Half Dome: Bobbie's Love and Miya's Dread

Miya

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To my beloved BackCountryPost.. I apologize for my negligence. I haven’t been writing trip reports, nor able to keep up on viewing the beautiful reports that everyone else posts! Since I have been missing the experience of this site, very much, get ready for a long trip report.

This summer involved a lot more camping and hiking and a lot less backpacking (just a couple trips). Since my tailbone injury in May, I have been in a lot of discomfort, and camping is much more agreeable with my body. The tailbone event caused slight nerve damage along my spine or neck...or I don’t know, I tend not to listen. I have been in and out of Xrays and tests trying to figure out all these annoyances. Also, it didn’t help that @Bobbiesworld626 and I stumbled upon a camp area that has a bar and we made good friendships with the resort owner and bartender.

Now that the colder days are upon me, the backpacking itch is coming back full force and I am determined for this to be the winter that I do an overnight in the snow! Anyways, I have digressed horribly.

*There is a new addition to our group. Anthony, Bobbie’s co-coworker and friend, has now been on 4 of our excursions, and Bobbie and Anthony day hike during the week quite often.*

Miya’s Ancient Canon
https://evermoremoments.smugmug.com/Backpacking/Backpacking-Hiking-in-Yosemite/Half-Dome

Bobbie’s Cell
https://evermoremoments.smugmug.com/Backpacking/Backpacking-Hiking-in-Yosemite/Half-Dome-Bobbis-Cell

Our online permit was approved for October 6th - 10th, Happy Isles > Illilouette Falls and then some backtracking to camp around Cloud’s Rest junction the next night. I wasn’t super in the mood for extra miles, so we got to Yosemite early the day before and managed to snatch a First Come First Serve Permit which would see us at Clouds Rest Junction for two nights. Yay! Success.

Waiting to see if we would get the permit.

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We camped at the backpacker’s campground in the Valley and broke a bunch of rules that we were not aware of. A ranger put us in our place and luckily, we were not fined $2000+. Whew! We had a boring night without a fire and were able to head out around 08:00 the next morning.

Bobbie always has BCP swag.

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The campsite is a mile from the TH and the car is along the route. I got a kick out of walking back to the car with my pack and my purse. Haha

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Anthony and Bobbie whooped my butt. I did NOT keep up, but they were patient with me. LOL Feel free to laugh at his pack, we sure did. He is starting to invest in better gear though. He learned the hard way, like I think we all have. :)

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Nevada Falls, pretty low this time of year. Aww we are so cute!

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Some gorgeous growth!

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What am I doing now??

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We made it to camp around...1500? I think. We found a real nice spot next to a low creek. We got into our tents early because we wanted to be on top of Half Dome by sunrise.

The plan was to leave camp at 04:30 and hike the 2.5 miles to the top before the sunrise which was estimated to happen around 06:50. We definitely underestimated how much I would slow them down...

The best part of this trip for me was this early hour. The stars were so full and bright. Definitely not a sight that I get to experience often, even when out in the backcountry. There was something special about that moment for me, like the universe enveloped me in a way that brought an extreme feeling of awareness and serenity. K enough cheese.

We reached the sub dome around 0630. Light was starting to sneak its way into our view. It was enough light for me to see the steepness of THE DOME. I started cursing heavily. Apparently, I am a person that becomes extremely angry when scared. I knew and still understand that 1000s of people, including children, do this hike. The cables were up, I had invested in gloves, a harness, and via ferrata cable. Bear with me, I was still irrationally petrified. I struggle to stay upright when walking on flat ground. I have never been a person that feels ‘grounded’.

However, Half Dome means something special to Bobbie and Bobbie means something special to me. She had already done it before. She loves the adrenaline, the height, and the accomplishment and probably more reasons I don't know of. Bobbie and I continually push one another out of our comfort zones. I wanted to do this with my best friend and so up I went.

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Not too far into it, I got stuck for a couple minutes and they had to coax me to move. It was all so traumatic for me haha. I was shaking, couldn't breathe. Luckily, we planned ahead and Bobbie was in front of me and Anthony was behind me trying to soothe me with kindness. Which...I think I cussed at them and told them to shut up. What a great friend I am. LOL

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I got stuck in the same spot going down. Haha, but I did prefer going down over climbing up.

