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#1935 - 01/29/10 03:44 PM Half Dome Permits
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
I saw this today in the Fresno area Business Journal:

Quote:
There will now be quotas applied to the number of people allowed to hike up Yosemite National Park's famed Half Dome Trail.

In the name of safety, the National Park Service this year is requiring permits to hike to the top of Half Dome on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays. A maximum of 400 permits will be issued each of those days. According to park officials, less than 400 people use the trail on weekdays while about 800 people use the trail on weekends and holidays, on average.

Permits are available up to about four months in advance to one week in advance exclusively through the National Recreation Reservation Service. Permits are not available in the park or on a fist-come, first-served basis.

Reservation procedures and timing may be different in 2011 as park officials are developing a long-term plan to manage use of the Half Dome Trail.

The cables hikers use to ascend Half Dome are usually in place May-October.


Yosemite National Park (NPS.gov) news release:   Yosemite National Park Announces Interim
                                         Program for Half Dome Day Use Permits to Address Visitor Safety

                                         Management Paper (4 pages): Management of the Half Dome Cables

Newspapers, etc.:

Discussion on YosemiteNews.info forum:   Half Dome Permits

Discussion on WPSMB forum:   quotas for half dome now?

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#1936 - 01/29/10 03:57 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2243
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Will they be charging a fee?
What about the Snake Dike route?

Should have waited until Steve finished posting!

It's actually 300 dayhikers.


Edited by wagga (01/29/10 04:08 PM)
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#1937 - 01/29/10 04:11 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: wagga]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Fee: $1.50 service charge per permit.

From the news release: "The permits are free, however, there is a non-refundable $1.50 service charge for each permit obtained."

Must be like the Whitney permits: They're free, but the reservation is $15.

I'm pretty sure Snake Dike and the face would be free:
"These permits are required for the use of the trail from the base of the Subdome to the summit of Half Dome and include the Half Dome cable route."


Looks like day hikers only get 300 permits:

Four hundred permits will be issued per day, 300 of these will be Day Use Permits and 100 will be included in wilderness permits. These permits are required for the use of the trail from the base of the Subdome to the summit of Half Dome and include the Half Dome cable route.

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#1938 - 01/29/10 04:42 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
On the YosemiteNews.info forum, Mike Condron his the nail on the head:
I think there will be a ton of no-shows. There doesn't seem to be a way of getting your hands on an unused permit.


From the Yosemite NP Half Dome faq
Is there any benefit to canceling a permit if I know I won't use it?
The Half Dome permit is non-refundable. However, if you cancel a permit far enough in advance, someone else may be able to use it. Once a permit is cancelled, it becomes available again via www.recreation.gov or 877/444-6777.

If someone with a permit does not show up, can I wait at the base of the subdome and take their place?
No, you must have a valid permit in possession to show the ranger.

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#1939 - 01/29/10 04:56 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
Joel M. Baldwin Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento Ca USA
If I get a first-come-first-served wilderness permit can I get a Half Dome permit?


Edited by Joel M. Baldwin (01/29/10 04:57 PM)

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#1940 - 01/29/10 05:22 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Joel M. Baldwin]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Joel M. Baldwin
If I get a first-come-first-served wilderness permit can I get a Half Dome permit?


How can I obtain a permit to hike Half Dome?
Visit www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvist/hdpermits.htm for details about Half Dome permits.


See questions about the permits at:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdfaq.htm

Yosemite National Park
Frequently Asked Questions about Half Dome Permits



You can obtain a permit to hike Half Dome by visiting www.recreation.gov or by calling 877/444-6777. (We recommend using the website.) You can get up to four permits per web session or phone call. Each permit has a service fee of $1.50.

Permits are only available in advance and will not be available in Yosemite.


Edited by Bee (01/29/10 08:32 PM)
Edit Reason: updated information
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#1941 - 01/29/10 05:31 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Joel M. Baldwin]
Barbara Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 43
Loc: LA, CA
Doesn't this lead people to take more risks? What if you have a hard to get permit - get to the base, big clouds are rolling in - and you know it's now or maybe never for this year? That might push some people to risk going up when otherwise they might go down, knowing they could try again a week later - or whatever. Am I missing something? Tho I do agree the weekend numbers can be ghastly. And I guess if there is a ranger stationed there to check permits, then she/he can close the cables in nasty weather.

