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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On Top of the World

A few weeks ago I went to Yosemite National Park with several friends and co workers. It was such an amazing experience. I was about to not go and then last minute, I decided to go. So I honestly packed my bags the night before, found a sleeping bag and in the morning at 7AM my friend picked me up! She got two tickets to climb Half Dome, which influenced my decision a little bit.

From the start of the trail, Half Dome is a 8.2 mile hike one way (6 hours), 8,800 feet above sea level, 4,800 feet elevation. People have died off of this dome, which made me a little nervous. There are cables for you to climb up to the top, you are unable to get up there without any rock climbing equipment if it wasn't for the cables. Usually people start really early at 6 AM, since they have to prepare for about a 12 hour hike and you want to come back before dark!

We of course started at around 8:40 AM, we bring headlights, food in our backpack and I bought about 5 bottles of water. My pack was super heavy since I didn't bring one of those hiking packs, which I totally regretted not getting one beforehand! But I was totally unprepared, I wore tennis shoes instead of hiking shoes... basically, I didn't know what I was getting myself into!

I was SUPER nervous when I got to the subdome onlooking to the actual half dome, terrified actually. I honestly didn't think I could make it looking at the cables... it seemed so steep and I just couldn't fathom going up them. Luckily, all the hikers are super nice, they helped pep me up and since I already made the 6 hour journey one way, I really couldn't leave without accomplishing what I came to do.  I took my time, step by step, but I made it and it was such a great accomplishment! I was so proud that I actually did it, especially since I was having major doubts beforehand.

The hardest part was the trek home in the DARK!  It was so scary, but I don't think I realized how scary it was because I could only see a few steps in front of me. We walked by the rocky paths by the waterfalls.  It just felt like forever getting back, my legs felt like jelly, but we had to keep on going! We were SO happy when we made it back, got a hot shower and ate some soup by the campfire that our friends had ready for us (since they ditched us and decided to hang by the camp)

It was a great experience, I would def recommend it to anyone, but its not something I think I would ever do again... once is enough! My friend and I made some random videos, which were fun to look back and laugh at! We also met some German tourists on our trip and they helped us through the hike there and back.  We were really lucky to find such nice hikers, it definitely made our trip a lot more fun!   

My advice for conquering the terror of Half Dome:
1. Get a good night's rest and get up EARLY!!
2. Bring enough water (depending on the season, peak summer you will need more water as opposed to later on in the fall) and snacks/sandwiches
3. Get a hydration backpack such as a CamelBak
4. Less is more!! Which is a recurring true statement, bring only what you need and nothing more, the less you can bring, the happier you will be!
5. Recommend hiking shoes, although I did it in tennis shoes, the more traction you have, the better!
6. Pack a headlight just in case it does get dark
7. AT&T service works on the top of half dome, feel free to call your friends and family to let them know you are on the top of the world!! :)


Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Fun! Love this pics!! Def on top of the world :D

vein of noir said...

the views look amazing!!!

Elaine said...

Oh, my goodness. You're amazing! That totally sounds so scary. I don't know if I would've been able to do it... I'm so proud of you!

Savvy Gal said...

Wow.... what a view. I wanna do that too.

MizzJ said...

Hahaha AT&T should make a commercial out of your experience - can't believe their coverage extends to mountain tops!!

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iR JOSEPHINE said...

CONGRATS! Felt like I made it to the top with you guys