Friday, September 2, 2011

HEADING FOR HALF DOME

You've seen Ansel Adams' iconic photos of Yosemite's Half Dome. I'll hike to its peak on Labor Day

Like you, probably, I've been viewing this Ansel Adams photo of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park since I was a child.  Adams' black and white photos in Yosemite put the park's peaks into the realm of legend.  And none of his photos have been more widely viewed and copied than this one of Half Dome.

At the invitation of my son-in-law, Alex Butler, I plan to join him for a day-long hike to the peak of Half Dome on Labor Day.  We'll take what's known as the Cables Trail--a long route which ends with a final steep trek up the side of the peak stepping our way upward via steel cables that are fastened to steel poles embedded in the sheer rock surface.  Every time I view photos of the jutting peak and of people using the cables, I get a little queasy.

I'm assured that this hike, while difficult, is readily doable.  Though there are a limited number of passes issued for each day, thousands of people make this trek each year.  I know I'm in the best physical condition of my life (yes, at age 52) and that I'll be fine.  Still, looking at it from whichever angle... It has my respect.

I am aware that 17 people have fallen to their deaths from various hikes and climbs in Yosemite this season--the highest number on record. Will I be careful?  Absolutely.

I plan to share tweets (http://www.twitter.com/indybikehiker) along the trail on Monday.  I hope to share photos as well as observations.  I invite you to tune in. And, you might say a prayer during your Labor Day cookout.

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