Getting up Half Dome in Yosemite National Park got a little easier this past weekend. That's because the cables that give you something to hold onto as you scale the shoulder of the dome were put up for the season.
While the cables do make the hike to the top much easier, they don't make it that much less intimidating.
The Half Dome hike is a round-trip hike of over 17 miles and is considered extremely strenuous. Hikers gain 4,800 feet of elevation along the way as they pass highlights such as Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, before reaching the cables on Half Dome’s steep granite shoulder. A series of metal cables are placed along the steep shoulder of the dome to assist hikers to the summit.
This hike is not for the timid. The National Park Service urges you to take appropriate precautions when planning a hike of this length and difficulty, and to be prepared for changing weather and trail conditions. Thunder and lightening are common occurrences in the High Sierra during the summer and fall; hikers should not to attempt to summit Half Dome around or during thunderstorms and are advised to use extreme caution when the rocks are wet.