Sunday, May 20, 2007

Half Dome

Wow! we went up to Half Dome yesterday and what an experience!! My partner and I left Happy Isles at 7am and took off for the top.
We had a nice hike up to the base of the staircase. But wow, we both had a problem getting up the staircase. Not muscle wise, but vertigo-wise! I felt like I was on top of the world climbing stairs across the sky. I've heard of the staircase, but not the granite slide. After you get up the stairs, you have to scramble up the side of the rock. The air was starting to feel pretty thin and I had to muster up some courage to get to the base of the cables.
We finally got up to the base at noon. It had been slow going (my partner doesn't do as much hiking as he would like!), but excitement was building looking at the people climbing the cables. We sat to have a little something to eat (and to build up more courage!)
When I've heard that people sometimes turn around with never going up...I now know why! The first few polls, not much of a problem, but then it gets really steep. It has to be more than 45% grade in the middle! I took it one board at a time and made it up (with a lot of waiting!) in about 30 minutes.
Being on top of the dome was awesome, we lost track of time, and noticed it was already 2pm and knew we needed to get down. This is what I was really worried about. I got some really good advice on how to go down, and was much more calm.
What's funny is on the way down, I was talking to people as they went by, and the question, and where are you from came up. I ran into a guy that taught at a school in Waukon, IA and knew my high school classmate Jed Hemann. What a small world.
Going down was pretty hard, my IT Band was really acting up and I slowed us down. We ran into a couple from St. Louis and he has a cabin near Quincy, IL (Hi Tabitha!). We finally got down to the car @ 7pm.
It was an awesome time. I am very proud of my partner, who with almost no training, made it all the way up and down with little problems. I on the other hand have a lot of foam roller days ahead of me!
We forgot the camera so no pictures.


Blogger Eudemus said...

Very cool Brad. My wife and I did Half Dome a couple years ago (although we weren't originally planning to go the whole way). My wife hikes, but neither of us were in top shape at the time. I also got us in trouble a bit by not assuring we had enough water on the way back. I've done that a few times on hikes and now she never trusts me to deal with the water.

The cables can get quite crowded and we had a couple of people kind of "freak out" and just stop in front of us. I used to rock climb and my wife could see how frustrating it was for me so she told me to just go outside the cables and she would meet me up top (which we did). It is a great view, but next time we go up there we are gonna do something more back country and less crowded.

By the way great job at Quicksilver. It sounds like a good race. Take care of your ITB!

9:21 AM  

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