Photo #4/17 - Top of Half Dome - 8842 ft elev. Feel like you're on top of the world - or at least, not far from it. Arriving here was magically exhilarating, spiritual, despite the physical pain (must be nice to be a teenager). The next highest peak is (appropriately) named Cloud's Rest, at 10,700, & is not far from here. Supposedly, if you're a stud, you can hike both Half Dome & Cloud's Rest in the same day. Notice the snow in the background. This is middle of August.
Signs near the top instruct you what to do if an electrical storm should brew. Supposedly, storms can blown in over HalfDome in no time at all - even in August. First: don't touch the cables .. 1000-foot lightning rods. Don't stand up. Sit down (but don't lay down). If you have a backpack, sit on that.
Lani took the opportunity to sunbathe here for a couple hours. Not much atmosphere to filter the ultraviolet. The trip down was harder for the girls than Jahmar & me. We motored down & had to wait for the lagging girls - their legs (quads) were killing 'em.
Going back down the cables is ever hairier than going up, cuz you're looking down (yikes!), rather than up. While heading back down, we encouraged climbers heading up. Negotiating the passes can be tricky, cuz you have to switch your hands from both cables to one, during the pass. And it feels like, if you were to lose your grip, for even a second, it could be all over.
Next photo, #5/17 -> Whitewater Rafting on the Tuolumne River