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#1943 - 01/29/10 07:20 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Not surprised...

Just read the entire announcement on the news page of the NPS site. Although it appears to sound like you can only obtain the permits via either phone or the national reservation website, the fact that they say the permits are free, except for the $1.50 charge to "obtain" them (bad choice of words), doesn't makes sense if the only way you can get them IS to reserve them -- cuz in that case, they are not free cuz you HAVE to pay to reserve them. So although the phone and web site are two ways to obtain them, perhaps what is implied, but not mentioned, is that they can also be obtained in person at the park (if not "sold out"), which is the only way they could be legitimately "free". I saw nothing in the NPS news announcement that specifically said you could NOT get them at the park in person. In-person obtaining of the permits wasn't even mentioned, which to me, is inconclusive on that point.

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#1950 - 01/29/10 09:32 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: CaT]
Mike Condron Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 215
Loc: Now Manteca, CA
The permits will not be available at the park. If there is a no show that permit is wasted. If a person cancels their permit say one week prior to it's specified date then there may be enough time to let another person reserve it prior to it's specified date. It will still have to be obtained through the reservation system. The person that is deciding to NOT use a permit actually has to go to the trouble of calling the reservation organization to cancel their use and make it available for someone else. Not likely most of the time.

Anybody read anything that says how you get the actual permit in your hands? If it's through the mail that will be another obstacle.


Edited by Mike Condron (01/29/10 09:33 PM)
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#1952 - 01/29/10 09:43 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Mike Condron]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Their failure to have a viable no-show process makes one really appreciate Inyo National Forest for the way they handle the Whitney permits.

Here's how it works for Whitney hikers:
Permits for Overnight hikers have to be picked up in person by 10 AM the day of entry, and Dayhike permits have to be picked up by noon the day before. Or at least people must call in by the deadline, or their permits become available to others.

I've even suggested a partial refund for early call-ins for for cancellations, but was told giving money back is always problematic.

I do think people canceling should be rewarded.

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#1954 - 01/29/10 10:14 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
Joel M. Baldwin Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento Ca USA
If I have no way to do a walk-in wilderness permit AND get a Half Dome permit at the same time then I'm PISSED, and that's only a fraction the emotion I imagine other folks will be feeling.

If true, and not corrected by summer, then this is a major screwup on NPS's part
--
I just sent them an email, if I get a response that yields anything interesting I'll post it back here.


Edited by Joel M. Baldwin (01/29/10 10:24 PM)
Edit Reason: send email

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#1955 - 01/29/10 10:14 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
Mike Condron Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 215
Loc: Now Manteca, CA
I think the park service is wise to have the riots over permits be done in cyberspace. Can you imagine the chaos if people had to stand in line to get one of the 300 daily permits? There would be dead people.
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#1956 - 01/29/10 10:44 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Mike Condron]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Although this permit policy will effectively halve the number of people allowed to do the final section of the HD trail on weekends and holidays, I predict that many, though certainly not all, of the shut out "other half" will adjust their plans and overflow into the weekdays when possible.

I just re-read the NPS statement, and while it does say that permits will be available online or by calling the stated phone number, it does not say that permits will "only" be available via those two means. Although that is likely implied, the fact that it is not directly stated does leave some wiggle room for interpretation. Don't get me wrong -- a $1.50 reservation charge is a deal compared to Inyo's similar charge. But as a matter of truth in advertising, free permits are not really free if a service charge must be paid to get them. The distinction between the service fee to use the only means available to get the free permit will be lost on most people.

Quote:
I think the park service is wise to have the riots over permits be done in cyberspace. Can you imagine the chaos if people had to stand in line to get one of the 300 daily permits? There would be dead people.

Likely true.

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#1958 - 01/30/10 07:10 AM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Barbara]
Rosabella Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 16
Loc: Washington State
Originally Posted By: Barbara
Doesn't this lead people to take more risks? What if you have a hard to get permit - get to the base, big clouds are rolling in - and you know it's now or maybe never for this year? That might push some people to risk going up when otherwise they might go down, knowing they could try again a week later - or whatever. Am I missing something? Tho I do agree the weekend numbers can be ghastly. And I guess if there is a ranger stationed there to check permits, then she/he can close the cables in nasty weather.