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They feel like badasses, I am glad to be alive. LOL

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It was pretty funny, the whole way down we ran into so many people. A few of them would ask how it was, was it worth it? Bobbie would respond in the positive and I would respond 'Meh, it wasn't worth it'. Haha

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Had lots of daylight left to do light exploring. We were too tired for anymore strenuous hikes.

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Not in focus, but love this photo anyways. Hehe

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Fall colors.

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We started seeing signs of a fire. Luckily, our Half Dome view wasn't ruined by this, but I feel bad for other people that went up later in the day. We managed to get a hold of a ranger who said they were closing one of the entrances/exits into Yosemite, but we were still fine and did not need to evacuate.

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The next day was uneventful. We hiked back and dealt with some smoke. I stayed in the rear and Anthony and Bobbie enjoyed some downhill running. After 4 days of no showers, we could definitely walk past people and smell their soap and perfume. It was a fun experience!

This was my first trip to Yosemite, where I did not see or encounter a bear. Anthony, was determined to see one, so I am pretty sure that is why they were a no show.

You can see the people!

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Stopped and got pizza on the way home.

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10 minutes later...

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wsp_scott

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Bobbie was in front of me and Anthony was behind me trying to soothe me with kindness. Which...I think I cussed at them and told them to shut up.
This made laugh, good on you for getting out of your comfort zone

We can't learn from your mistakes if you don't tell us all the rules you were breaking in the backpackers camp, come on, spill it :)
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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We can't learn from your mistakes if you don't tell us all the rules you were breaking in the backpackers camp, come on, spill it :)
Haha very true.
We had just come from the permit office and listened to over half an hour of them talking about the rules. I already knew them from previous visits and online. I am such a stickler for the rules because I believe in Leave no trace and because I don't like to get in trouble lol

They did not mention that the backpacker camp is not considered the wilderness and has different rules than what they just told us. There is a 4 page booklet of the rules at the camp board, in English. So I imagine lots of people break the same rules.

A ranger actually hosts the campground and I picked the site right next to her. Haha

1. You have to fill out a camping slip for each person and have that on each tent.
2. You have to sign up each person and style of tent on the clipboard.
3. You cannot burn downed wood. You must walk the mile to the store to purchase wood and then bring it back.
We were burning all kinds of downed wood. We put it out when we realized we weren't supposed to, but THEN, she had us spread out the burnt logs in the forest, which I hated doing because now we left little ugly burnt pieces everywhere...
4. When we were trying to take care of all her demands she said we kept our food out of eyesight. This is not something we normally do, we were just frantic with her telling us everything we did wrong lol I was 3 feet from the food with my back turned trying to put out the fire.

Anyways, we saw more people burning downed wood that night, but she only noticed us I guess.
 

Titans

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Haha very true.
We had just come from the permit office and listened to over half an hour of them talking about the rules. I already knew them from previous visits and online. I am such a stickler for the rules because I believe in Leave no trace and because I don't like to get in trouble lol

They did not mention that the backpacker camp is not considered the wilderness and has different rules than what they just told us. There is a 4 page booklet of the rules at the camp board, in English. So I imagine lots of people break the same rules.

A ranger actually hosts the campground and I picked the site right next to her. Haha

1. You have to fill out a camping slip for each person and have that on each tent.
2. You have to sign up each person and style of tent on the clipboard.
3. You cannot burn downed wood. You must walk the mile to the store to purchase wood and then bring it back.
We were burning all kinds of downed wood. We put it out when we realized we weren't supposed to, but THEN, she had us spread out the burnt logs in the forest, which I hated doing because now we left little ugly burnt pieces everywhere...
4. When we were trying to take care of all her demands she said we kept our food out of eyesight. This is not something we normally do, we were just frantic with her telling us everything we did wrong lol I was 3 feet from the food with my back turned trying to put out the fire.

Anyways, we saw more people burning downed wood that night, but she only noticed us I guess.
Wow....
Come back to southern Utah and do some relaxed dispersed camping in the desert!
 

Miya

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Wow....
Come back to southern Utah and do some relaxed dispersed camping in the desert!
Haha yes, we definitely want to make our way back for another visit.

There is actually one or two wilderness areas left in CA that are a little more lax and trust people to behave. Every once in awhile, the trip calls for Yosemite though. It is beautiful, but it isn't on my list of favorites for outdoor adventures.
 

Tim Valentine

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Great photos. I really like the Nevada falls exposure.

