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Re: [John Muir Trail] Half Dome

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  • Barbara Karagosian
    Interesting but predictable. I wonder if they ll expand permits now. Cheers, Barbara
    Message 1 of 30 , Dec 8, 2010
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      Interesting but predictable. I wonder if they'll expand permits now. 

      Cheers, Barbara

      On Dec 8, 2010, at 5:40 AM, Kim Fishburn <outhiking_55@...> wrote:

       

      For those of you interested in doing Half Dome you might want to read this. It doesn't appear that the permit system they started this year has worked too  well.

      http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/12/study-says-half-dome-permit-system-yosemite-national-park-apparently-does-not-enhance-overall-hiker-7314

    • Peter Burke
      ... I was gonna type up a rant about the crowds on that section of JMT, but then I have been there a few times myself, adding to the crowds. Get rid of the
      Message 2 of 30 , Dec 8, 2010
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        On 12/8/2010 9:04 AM, Barbara Karagosian wrote:
        Interesting but predictable. I wonder if they'll expand permits now. 

        Cheers, Barbara

        On Dec 8, 2010, at 5:40 AM, Kim Fishburn <outhiking_55@...> wrote:

         
        For those of you interested in doing Half Dome you might want to read this. It doesn't appear that the permit system they started this year has worked too  well.

        http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/12/study-says-half-dome-permit-system-yosemite-national-park-apparently-does-not-enhance-overall-hiker-7314


        I was gonna type up a rant about the crowds on that section of JMT, but then I have been there a few times myself, adding to the crowds. Get rid of the cables - Half Dome problem solved. Clouds Rest is the much more rewarding peak anyway, but don't say that too often, because suddenly you'll have a tourist stream heading up there, too...








      • seatreesky
        The postholer JMT maps have been updated with the new data generously provided by Mr. Fishmonger and Bill! Further, I ve created a northbound *and* southbound
        Message 3 of 30 , Dec 8, 2010
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          The postholer JMT maps have been updated with the new data generously provided by Mr. Fishmonger and Bill!

          Further, I've created a northbound *and* southbound set with matching data book appendices. You can view the northbound set online and download either from that page.

          Thanks again folks for your data, I know the whole community appreciates it!

          -postholer

          ----------------

          Features:
          + 41 full color maps created from 7.5 minute USGS quads
          + Beautiful 3D hill shading
          + Highly detailed elevation chart on each map
          + Large 8.5" x 11" maps for easy viewing
          + Accumulated trail mileage/elevation every half mile
          + Resupply locations within 90 miles of map center
          + WGS84 decimal degree tick marks for easy GPS use
          + Data book information printed at each locale on the maps
          + Separate data book appendix
          + Over 135 way points and resupply locations


        • Ed Rodriguez
          Thanks so much for this.I REALLY appreciates your hard work in this ________________________________ From: seatreesky To:
          Message 4 of 30 , Dec 8, 2010
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            Thanks so much for this.I REALLY appreciates your hard work in this


            From: seatreesky <pct@...>
            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wed, December 8, 2010 5:31:54 PM
            Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Free JMT Trail Maps and Data Book

             

            The postholer JMT maps have been updated with the new data generously provided by Mr. Fishmonger and Bill!

            Further, I've created a northbound *and* southbound set with matching data book appendices. You can view the northbound set online and download either from that page.

            Thanks again folks for your data, I know the whole community appreciates it!

            -postholer

            ----------------

            Features:
            + 41 full color maps created from 7.5 minute USGS quads
            + Beautiful 3D hill shading
            + Highly detailed elevation chart on each map
            + Large 8.5" x 11" maps for easy viewing
            + Accumulated trail mileage/elevation every half mile
            + Resupply locations within 90 miles of map center
            + WGS84 decimal degree tick marks for easy GPS use
            + Data book information printed at each locale on the maps
            + Separate data book appendix
            + Over 135 way points and resupply locations



