Thursday, July 23, 2009

Half-dome (Yosemite National Park, CA)

A couple of weeks ago Karl Reichstetter (my cousin) invited me to join a group of Tuck MBA students who are interning in the Bay Area on their ascent of half-dome. No need to ask me twice!

We broke camp just after 4:30am and hit the trail just after 5:30. One of the coolest things about this ascent was the series of water falls we hiked by during the first 4 miles of the hike. The beauty really helped to break up what otherwise would have been a rough 2000ft climb to the Little Yosemite Valley.

The famous cables at the top looked intimidating but weren't that scary in the end. It is the type of thing that you might build up in your mind but once you are there and focused, things just move forward.

That being said, my legs started cramping up while on the cables and by the time we summited (just a few dozen feet above the cables) my quads were in full lock-up mode. So after about 4800ft in just over 8 miles, it was time to sit down and enjoy the views.

On the way down we escaped from the heat by dipping in the river flowing through Little Yosemite Valley.

Views like this abounded... seriously.....