Early start is the way to do the dome. Looks like you had it all to yourself for a while.
 

TractorDoc

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I admire your courage in making the climb up Half Dome. I remember looking up at it from the Panorama Trail and thinking "How do people make it up there?" I'd like to think I could do it. . . but I'd probably chicken out when the time came!

Great pictures and love your sense of humor -- no surprise you are befriending resort owners and the like. Now you just need to work on those rangers. . . :)
 

Stephanie B

Steph and Blake
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Great photos, Miya! Your pics of the "trail" up Half Dome really captured, I think, a hiker's perspective and what one might expect to encounter if someone wants to take on the same hike.
 

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Miya

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Great photos. I really like the Nevada falls exposure.

Early start is the way to do the dome. Looks like you had it all to yourself for a while.
There was 2 other groups up there, but plenty of space to feel alone and private. :)

I can't imagine having to climb up and down with more people than I had to go through on the way down. Probably 20 or more people going up and me clutching the cables like my life depended on it haha.

I have seen a lot of pictures with just a LINE of people though. No thank you.
 

Miya

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I admire your courage in making the climb up Half Dome. I remember looking up at it from the Panorama Trail and thinking "How do people make it up there?" I'd like to think I could do it. . . but I'd probably chicken out when the time came!

Great pictures and love your sense of humor -- no surprise you are befriending resort owners and the like. Now you just need to work on those rangers. . . :)
Haha, well the permit office rangers liked us...

We were respectful and understood the other lady was just doing her job. I just get lots of anxiety breaking the rules.
 

Miya

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Great photos, Miya! Your pics of the "trail" up Half Dome really captured, I think, a hiker's perspective and what one might expect to encounter if someone wants to take on the same hike.
I don't know. There are some photos online that I thought "it can't be that steep". But it really is. I feel like it is much steeper than the photos, buuuut I obviously am biased since I was so scared and would never do it again haha
 

Yvonne

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Will never make it? How come?
It's almost impossible to get permits and it's so busy in Yosemite, I'm not sure if I really want to that. I already have a circus here in Zion.
I definitely prefer hikes that offer a bit more solitude.
Same here with Angels Landing and the Narrows. I'll never ever attempt to do these again since they are totally overrun.
If I'll ever make it to Yosemite and it's not summer semester break, I might end up doing Clouds Rest or something similar. Still busy but not like Halfdome
 

Miya

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It's almost impossible to get permits and it's so busy in Yosemite, I'm not sure if I really want to that. I already have a circus here in Zion.
I definitely prefer hikes that offer a bit more solitude.
Same here with Angels Landing and the Narrows. I'll never ever attempt to do these again since they are totally overrun.
If I'll ever make it to Yosemite and it's not summer semester break, I might end up doing Clouds Rest or something similar. Still busy but not like Halfdome
Yeah, Yosemite can be a real zoo. I have never had an issue with getting a permit, you just have to be willing to take the trail less traveled haha. Off season and weekdays help too, but like I said, it wasn't super worth it to me. I imagine Cloud's Rest is just as good if not better.
The plan was for us to do Cloud's Rest after Half Dome. Our camp was less than 4 miles from the top, we were just too tired.
 

scatman

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Great report and photos Miya! I really like the squirrel shot. Hope your tailbone issue gets resolved soon so that you can be pain free again.
 

Miya

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Great report and photos Miya! I really like the squirrel shot. Hope your tailbone issue gets resolved soon so that you can be pain free again.
Thanks! I have been doing some different stresses and have been getting feeling back in my fingers. :thumbsup:
 

Born to Hike

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Good to know your not using the tailbone injury to forget the outdoors! Really appreciated the photos of half dome: I'm of the same opinion as @Yvonne, not sure if I'll make it there. Still looked like a lot of fun though!
So funny about the pizza gone in 10 minutes - are you sure it took that long? Haha!
 

Miya

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Good to know your not using the tailbone injury to forget the outdoors! Really appreciated the photos of half dome: I'm of the same opinion as @Yvonne, not sure if I'll make it there. Still looked like a lot of fun though!
So funny about the pizza gone in 10 minutes - are you sure it took that long? Haha!
Yup, take a lot more than that to keep from my new passion! :) Well, if you guys ever want to make an attempt, we are here to help. Get you in and out dealing with less people. ;)

It may have been less than ten minutes, but I estimated because we kept having to get up for more ranch. LOL
 

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