          • judy
            I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with far fewer people on the
            Message 5 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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              I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with far fewer people on the trail. Those there, in general, seemed much better prepared. Perhaps the permitting process provides an opportunity for some pre-trip education (a good thing) in addition to reducing the numbers on the cables. --Judy
            • Peter Burke
              ... mostly the pleasant part was due to be out there on the least busy day of the week, Friday (average 273 visitors per day, while Monday averaged 732)
              Message 6 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                On 12/9/2010 7:23 AM, judy wrote:
                > I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with far fewer people on the trail. Those there, in general, seemed much better prepared. Perhaps the permitting process provides an opportunity for some pre-trip education (a good thing) in addition to reducing the numbers on the cables. --Judy
                >

                mostly the pleasant part was due to be out there on the least busy day
                of the week, Friday (average 273 visitors per day, while Monday averaged
                732)

                http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/YOSE-Half%20Dome%20Trail%20Use.pdf

                on page 30 of the report you will also see that it was a 250 visitor day
                on July 30, but just the Monday after that date, you would have shared
                the trail with almost 900 people up to Half Dome Trail Junction. Permits
                every day will come for sure to shave those peaks down to the same level
                now seen on weekends and holidays, but it really doesn't address the
                deeper issue - why are these cables up there in the first place?

                I find the whole thing with the cables is a far cry from the whole
                untouched wilderness concept they seem to put so much emphasis on with
                comparably minor impact issues such as fire circles and (the elimination
                of) bear lockers in the backcountry. If the cables had not been put up
                in a period with less concern for impact, they'd never be placed there
                today.

                However, the cable route to Half Dome is there today, and it is an
                attraction to many and it draws paying patrons into the valley, I guess,
                hundreds each day who may not visit without this goal for their trip.
                The money generated by these extra visitors is probably the overriding
                economic factor for park management - 500 $20 car entrance tickets alone
                each day is $10,000 in the bank. Do that for 3 months and you have a
                million bucks you may not collect without the cables. Add money spent at
                stores in the valley, and suddenly a set of cables that's not visible
                from anywhere but up close by those who venture up there to take
                advantage of them makes sense. The side effect of heavy trail erosion up
                to the peak is something they have to deal with, though. The steep
                section from Little Yosemite Valley to the HD trail intersection is
                probably the most eroded and widest section of the entire JMT, although
                compared to some French Alsp trails I have been on, this is in perfect
                shape. This is all relative, I guess. In Europe, many trails are built
                by erosion, nothing else.
              • John Ladd
                For a lot of California kids, the Half dome cable route gives them their first bragging rights in the outdoors. While you wouldn t want to take a really
                Message 7 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                  For a lot of California kids, the Half dome cable route gives them their first "bragging rights" in the outdoors.  While you wouldn't want to take a really little kid up there, it's probably doable safely with many kids (ones that will be careful) at age 10 or so and they are really proud of themselves once they "summit".

                  John Curran Ladd
                  1616 Castro Street
                  San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                  415-648-9279

                • Barbara Karagosian
                  But then subtract the costs of SARs and recovery and it may not make so much money for the park after all. Cheers, Barbara
                  Message 8 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                    But then subtract the costs of SARs and recovery and it may not make so much money for the park after all. 

                    Cheers, Barbara

                    On Dec 9, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:

                     

                    On 12/9/2010 7:23 AM, judy wrote:
                    > I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with far fewer people on the trail. Those there, in general, seemed much better prepared. Perhaps the permitting process provides an opportunity for some pre-trip education (a good thing) in addition to reducing the numbers on the cables. --Judy
                    >

                    mostly the pleasant part was due to be out there on the least busy day
                    of the week, Friday (average 273 visitors per day, while Monday averaged
                    732)

                    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/YOSE-Half%20Dome%20Trail%20Use.pdf

                    on page 30 of the report you will also see that it was a 250 visitor day
                    on July 30, but just the Monday after that date, you would have shared
                    the trail with almost 900 people up to Half Dome Trail Junction. Permits
                    every day will come for sure to shave those peaks down to the same level
                    now seen on weekends and holidays, but it really doesn't address the
                    deeper issue - why are these cables up there in the first place?

                    I find the whole thing with the cables is a far cry from the whole
                    untouched wilderness concept they seem to put so much emphasis on with
                    comparably minor impact issues such as fire circles and (the elimination
                    of) bear lockers in the backcountry. If the cables had not been put up
                    in a period with less concern for impact, they'd never be placed there
                    today.

