This week, I took the boys with their Boy Scout troop up to Yosemite for 5 days. On one of the days, we hiked up to Half Dome. This was a difficult 18 mile round trip from our campsite at Upper Pines. It took us about twelve and a half hours to complete the hike.
We started promptly at 5:30 in the morning while it was still dark.
About an hour into the hike, the kids had a dry cereal breakfast.
Here they are on another break.
At about the 6 hour mark, we near the staircase and cables part of Half Dome.
Here is a picture up the staircase. It is some basic rock scrambling. At the top of this 1/2 mile section is the cable portion. Only four of the boys remained for this last section.
Here we are right before the cables. You can see the cable ascent to the top of Half Dome in the picture below. The cable portion is 400 feet and is rated as a Class 3 climb.
I did not get a picture of it, but to keep the kids safe, we had them all wear a harness and clip themselves to the cables. In case they slipped, the harness would keep them safe.
There were some people that should not have been up there. We saw people in flip flops, people with one or two bottles of water and other accidents just waiting to happen. One of the boys said, “if you don’t know what you are doing, you will die”. We saw so many people that fit this category! In fact, the Park Service reports that there were three fatal falls last year alone.
Finally, we made it to the top! The peak is at 8842 feet of elevation and rises about 4700 feet off the valley floor.
The descent down the cables was a bit easier but still quite challenging.
After the cables, we started back down the mountain. Even though it was all down hill, it was still strenuous with difficult terrain to navigate.
One last shot of the numerous waterfalls on the way back.
Vikram said he “found his guts” on this trip. I would also add that it totally impressed me that these 11-14 year olds were able to accomplish such a feat at such a young age. I am proud of them all.