Essentials for Hiking Half Dome
I didn’t think I would actually hike Half Dome. My husband won the lotto to get the permits to hike the trail, and I secretly cried inside. I thought I would climb to the bottom of the dome and wait for him and the other couple we went with. There was one point where I lost it on the way up! I totally had an anxiety attack; I’ve never had one in my life!! We were following the people in front of us on Sub-Dome and started to climb a part of the rock that I don’t think was made to climb. I froze, I clung on to the side of the mountain, looked down, and thought I was going to die. I’m terribly afraid of heights, and all I kept thinking about was my little body plummeting down to the bottom. Luckily, my husband patiently waited and talked me into getting back on the right track. After I saw the couple that we were hiking with push through that part, I decided: “What the heck? I made it this far, might as well go to the top of Sub-Dome.”
We had decided early on that we would be eating our lunch at the top of Sub-Dome. I had already decided that I wouldn’t climb to the top of the next part: Half Dome; I thought I would be a nervous wreck the whole way up. Lunch was finishing up and everyone in my group was getting ready to climb to the top. I thought: “I’m going to feel like such a loser when they all come down and say how awesome it was up there.” So I went for it. I remember one of my good friends saying “Just try 2 or 3 steps up, if it’s too much, just turn around. Always be sure to look straight ahead at the rock, not up, down or side to side.” So I did! I totally made it to the top! It was definitely sketchy in some areas, but I made sure to have my husband behind me on the way up and beneath me on the way down, so he could catch me in case I fell ;) He’s awesome like that! Be prepared to take anywhere from 10-13 hours to hike the whole thing. We did the mist trail on the way up and the John Muir trail on the way down and it took us about 12 hours and 15 miles.
Essentials for Hiking Half Dome:
Lots and Lots of water: I got a bit upset with my husband for packing me so much water because my bag was so heavy!!! I was eating my words when I ran out on the way down and had to drink some of his.
Lots of snacks and a good lunch: You would be surprised how hungry you get along the way. If I hadn’t packed any snacks besides my lunch, I would have been hurting for energy. I suggest lots of fruit, trail mix and some protein/energy bars.
Sunscreen: I applied, then reapplied, then reapplied again. You are hiking anywhere from 9-13 hours in the sun, so it’s a good idea to carry some extra sunscreen to prevent you from turning into a crispy critter.
Hat: This was my saving grace. Had I not worn a hat, I probably wouldn’t have hiked half dome. The bill of the baseball hat helped to block my view when I was climbing up the rock. I wasn’t as scared because I couldn’t see up, down, or peripherally.
Good walking shoes: This is so important!! It took us about 12 hours to finish the whole trail, and when we did my legs and knees were very sore. Be sure that the shoes you wear have been broken in, and are supportive and comfortable.
Gardening gloves: We brought leather gloves because that’s what all the websites said to bring. I tried them on and realized that my particular pair were very slippery!!! Someone at Sub-dome gave us their gardening gloves, the ones that have rubber on the palm area. These gloves helped to ensure my death grip on the cables, they were so much better!!!
Thanks for stopping by!!