Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Yosemite Hiking Up Half Dome Mountain - The Yosemite Hiking Challenges and how Prepare For them

Yosemite National Park is situated within the central Sierra Nevada of California. The Yosemite Valley is a large glacial area and is about 8 miles (13km) long and up to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) deep and forms a great hiking venue. Yosemite hiking is an adventurous pastime however one of the more adventurous and most exhausting and of course rewarding is the climb up Half Dome Mountain.

Firstly lets talk about the rewards first. To put it simply the climb is fantastic and has every hiking element you can expect to experience when you are Yosemite Hiking including great waterfalls and steeping climbs than you can probably walk. However without getting too carried away there are some problems and some challenges that you will need to prepare for to complete this epic journey.

This actual climb involves a 5000ft climb and takes over 16 hours to complete – so maybe an overnight stop is in order. You start in the Yosemite Valley. There is more than one route up but the recommendation is to hike the John Muir trail.

One of the reasons this hike is so great is that it takes you through great mountainous views over the Yosemite Valley. This Yosemite hiking trip takes you past a vast waterfall that could quite literary be out of this world. The final stages of the hike is bare rock and appears to be a 90 degree climb (it is not - but steep). However the climb up the rock does require man made steel cables to use as hand rails to pull yourself up. Many hikers have stated that this Yosemite hiking experience up Half Dome Mountain is a once in a lifetime hike.

Well that’s the glossy “lets do this bit” Now the problem areas you need to take notice of and prepare for.

1. It is a long strong hike and going to take at least 16 hours. So you should be aware how fit you are and act accordingly (i.e get hiking fit). Make sure you are fit so you do not put yourself and others at risk. Apart from normal fitness one of the best ways is to measure yourself on smaller hikes. It is only going on hikes you can really measure yourself as youuse difference muscles in your body and they need to be exercised.

2. Take lots of food especially when going Yosemite hiking. This is true for any hike in the Yosemite valley. This will of course keep you hydrated and keep energy levels up

3. Make sure you have adequate footwear and clothing. Ensure your boots are supported by an ankle support with a sewn in tongue.

4. The cables on the last stretch can be a problem for hand blisters. So take some gloves to prevent hand blisters

5. There is sometimes a problem at high season around the cables getting congested with long waits to get on them. So maybe Yosemite hiking up half dome should be tackled at off peak times.

6. Another big problem is that the natural water from the mountain contains Giardia, which will cause diarrhoea so take a water filter pump and sterilising tablets or just boil the water on this Yosemite hiking trip.

So hiking the Yosemite Valley and up Half Dome Mountain is a real lifetime experience filled with wonders of nature. However be prepared and use the 6 steps above to ensure your Yosemite Hiking experience is fantastic and safe.

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