Friday, September 23, 2011

The Big Hike

*Warning, this is a non-stamping post*  This past Monday we finally did our big hike to Half Dome in Yosemite. Mike and I went, along with his two cousins. I didn't do the final 400 ft. cable ascent up the dome, but did make the rest of the round trip.This was by far the toughest (and scariest) hike I've ever done, but also the most beautiful. I have a few pictures, but the photos just don't do it justice.

From our starting point in Curry Village in the Yosemite Valley, we traveled over 20 miles round trip and gained over 4800 feet in elevation. Mike and his cousin, who did the cables, gained 5200 feet in elevation. There were hundreds of granite steps like the ones above. That is me at the bottom of the photo trying to get my short leg up over the step.

These stairs were endless! 

Looking back at some of the stairs. 

Here is a photo of the first falls we came to, Vernal Falls. 

After we got to the top of Vernal Falls, we got to rest and hike on a bit semi level terrain. 

Then we got a look at Nevada Falls. 

And then hundreds more granite steps to get to the top of Nevada Falls. 

Thank goodness we got to another easy section on our way through Little Yosemite Valley.  That didn't last long and it was back to climbing, climbing and more climbing.

A view of Half Dome from Little Yosemite Valley. 

Eventually we broke through some trees and got our first close up look at the dome. The top bulge is Half Dome and the lower bulge is Sub Dome. I only made it just past Sub Dome. My fear of heights kicked in hard when I tried to go up the cables of Half Dome and I decided to chicken out.

Here is a look at Half Dome just as we were about to crest Sub Dome. 

Here is a look at the cable ascent of Half Dome. It was so freaky steep. So was Sub Dome, for that matter, but at least there were steps for most of that part. The cables were just too much for me to overcome my fear of heights. It's life or death on this part, no room for error whatsoever. If you slip and fall it's all over. I went up a  short way and just didn't feel strong or confident of my ability to do it. I waited below with one of Mike's cousins, while he and another cousin went up. 

After Mike  and his cousin got back down from the cables (and I could breath a sigh of relief) it was time to head back down Sub Dome. Here is a look down. I'm in the lower right corner of this photo and you can see two tiny little people closer to the center, but still right of the tree. That is where we were headed. This part was so steep, I just had to keep my head down and only look a little way in front of myself. 

Looking back at Sub Dome and Half Dome. If you click on the photo, you can see a larger version and just make out the cables and some of the steps of Sub Dome.

 A pretty shot along the trail of the Merced River.

One more panoramic shot on our way out. I don't know what the peak in the front is, but we hiked around the backside of it and crossed over those falls. You can see Half Dome in the distance on the left.

I'm not happy to have failed on the cables, so I'm going to have to go back and try again next year. I will take a safety harness with me next time (and I'll insist my husband use one too), so hopefully that will help me overcome my fear of heights, so I can make it up the cables. Guess I better start training.

Thanks for the visit. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Patti J said...

You are pretty much my hero! I would have stopped at about step number 20!!! You go girl :) Thanks for sharing your trip with us. The scenery is beautiful, and so are you!

Janet said...

wow Theresa - this is so beautiful. I was there back in July, but didn't hike; however, looking at those stairs you took to get to the top wore me out seeing them :) I am scared of heights as well and give you props for doing this - it is very beautiful there, that is for sure. Thank you for sharing with us.

Nan G said...

Awesome photos! Thanks For sharing! You are pretty awesome yourself for going that close to the top-!!!
I believe the saying is "You rock, girl!" lol

Sheri said...

You went further than I could have. I am terrified of heights. Great job and super pictures!

Luv 2 Create said...

Love Yosemite!! Grew up near there, and spent many summers there. Have hiked there many times, but don't think I could do it now. Just getting to old now. It is quite a hike, but the scenery makes it all worth it.

Pat said...

My brother got married there and I agree, pictures don't do it justice! What a great hike!

naneruth said...

Wow you did good going that far is all I can say. I am afraid of heights too and probably couldn't of made it that far. Hope that you'll make it all the way next year if that is your desire.

Stampmouse said...

wow this is going on my must do list. I don't think I could do the last part with the cable walk because of my fear of heights. That is what happened when we did zion's angel landing I only made it as far as scouts landing and didn't do the cable up

thanks for sharing i pinned one of your pictures on pinterst as a place I want to go I hope that is ok

Becky said...

wow...gorgeous photos..thanks for sharing.

Janelli said...

Wow, what a beautiful God's earth! Thanks for sharing, especially for us easterners!

cgargus said...

How beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing.

Ravengirl said...

Looks like a wonderful hike! Thanks for sharing it here!

scrapperatheart said...

Theresa...I am so impressed with your accomplishments and what beautiful photos! Thanks so much for sharing them with us!

jean w. said...

Wow Theresa you did great! I remember your blog entries about hiking last year. I guess this is the big hike you were training for back then. Thanks for sharing the pictures with us. A bus ride through Yosmite was as far as I got! lol...You are such an inspiration in stamping and hiking!
Jean from NJ

buggin2stamp said...

Wow! First of all, those pictures took my breath away. I bet it was amazing to be there and see it in person. As for that hike, you went a lot further than I would have made it. I am terrified of heights. I would have gotten scared just climbing those stairs. Thanks for sharing the photos, so much fun to look at.

Barb Ghig said...

What a wonderful adventure! LOVE your pics, too...thanks so much for sharing them with us!

Have a great evening!!!