When you’re in one of the world’s premier hiking destinations, you’d be insane not to take advantage of it!
We arrived in Yosemite on Sunday afternoon. Our hike to Half Dome was that Thursday, so I used Monday morning to tackle the Four-Mile Trail. The trail starts on the valley floor and switchbacks all the way up to Glacier Point.
Plenty of people have done the Half Dome hike with zero training, and it’s certainly possible to do. But getting physically prepared for the hike will make everything much easier on yourself and better your chances of getting to the top.
Now that I’ve stood on top of Half Dome, I in no way fancy myself an expert. But I did learn a lot while preparing for and actually doing the hike, thanks to the many others who have gone before me and written about their experiences.
I hope my addition to the canon will be helpful!
I’ll admit it: Hiking isn’t my thing.
Oh, I don’t dislike hiking. I just think there’s a clear winner between getting up at 4 in the morning on a perfectly good Saturday to scale the side of a mountain, returning filthy and sore and spending the day off enjoying eggs benedict and bottomless mimosas on a sun-drenched patio.
There have been grand plans to write individual posts on all the junk we’ve gotten for ourselves in preparation for the Half Dome/Mt. Whitney ascents this year, but my non-hiking life has been too hectic for that business.
As anticipated, Christmas yielded a lot in the way of gear! So, let’s get started.
All the time we’ve been planning our Half Dome hike this summer, we’ve also known that it could be for nothing if we didn’t get the permits we needed.
Huzzah! It wasn’t for nothing! I returned to work after a week of vacation to find an email from Yosemite saying we’re all set! Nothing I’ve done to prepare makes it feel as real as this. We’re going!
Whether we’re going to actually enjoy backpacking is still very much up in the air. That’s why my main goal – aside from the goal of making it to the top of Half Dome – is to do it as affordably as possible.
One thing that can get spendy is water filtration systems. You can spend $20 or you can spend $200. I choose $20, please!
One thing no one should climb Half Dome without is some crazy grippy gloves. You’ll want them both to protect your hands and prevent yourself from plummeting to your death while ascending the cables.
I’ve had my eye out for an affordable but sticky pair for a while. You can actually get some decent ones at hardware stores for just a few dollars. Ever the cheapskate, though, I kept my eyes open for a deal. That’s when I stumbled across these fishing gloves. Although they’re out of stock, any type of glove like this will do the job.