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Half Dome snow question
#49741 05/03/17 08:22 AM
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Brent N Offline OP
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I plan on heading up to Yosemite in three weeks. Have any of you recently hiked Half Dome? What are the snow and ice conditions on the trail through the cables?

Brent N

Re: Half Dome snow question
Brent N #49742 05/03/17 09:32 AM
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Hi Brent,
I hiked it on April 9. My buddy wanted to do a snow-hike, and I needed to see how my knee would do (it did great!)

We put on crampons at the base of the sub-dome. There was full-on snow from the JMT "Y", lots of water below. You will encounter snow a bit higher, but the sub-dome will likely have lots of snow. I'd guess the cables will be "down" but completely accessible.

I used hiking poles and crampons. Carried an ice axe, but did not use it. My buddy used his ice axe.

We stopped at the cables. One crazy kid went part way up the cables. When he came down, he said slabs of snow were sliding around him.

Three pics from the sub-dome:






Re: Half Dome snow question
Steve C #49744 05/03/17 07:16 PM
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Steve, gorgeous pics and congrats on your knee. That is awesome news. Those pics reminded me of when you and I did that but without microspikes, crampons or ice axes, although you clearly saw more snow than you and I did back then. Shuddering now.
So your pics are almost 1 month old. I'll be heading up May 19, 1.5 months after your pictures were taken. think the snow on subdome will still be there?

Brent N

PS. I'm taking my 10 year old who has no ice axe experience. I won't risk snow with him.

Re: Half Dome snow question
Brent N #49745 05/03/17 09:43 PM
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I think you will encounter at least patches of snow. And there will be a good boot track through it.

If he takes hiking poles and microspikes, it would be a big advantage. Don't let a little snow stop you. You may find out that he'll like it. If not, just turn back.

Re: Half Dome snow question
Steve C #49747 05/03/17 11:44 PM
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Need pics of your crampons & ice axe. Right?


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Re: Half Dome snow question
Steve C #49749 05/04/17 05:25 AM
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yup agree. He's good with microspikes and poles, but if sub-dome has much snow, it's a slip to nowhere. We'll make the decision there. It will be a beautiful hike regardless. Thank you, Steve.

Re: Half Dome snow question
Brent N #49874 05/21/17 02:52 PM
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A quick update on the conditions in case anybody is planning to take advantage of the permit-free situation for the next 2-3 weeks. I went up the cables on Saturday (20th) along with what seemed like over 100 other people.

There was a bit of snow on the sub dome, but i was the only person with an axe and crampons (the latter totally unnecessary), most just used hiking poles. The main dome is snow free, and given that the cables are down, around 80% of people were using prussiks (many for the first time I think..) , a few just clipped onto the wires, and a couple were completely free.

It was very busy on trail (conga line up the mist trail) quieter above little Yosemite valley, and crowded again on half dome itself.

The bugs are starting - in Yosemite valley at dusk there was light swarming albeit limited biting. From the amount of water around I suspect that in a week it will be almost unbearable without deet.

Re: Half Dome snow question
britonwhit(ney) #49876 05/21/17 07:03 PM
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Thanks britonwhit! Do you have any pictures?

Is the trail (all those steps and zig-zags) usable going up the sub-dome?

I hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls yesterday -- for the first time in my life (Can hardly believe that!)

Coincidentally, Yosemite posted on facebook:
Quote:
Due to lingering snow, the installation of the Half Dome cables will be delayed until at least June 2 this year (instead of May 26). If you have a Half Dome hiking permit for the dates between May 26 and when the cables are installed, your permit fee will be refunded. Once cables are installed, permits will be available via the Daily Lottery on recreation.gov.

Snow on the trail must be enough to hold off putting up the cables.

Last edited by Steve C; 05/21/17 07:21 PM.
Re: Half Dome snow question
Steve C #50027 06/07/17 08:38 PM
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Steve, I was in Yosemite with my daughter in late April for Spring Break, and her and I did Yosemite Falls. What a butt-kicker that was, great start for my Whitney training this year. Finished in about 4.5 hours. What a great hike it was, beautiful views.


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