                    However, the cable route to Half Dome is there today, and it is an
                    attraction to many and it draws paying patrons into the valley, I guess,
                    hundreds each day who may not visit without this goal for their trip.
                    The money generated by these extra visitors is probably the overriding
                    economic factor for park management - 500 $20 car entrance tickets alone
                    each day is $10,000 in the bank. Do that for 3 months and you have a
                    million bucks you may not collect without the cables. Add money spent at
                    stores in the valley, and suddenly a set of cables that's not visible
                    from anywhere but up close by those who venture up there to take
                    advantage of them makes sense. The side effect of heavy trail erosion up
                    to the peak is something they have to deal with, though. The steep
                    section from Little Yosemite Valley to the HD trail intersection is
                    probably the most eroded and widest section of the entire JMT, although
                    compared to some French Alsp trails I have been on, this is in perfect
                    shape. This is all relative, I guess. In Europe, many trails are built
                    by erosion, nothing else.

                  • Peter Burke
                    ... my kids have been outdoors a lot, hang out at the local climbing gym a lot, and have done three JMTs. Still,I would NEVER take them up that route unless
                    Message 9 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                      On 12/9/2010 12:27 PM, John Ladd wrote: For a lot of California kids, the Half dome cable route gives them their first "bragging rights" in the outdoors.  While you wouldn't want to take a really little kid up there, it's probably doable safely with many kids (ones that will be careful) at age 10 or so and they are really proud of themselves once they "summit".


                      my kids have been outdoors a lot, hang out at the local climbing gym a lot, and have done three JMTs. Still,I would NEVER take them up that route unless they wear full safety harnesses and clip into the cable.  Anything else, well, Darwin works in myterious ways.





                    • Peter Burke
                      ... but do they pay anything extra for that? They already have the ranger staff, add a few volunteers, and the helicopter is there anyway unless without Half
                      Message 10 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                        On 12/9/2010 12:33 PM, Barbara Karagosian wrote:
                        But then subtract the costs of SARs and recovery and it may not make so much money for the park after all.

                        but do they pay anything extra for that? They already have the ranger staff, add a few volunteers, and the helicopter is there anyway unless without Half Dome it's not needed any longer? You take the revenue away, what are they using to pay for all those things? 

                        Interesting that all the statistics in the report don't include one word about actual accidents or the number of SAR calls to that location. Clearly they want to make it safer, so why no numbers on actual incidents? The whole report essentially is about safety on the cables, but only comments on people at one time on the cables without every taking a look at actual events that required SAR and how those may correlate to those high use days. Guess not much stuff actually happens up there, or that data would be in the report.



                        Cheers, Barbara

                        On Dec 9, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:

                         

                        On 12/9/2010 7:23 AM, judy wrote:
                        > I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with far fewer people on the trail. Those there, in general, seemed much better prepared. Perhaps the permitting process provides an opportunity for some pre-trip education (a good thing) in addition to reducing the numbers on the cables. --Judy
                        >

                        mostly the pleasant part was due to be out there on the least busy day
                        of the week, Friday (average 273 visitors per day, while Monday averaged
                        732)

                        http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/YOSE-Half%20Dome%20Trail%20Use.pdf

                        on page 30 of the report you will also see that it was a 250 visitor day
                        on July 30, but just the Monday after that date, you would have shared
                        the trail with almost 900 people up to Half Dome Trail Junction. Permits
                        every day will come for sure to shave those peaks down to the same level
                        now seen on weekends and holidays, but it really doesn't address the
                        deeper issue - why are these cables up there in the first place?

                        I find the whole thing with the cables is a far cry from the whole
                        untouched wilderness concept they seem to put so much emphasis on with
                        comparably minor impact issues such as fire circles and (the elimination
                        of) bear lockers in the backcountry. If the cables had not been put up
                        in a period with less concern for impact, they'd never be placed there
                        today.

                        However, the cable route to Half Dome is there today, and it is an
                        attraction to many and it draws paying patrons into the valley, I guess,
                        hundreds each day who may not visit without this goal for their trip.
                        The money generated by these extra visitors is probably the overriding
                        economic factor for park management - 500 $20 car entrance tickets alone
                        each day is $10,000 in the bank. Do that for 3 months and you have a
                        million bucks you may not collect without the cables. Add money spent at
                        stores in the valley, and suddenly a set of cables that's not visible
                        from anywhere but up close by those who venture up there to take
                        advantage of them makes sense. The side effect of heavy trail erosion up
                        to the peak is something they have to deal with, though. The steep
                        section from Little Yosemite Valley to the HD trail intersection is
                        probably the most eroded and widest section of the entire JMT, although
                        compared to some French Alsp trails I have been on, this is in perfect
                        shape. This is all relative, I guess. In Europe, many trails are built
                        by erosion, nothing else.