I think this might be one of the few good reasons for requesting permits. Every time I've been up Half Dome, I've been horrified by the lack of preparation and knowledge of some of the people I'd meet on the trail. "Hikers" carrying a 16 oz. bottle of water, wearing inadequate shoes, and no head lamp/flashlight is all too common; I sometimes wonder how some of the people I pass get back down to the valley! I think there is a certain percent of visitors to Yosemite who see Half Dome - get up one morning and say "hey, let's go climb Half Dome".... becasue they want to go home and say they did it.

I'm assuming now, when picking up permits, these same people will hear the lecture on packing out their trash. Maybe the times I've been up there I've just happened to be following some real pigs, but there sure has been a lot of trash along side the trail. I don't mind picking up trash, because it needs to be picked up, but I draw the line at other people's toilet paper!

.... but it IS really concerning about the few permits being issued, and the no-show policy. Steve, I know you've posted charts on the Whitney permits, showing in one column that all permits were reserved/none available, and in the next column how many were available for walk-in due to no-shows. There are a LOT of no-shows. Obviously, a lot of people do not bother to cancel a permit reservation when they decide to not use it.

It's never going to be a perfect system, but it seems that the "powers that be" haven't thought this all the way thru before issuing a policy. It's surprising that they didn't use the Whitney Permit process as their blueprint.

I guess for now, I'll just plan on going up Half Dome in the middle of the week.

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#1965 - 01/30/10 01:35 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Rosabella]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
THANK GOD!

Kudos to the Inyo, but we should all remember that the system that we enjoy today has evolved over some time, and it wasn't this way when it started, I'd think. I'm sure the NPS will evolve, as well.

Also remember that there are people who continue to curse and ignore the Inyo system.

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#1970 - 01/30/10 10:49 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Joel M. Baldwin]
Joel M. Baldwin Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento Ca USA
Originally Posted By: Joel M. Baldwin
If I get a first-come-first-served wilderness permit can I get a Half Dome permit?


I sent off an email using the NPS web site email form, and have already gotten a response that seems to imply the wilderness permit automatically enables you to do Half Dome.

>
>If you get an appropriate wilderness permit (a Little Yosemite Valley permit would
>qualify), you won't need to do anything extra in order to hike to Half Dome.
>
>Jeffrey
>
>National Park Service
>Yosemite National Park
>http://www.nps.gov/yose/
>
>Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/YosemiteNPS
>
>----qumqats@XXXXXXXXXXXX wrote: -----
>
>To: XXXXXXXXXXXXX@nps.gov
>From: qumqats@XXXXXXXXXXX
>Date: 01/29/2010 10:21PM
>Subject: From NPS.gov: Half Dome permit system
>
>Email submitted from: qumqats@XXXXXXXXXXXXX at /yose/planyourvisit/hdfaq.htm
>
>What is the intended system for Half Dome permit issuance for those backpackers
>who use the walk-in first-come-first-served wilderness permits issued at
>the wilderness permit office in the valley?
>
>Is a walk-in wilderness permit issued for Little Yosemite Valley sufficient?
>

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#1973 - 01/31/10 01:23 AM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Joel M. Baldwin]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Just for reference, here's a picture of the cables on a busy day.


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#1975 - 01/31/10 06:25 AM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
Rosabella Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 16
Loc: Washington State
WOW! I've NEVER seen so many people on Half Dome. I'm going to guess (by the shadows) that this picture was taken around 2:00 PM?

We've always headed up early, and were on the top before noon... but looking back, I don't know if I've ever gone up Half Dome on a weekend day - it's usually been Thursday or Friday.

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#1978 - 01/31/10 10:37 AM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Yup, just another Half Dome weekend in paradise...
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#1986 - 01/31/10 07:40 PM Re: Half Dome Permits [Re: Steve C]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Quote:
If you get an appropriate wilderness permit (a Little Yosemite Valley permit would
>qualify), you won't need to do anything extra in order to hike to Half Dome.


So if I am out hiking for a week or two in the back country and I reach Half Dome I wont need a special permit to go up it? such as Whitney if you enter some where other then the Inyo National Forest?

I smell Orwellian double think with the statement of it being free but costing 1.50$!
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