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Half Dome HikeSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Backpack avatar Jun 12 2014
Backpack9.50 Miles 2,400 AEG
Backpack9.50 Miles2 Days         
2,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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My second time up Half Dome and same as the year before, it didn't disappoint.

For 2014, this was day three of our 5 day Yosemite trip; with Cloud's Rest behind and Ten Lakes ahead we were all in the groove and fully enjoying our trip!! To add a bit more challenge this time, Chumley's plan was to hike the dome under a full moon.

At 3am, at our Sunrise Campsites, Chumley was able to wake us all up (except 9L) - [John had decided sleep was more important than the greatest Yosemite landmark; fortunately Liz brought him to his senses and changed his mind.] We grouped together and sped down the trail with day-packs, leaving our gear back so we could nap later that morning.

John was going for the speed ascent record and may have achieved it. Kyle and I followed behind at mortal speed and Chumley held back with Liz (sore ankle) and Ben (who ended up with a bit of acrophobia and turned around). Chumley's a good bro.

As it was, the bright, full moon was setting on the west side of the dome and provided little to no visibility while climbing the cables on the east. Of course this did not deter us so Kyle and I gloved up at the bottom of the cables and took some deep breaths. I've always known Kyle as a fearless hiker, however he freely released some real "pumpkins" as we climbed up together!! Nice job Kyle!!

Once at the top, it was noticeably cold and we all bundled up, took numerous photos, and waited for the sunrise and some warmth. Chums enjoyed a super-sized, luke-warm brewski (see photo) which he had hauled around for 3 days straight...LOL.

9L, Liz and Kyle all descended together; Chumley and I waited a bit longer on top. I explored the less visited west side of the dome and got a bit spooked by the ever-steepening and rounded drop offs.

Once back at camp, the rest of the crew crashed!!! My adrenaline was fired up, so I casually broke my camp (talking to neighbors for a bit) and left solo for Nevada Falls around the time everyone was just getting up.

I enjoyed my nice steady pace and arrived about 45-60 minutes ahead of the sleepyheads; I took a nice rest under a shady tree with a relaxing cool breeze!!!

Once the rest of the gang joined, we went 1/4 mile or so up the John Muir, to a spectacular viewpoint of Nevada Falls. We snapped a few pics then hiked back down to Nevada where we all started our ascent back to the Village together. The group quickly dispersed again while battling the crowded trail. Eventually John, Kyle and I met each other back at Happy Valley bus stop and to our surprise, we immediately found ClairBear at the Village bus stop!! We decompressed at the Pizza Bar, waiting for Chum/Liz/Ben who weren't too far behind...

I loaded up on Ice Cream and water until I found a sucker willing to split a large pizza with me (Thanks again Chumley). Despite the cardboardyness of said pizza, it tasted pretty great after 3 days on the trail...

After a delightful (and free) shower, it was off to the backpackers' camp where I was fortunate enough to setup tent next to some real yahoos at the next site...the black bear that free grazed through our site, inches from my tent/head should explain enough about them...

As always, a great and memorable trip with Chumley and the gang....and we still have more to come!!! (Ten Lakes)
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