Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Half Dome - Sunrise

Awoke a little late. The night was quiet with no sounds of animals, which was a relief but it was a cold one. In the morning I found out it was minus 2 degrees and our water bottles had frozen. I'd slept wearing nothing but a woolley hat so no wonder I was cold, but we were travelling light after all.

Eventually got going around 9 and left the tents up for our 2.5 mile stomp to half dome. A bit of a slog but nothing like that of the folks who had come up 4,000 ft from the valley floor.

half dome from the back

Even up close Half Dome looks intimidating. Just getting to the shoulder involved a couple of dogey steps on some extremely sandy surfaced gravel (not nice to slip near such big drops).

When i eventually saw the means of getting to the very top of Half Dome I was a bit shocked. A little more extreme than I had expected. Although i've done quite a bit of climbing (mostly tied on!) I struggle climbing a ladder and this was a 400ft ladder. i quickly decided that I wasn't up for that kind of excitment in despite of the 12 mile walk in.

Here are Alex and Doug on the cables (Alex in Blue and Doug beneath)...
doug and alex on half dome chains

Here's the same shot zoomed out...
half dome chains zoomed out

(Scarey eh?)

When they got down i was surprised that Doug was actually quite regretful that he'd done it. The view wasn't great and going up was awful (though coming down was ok).

Sitting at the bottom we contemplated the rest of the day - another 12.5 miles to the car, first packing up our campsite. So the rest of the day was pretty much a stomp! With a couple of nice views like this lake...
views of yosemite heading to sunrise

And this sunset, which whilst nice, was a little premature for us - we still had over a mile to do as the sun went down. I sang quite a bit during this mile to be sure we didn't surprise a bear!

sunset at sunrise and still an hour's hiking to go!

We got back to the cars all pretty knackered. Doug and Alex headed back to the backpackers campsite and i headed back to work. I had one pleasant suprise on the way. The petrol station at the junction with the 395 also does food. I ordered a veggie burger and salad and was extremely impressed, the burger was just vegetables and the salad most excellent - I think the place is called Whoa Nellie and I'll be happy to check it out again.


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