Amy graciously left in the valley for us we took a smelly ride back to the cabin excited for long showers and a spaghetti dinner that was awaiting us.
We exchanged stories and pictures with Matt and Amy who drove to see Yosemite's sights that day, filled ourselves to the brim with spaghetti and crashed.
The next day, we got up went back to the overlook so Rob could see Half Dome and headed home but not all of us were satisfied. For Matt, Amy, Rob and I we have called for a Half Dome Redemption Hike 2013, where we are determined to stay healthy and make it up the cables. My boyfriend Chris (yes, that's right, I said boyfriend) wants to join us too since Half Dome is on his bucket list.
But for this trip I am so proud of our group. From securing a cabin, winning permits, enduring long training hikes, to making adjustments due to obstacles this trip was an absolute success and one that will be marked in my memory forever.
Panoramic View of Half Dome
Sunrise on Half Dome
Climbing rock stairs before reaching base of half dome
Half Dome Cables
Steph and I beside Vernal Falls
Instagram Half Dome