Photo #2/17 - Jahmar & Lani in front of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California - the other side of Half Dome, from the previous photo. You can't actually see the cables (~1-inch thick), but you can easily tell where they are, from the line of ants (people) climbing up. The cables are gnarly. Exhilarating. Something you shouldn't miss. Put Half Dome on your short list.
We dug it so much that we returned the following year. Climbing Half Dome reminds us that we're still alive .. no matter how badly we ache & pain .. no matter how big the blisters get, we know that we can make it. There's something spiritual about hiking to the top of a moutain. You can almost hear God whisper in your ear.
There's a pile of gloves at the bottom of the cables, about 100 pair. I brought my own gloves, cuz I want to ensure that I'm not at a disadvantage .. with gloves that don't fit. I have the kind of gloves with the ends cut off the finger. This lets me touch the cables, and makes me feel more secure.
My sneakers were slippery as greased whale snot. It was not a pleasant feeling. I almost turned around after the 2nd nasty slip .. but the grief I'd get from the kids for not climbing would've been worse than slipping & falling. =)
Horizontally-spaced 2x4's provide footholds up the cables - about every 6-8 feet. Can almost see some of the 2x4's from here. Air is so thin that small exertions make you suk serious wind - like a smoker climbing stairs. Of course, this is after climbing since daybreak (5 hours). Have to stop & rest to catch breath after every little bit on the cables.
A surprising number of people climb all the way to this point, then refuse to ascend the last 1000 ft up the cables - that's how grarly they look .. up close & personal. cables look & feel almost vertical. You feel like any little slip could mean curtains. And every once in a while, some climber will drop something - like a water bottle, or chap stick. You try not to watch, but your eyes catches it & follows it all the way down .. for a remarkably long time. Then the person behind you looks up at you says, "Dang." .. which means, "If I slipped and fell, that would suck." =)
We got to the top around noon. The sun was strong. The top surface comprises 13 acres. Can see forever from the top (8842 ft).
Next photo, #3/17 -> Almost There #2