Half Dome is a popular granite dome located in the Yosemite National Park. It’s a favorite among new and experienced hikers. It’s both exhilarating and challenging. Anyone who attempts to hike the trail must be fully prepared not only physically but in terms of gears and equipment. Being out of shape may pose increased risk and danger to the hiker.
Here are some important reminders from the Park Ranger:
It often takes a total of 12 hours to hike the 14-16 mile trip to the top of Half Dome and back before dark which makes it important to start at dawn or just before. Especially for inexperienced hikers, it’s best to avoid walking the trail at night.
Wear shoes with good traction but still comfortable even in wet and muddy ground. Tennis shoes are not advisable. A great boot has excellent foot support and toe protection even after walking for miles and over rough terrains. Secure lacing and snug fit should also be considered.
The average person needs to drink at least 1 gallon of water = 4 1L bottles during the entire hike. A few signs to look at for in mild to moderate dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness and lightheadedness. For severe dehydration, there will be sunken eyes coupled with rapid heartbeat and breathing.
Most deaths and injuries happen when the rock is wet, check the weather before you hike. In the summer, even when it’s sunny in the morning, cold rain can quickly move in by afternoon. Especially when going up the cables, always be on the lookout for any possible change in weather.
Everyone in the group should carry flashlights or a headlamp with fresh batteries. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the trail because of darkness. It can also increase risks if you continue hiking without adequate supply of light.
Keep all these tips in mind before going on a hiking trip at the Half Dome. Stay safe!