Last July, my friend won lottery permits to climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Six of us decided to try to attempt this climb and met up in a rented Airbnb in Oakhurst, California, which is approximately an hour away from the park’s entrance.
The night prior to the hike, we spent time at a nearby dive bar, where some random dude bought us multiple rounds of beers and shots after finding out that our groups consisted of nurses who worked through the pandemic. I also think he got engaged that same night, which explains his manic behavior but free is free and it was well-appreciated!
We left our Airbnb around 5am to get to the trailhead before the sunrise. Driving through Yosemite in the dark is actually more stressful than driving it through the day, especially since you’re surrounded by nothing but darkness.
Since this hike was only my second one for the year, it was HARD. I struggled a lot and considered quitting hiking since I was definitely pushed to my limits. The first major destination of this hike was Vernal Falls, which consisted of climbing stairs in a never-ending upward manner, as opposed to walking on an inclined surface. I made it to the top of this one but it was not an easy feat.
Nevada Falls was the second major destination of this trail. And I think I took more stops than I did steps before I finally made it to the top. By the time Jamie and I made it to Nevada Falls, we decided to call it a day and didn’t proceed with climbing to Half Dome. Randall and Minh were miles ahead of us and successfully climbed the rock. Fred and Thuan made it to Sub-Dome and decided to turn around from there.
On our hike down, Jamie and I took the John Muir Trail instead of going down where we came from. We decided to do since going down the JMT was fairly easier, despite adding some distance to the hike. We were stopped halfway through by park rangers who were doing controlled dynamite blasting in the area, which allowed us to take a well-deserved break. We made it back to the trailhead an hour after noon and prior to driving back to the city, we pulled off to the side of the road and took a nap.
Not gonna lie, this hike kicked my butt and I actually promised to never go hiking again. And I did just that but it’s hiking season once again so let’s get some miles in!