Wednesday, May 12, 2010

From the Vault: Half Dome Run, July 2007

Prior to this week, my last set of "from the vault" photos (a.k.a. disposable-film-camera shots that I randomly found and dusted off) were from a 1997 near-suicidal, life-changing canyoneering and waterfall-climbing expedition at a secret spot on north shore O'ahu, Hawai'i.

This week's set is from a bit safer, equally beautiful but still occasionally lethal tourist spot: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park.

I had originally planned an epic long run that my friend Terri Schneider suggested: 40 miles of Cloud's Rest, Vogelsang, etc. but on my drive up (solo) to Yosemite circumstances changed and it turned out I would only have 10 hours or so before I had to return home. I slept in my car in the parking lot of Half Dome, and woke up early.

Unfortunately I did not wake up early enough, and there were dozens of eager tourist and hiker-types already on the trail. Since I wanted to beat them to the Cables, I ran up the trail, past the tourists, past the Vernal waterfall, up the steps, through Emerald Pool up to the dome. I don't remember my "split" but at or just under 2hrs rings a bell. The cables were a bit sketchy, and I vividly remember wondering how more people don't die here more often. Deep down inside I have some latent acrophobia, even after all these years of rock climbing, 600+ midnight foot rappels in 2004 Primal Quest and mountaineering.

It really is a life-or-death situation and folks of all ages seem to be OK with that. The photos below were taken with what must have been a cheapo disposable film camera. Perhaps the last time I ever used one? The end of an era! I have not been back since, but I look forward to returning soon to do my original Vogelsang-Cloud's Rest big 40 mile loop that my friend Terri Schneider recommended 3 years ago...

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