Yosemite National Park is ranked one of the top 5 scenic national parks in the US. The Half Dome trail is the one
that I am interested in this trip. I rented the stupid "Chevrolet HHR" from the airport and drove 216 miles to Yosemite.
The drive was quite fun where you are close the park, sharp turns after sharp turns.
I stayed in Curry Village in the valley, a cabin that is practically a bunch of 2x4s with a vinyl tarp tied onto the frame. No heating
inside these "cabins", but it is equipped with a comfy bed. I woke up at 6am next morning to start my hike. It was cold in the
valley as the sun won't get into the valley until 9am.
The trail wasn't what I expected. It wasn't technical or difficult, with only 2 major viewpoints, Vernal Falls and Neveda Falls.
I paced myself with another hiker in front of me, and arrived at the bottom of the Half Dome at 10:15am. Yes, I saw the cables.
Going up wasn't that bad, yes it was windy. In my opinion, it wasn't that secured to do it if a lot of people were doing it at the same
time. If one fell, who knows the domino effect can do ? I stood on top of the Half Dome, feeling a bit disappointed because I didn't think
the view on top was much different from what you can do on the bottom of the cables. It was so windy that I couldn't stand the chill, even I knew
the sun was warming up the rock.
Arriving at SFO .... taking the AirTrain to the Car rental centre ...
Hold on ...
San Mateo Bridge (Hwy 92 towards Hayward)
Chinese Camp, Population 150 (not 150,000)....
Lookout on the scenic drive into Yosemite National Park.
Looking at Yosemite Valley.
It is kinda difficult to match the actual view to this map.
Let me be a real tourist.
US Postal is everywhere.
I think this rock is called "El Captain".
Half Dome, view from the valley.
This one is North Dome, I think.
My cabin in Curry Village.
It's basically a bunch of 2x4's with a vinyl top.
I like the free shuttle bus, very efficient.
I am going to sleep now, goodnite !.
6:00am in the morning, Sept 24.
Up the Mist Trail.
Crossing the creek at Sierra Point.
Vernal Falls, .. yeah going up there.
... A shower underneath the fall, hmmm cool ...
Jumping from here is not a good idea, Ken !
Do you wanna trust this "TRAIL" sign ?
Finally, sunlight was coming into the valley, .... warmth ....
Bottom of Neveda Falls ....
Standing tall and strong at the cliff side, have to admire its stamina.
This redwoord was burnt before but still standing strong.
Deep gorges into Yosemite Valley.
Do you see that ? 215 miles = 436km to Mt. Whitney ... Let's go !
2 hours into the hike, gained 2000 feet in 5 miles.
OK, I am gonna jump off from there, ..see you later.
Sorry man, still more vertical to go.
This valley is called Little Yosemite Valley.
More and more people were coming up.
Look carefully, what can you see ?
Yes, there is trail up to the top, virtually 60 degree steep.
Yes, at your own risk.
Just 2 steel cables for guidance.
Not really that secured.
I am going up now, ... if I fell, so be it, I love you all.
Because there was a fund-raising hike for cure that day, a lot of people were already there. I selected to go down after spending only 10 mins on top.
Going down was tough in the first few steps, and you would have to face the reality, "What if I fall from here?". I managed to get down
half-way and got stuck because there were so many people coming up. Some people were resting, some were waiting, some were scared, and some were stubborn.
Some wouldn't move unless you moved out of the way, and that was why it took me so long to get down.
After I got down, I sat down and talked to people who were waiting to get up. I actually told myself that I wouldn't go up again. It didn't
worth it, too much risks for a little rewards. I turned back with a little disappointment, and started to return to the village.
Looking down from 3/4 way up.
I met this cowboy on top, wearing pointy leather sole cowboy boots. He's insane.
Came down after spending 10 mins on top, too windyand cold.
Piles of torn gloves left here.
I don't remember where did I shoot this picture from?
Half Dome and me.
Now I'd done it, looking at it again from below actually scared myself.
I passed this kid back when I was at the Vernal Falls. He was barefoot.
His name is Simon. He was hiking for a cure with his family.
View from top of Half Dome
Saw this little guy as I was pounding down the trail.
I was actually surprised to see them at this elevation.
Run, Forrest, run ...
Pine cone in this area ...huge.
Guess what? This is a solar-powered restroom along the Mist Trail.
Coming down, I chose John Muir Trail instead of Mist Trail because people told me that it would be easier and more views. I disagreed
after i were half way down John Muir. It is a horrible trail, too rugged, and it was originally used as a horse trail. And it still allows
horses to go up using John Muir, leaving tons of horse droppings on the trail. It was just constant short switchbacks with the same view. Don't choose
John Muir Trail please.
I arrived at the Curry Village, and decided to drive to Taft Point/Sentinel Dome, recommended by a Park Ranger. There it would give me
a 360 view of the entire Yosemite Valley. Wow, that was much worth it than the top of Half Dome with easy 20 min hike-up. Later I
visited Glacier Point, where you would get a panoramic view of Half Dome, Little Yosemite Valley, and the Yosemite Valley.
No, .. I was not trying to pee here ... No.
My buddy was not happy here, what's wrong?
Going up to Sentinel Dome at about 5:45pm.
On top of Sentinel Dome, you get a 360 view of the Yosemite Valley and Half Dome.
My buddy was shooting the Half Dome picture, ...shuh ....!!!.
ooops, forgot to set the timer.
10, 9, 8, ....Chik-chik.
It's so windy and cold here .....
This is the last Jeffrey Pine on top of Sentinel Dome.
Half Dome view from Glacier Point.
Yes, I hiked through this valley (to the right) to go up to Half Dome.
What's wrong with my hair ? Darn it ....
Yosemite Valley view from Glacier Point.
Park Ranger was hosting a talk about how Yosemite valley was formed.
For those who are interested in all these names ....
They have hair stylists here for park employees.
Do not rent this car. Chevrolet HHR, got power but very uncomfortable to drive.