Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yosemite's North Dome 2,294 MOH

No, this isn't North Dome, it is what you see from North Dome which is Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.  I want to hike Half Dome and wanted to do it this year, but as a preparation, my friend thought I should first do the much easier hike out to North Dome from the trail starting at Porcupine Flat.  I was game for it.  So off we were early one morning eager to be out in the wilderness.

I saw the sign at the trailhead, North Dome 4.8 miles. No problem, I walk that much just on Sunday.  Except what I walk isn't at elevation.  In fact, I live pretty darn close to sea level and North Dome is at about 7,525 feet above sea level or 2,294 meters above the sea (MOH in Norwegian).  Just for your information, a mile is 5280 feet, so it was 1.4 miles above sea level.

You will notice that we keep going downhill.  We also tried to keep in the shade of the trees as much as possible as it can get quite warm.  And drink lots of water.  My rule of thumb in the field has always been that I bring two quarts to drink.  When, the first quart is done, time to turn back.

A side view from the trail of pine trees growing out of the solid granite.

More going downhill.  That made the hike in not too bad.  (You do see where I'm going with this, don't you?)

Just for scale, the person in the photo is 5'10" or 178 centimeters tall.There it is, just off in the distance.  That is North Dome.

Just before we get there, we have to go uphill.  The climb to the top wasn't too bad.  And, the view was stunning!

We had a nice lunch and a short rest.  Then, I had to slog myself back uphill to the car.  That took considerably more time and effort.  My whole backside was strained to the max.  Let me rephrase that.  My gluteous, hamtring and calf muscles were screaming, I CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE!  STOP!  REST!  BREATHE!  Every step was like doing squats except that I was already at muscle failure and had to keep going until I really, really couldn't take another step.  Oh, I could have stopped more often like every other step, it's just that then I would have had to sleep out on the trail and who wants to do that when you have a perfectly lovely bed to go home to?  (Note to self:  I need to loose more weight.  Do more endurance training.  Maybe go to a bootcamp.  Join the Marines.)  I think that I will have to put off hiking into Half Dome until next year since it is about twice the distance as the hike into North Dome.  But, just for the record, the hike was great and I would do it again anytime!

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