Half Dome at Dawn

In my first post, which asks, Is Parenting Worth it? I managed to squeeze in a reference to hiking, in this case the greatest day hike ever invented, Half Dome, Yosemite. If I had to choose a mountain for a father figure it would be this semi-dome. Firm as granite, but not impossible or abusive.

Last summer my bro and I hiked the dome nocturnally. Leaving Curry Village, at the valley floor, at 1:00 AM put us on top just before dawn, about 5:45 AM. After soaking it up and taking a power nap, we blazed back down to the valley in the cool hours of the morning, passing a hundred or so weary hikers all at different points in their journey up.

I highly recommend it, if you can manage 17 miles on zero sleep. You carry about half the water as you would during the day, since you’re exposed to about a fourth as much sun and heat. And there are plenty of other hikers with the same crazy objective, so you’ll easily outnumber any bears; if you don’t, you’ll likely not be the slowest. Best of all is watching the sunrise over the pacific crest. Incredible.