Half Dome Sunrise

This is a past event

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July 21, 2011 NOTE: Sign ups are now closed.

This Half Dome hike starts on Sunday and ends on Monday. I have 4 permits available. It is not possible to get more. The remaining 4 permits are RESERVED for the people who helped me obtain the permits.

Because of the strenuous nature of the hike and the need for preparation I require that those who attend must "double hike" Mission Peak with me, prior to the event or be known to me as fit, experienced hikers. I don't want to leave your carcass on the mountainside - it's so unsightly!


Leave the Bay Area on Sunday afternoon. (Attendees may leave earlier if they wish) Arrive at the Happy Isle Visitor Center (by free shuttle bus) Begin hiking at about 9:00 PM from the Happy Isle Visitor Center Reach the summit one hour before sunrise. Enjoy sunrise, breakfast (that you bring with you) and a short nap (an hour or so) Hike down Return to the valley floor by about noon. Enjoy a hearty lunch Leave Yosemite around 3 PM Arrive back in the Bay Area around 9 PM, Monday Night. Go to work Tuesday and brag about what you've accomplished. When you sign up you will be placed on the waiting list. You must answer ALL of the questions to my satisfaction or you will be passed over. I am sorry but I cannot accommodate everyone here.To answer all the questions, you MUST watch the video from the National Park Service (below).

The National Park Service Video (http://www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/hikinghalfdome.htm) appears to be unavailable from the government site, so please watch below or from HERE (http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/half-dome/half-dome.htm#half-dome-video) or YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_D5zouojSY). It is 9 minutes long. Pay attention because you will be asked the name of the park ranger/videographer who talks about how dangerous the cables can be ( not the ranger who is the narrator).


I am providing the permits for free (they were $12 for 8 if you're wondering) There is a fee to enter the park. Many of us have season passes and that covers everyone in the car. This trip does NOT include overnight accommodations anywhere. In short... the trip is practically free accept for gas.


Highly recommended. Will work on establishing those later.


No guests. If you want to come with someone, they must be a member of this group and meet all of the requirements stated above including answering all questions and demonstrating an appropriate level of fitness and preparation. No exceptions.


If you cannot attend, you cannot "substitute" someone in your place. You may NOT bring anyone not on the RSVP list - remember we are limited by the number of permits.

Alternate Dates:

The permit is valid only on Monday. If due to weather or other unforseeable conditions we are unable to undertake or complete the hike there is no recourse. We *might* elect to take on the mist trail instead.

What to Bring:

This is a minimal list:

Water bottles (at least two litres) preferably with electrolytes Flashlight and headlamp w/ extra batteries. (Yes, bring BOTH). Energy snacks Sturdy hiking boots, heavy socks Moleskin / Glacier Ice (to protect against or deal with blisters) Layers of clothing including hat, sturdy gloves (for the cables and cold), Waterproof poncho (the mist trail may soak you otherwise) Sunscreen, insect repellent Whistle Comfortable day pack to carry the gear Camera and related gear (tripod highly recommended, leave large or heavy gear at home or you'll regret it.) Small towel OPTIONAL, but highly recommended per every two or three hikers: Topomap, GPS or compass, Walkie talkie First aid supplies (bandages, ibuprofen, compress) Water purification unit

Requirements to Attend

This is a good time to reflect on what you're planning to do. Yesterday 3 hikers were swept over Vernal Falls (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43815801/ns/us_news-life/). They are certainly dead.

Please start your reflection by downloading, printing and signing the Release of Liability Waiver (http://files.meetup.com/1491227/BANP_GeneralReleaseOfLiability.pdf) beneath your signature please write in: Half Dome Sunrise Event July 24-25, 2011". Also fill out the Emergency Contact information (http://files.meetup.com/1491227/BANP_EmergencyContact.pdf) form. If you can send me a completed digital copy of each of these with your signature I'd appreciate it. It would be helpful if you'd include your home address on the Emergency contact sheet.

If at this point you think you're not up to it, please change your RSVP to a no. Thanks!

Additional Notes:

Q: The literature says that this is a 14 mile round trip, why are you quoting 17 miles?
A: The Happy Isle Trail head does not have parking and when we are leaving there may not be bus service so we may need to walk an extra 1.5 miles in the beginning (and perhaps at the end)

Q: I heard you cannot store food or scented things in your car or you'll be ticketed and towed.
A: Yes, you are correct. It's a real bummer to have bear break into your car because they smell food or see things (like coolers) associated with food.

Q: Bear! Do I have to worry about bear, oh my!
A: Yes. And the truth is you're more likely to see them in the valley floor where there are people and lots of food. But we'll go over bear safety. All the energy you might put into being worried about bear would be better spent worrying about adequate preparation.