                      • Kim Fishburn
                        I think the last two deaths were a Japanese business man wearing leather souled dress shoes, and someone on the cables when it was wet and slippery. I don t
                        Message 11 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                          I think the last two deaths were a Japanese business man wearing leather souled dress shoes, and someone on the cables when it was wet and slippery. I don't think the number of people had anything to do with it.



                          From: Peter Burke <pburke@...>
                          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thu, December 9, 2010 1:07:19 PM
                          Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Half Dome

                           

                          On 12/9/2010 12:33 PM, Barbara Karagosian wrote:

                          But then subtract the costs of SARs and recovery and it may not make so much money for the park after all.

                          but do they pay anything extra for that? They already have the ranger staff, add a few volunteers, and the helicopter is there anyway unless without Half Dome it's not needed any longer? You take the revenue away, what are they using to pay for all those things? 

                          Interesting that all the statistics in the report don't include one word about actual accidents or the number of SAR calls to that location. Clearly they want to make it safer, so why no numbers on actual incidents? The whole report essentially is about safety on the cables, but only comments on people at one time on the cables without every taking a look at actual events that required SAR and how those may correlate to those high use days. Guess not much stuff actually happens up there, or that data would be in the report.



                          Cheers, Barbara

                          On Dec 9, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:

                           

                          On 12/9/2010 7:23 AM, judy wrote:
                          > I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with far fewer people on the trail. Those there, in general, seemed much better prepared. Perhaps the permitting process provides an opportunity for some pre-trip education (a good thing) in addition to reducing the numbers on the cables. --Judy
                          >

                          mostly the pleasant part was due to be out there on the least busy day
                          of the week, Friday (average 273 visitors per day, while Monday averaged
                          732)

                          http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/YOSE-Half%20Dome%20Trail%20Use.pdf

                          on page 30 of the report you will also see that it was a 250 visitor day
                          on July 30, but just the Monday after that date, you would have shared
                          the trail with almost 900 people up to Half Dome Trail Junction. Permits
                          every day will come for sure to shave those peaks down to the same level
                          now seen on weekends and holidays, but it really doesn't address the
                          deeper issue - why are these cables up there in the first place?

                          I find the whole thing with the cables is a far cry from the whole
                          untouched wilderness concept they seem to put so much emphasis on with
                          comparably minor impact issues such as fire circles and (the elimination
                          of) bear lockers in the backcountry. If the cables had not been put up
                          in a period with less concern for impact, they'd never be placed there
                          today.

                          However, the cable route to Half Dome is there today, and it is an
                          attraction to many and it draws paying patrons into the valley, I guess,
                          hundreds each day who may not visit without this goal for their trip.
                          The money generated by these extra visitors is probably the overriding
                          economic factor for park management - 500 $20 car entrance tickets alone
                          each day is $10,000 in the bank. Do that for 3 months and you have a
                          million bucks you may not collect without the cables. Add money spent at
                          stores in the valley, and suddenly a set of cables that's not visible
                          from anywhere but up close by those who venture up there to take
                          advantage of them makes sense. The side effect of heavy trail erosion up
                          to the peak is something they have to deal with, though. The steep
                          section from Little Yosemite Valley to the HD trail intersection is
                          probably the most eroded and widest section of the entire JMT, although
                          compared to some French Alsp trails I have been on, this is in perfect
                          shape. This is all relative, I guess. In Europe, many trails are built
                          by erosion, nothing else.


                        • Kim Fishburn
                          The subject of Half Dome reminded me of this book. http://www.amazon.com/Off-Wall-Yosemite-Michael-Ghiglieri/dp/0970097360/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_c I think I read
                          Message 12 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                            The subject of Half Dome reminded me of this book.

                            http://www.amazon.com/Off-Wall-Yosemite-Michael-Ghiglieri/dp/0970097360/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_c

                            I think I read about it at http://yosemiteexplorer.com/ . I believe there is a series of similar books on other national parks. Looking at his site I'm reminded that the record for Happy Isles to the top of Half Dome and back is 2:28:18.




                          • Roleigh Martin
                            good find -- I added this to my amazon High Sierra Wish List which we have a link to. I have read this book though:
                            Message 13 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                              good find -- I added this to my amazon High Sierra Wish List which we have a link to.
                               
                              I have read this book though:
                               
                               
                              It's available also in audiobook form.

                              On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 1:25 PM, Kim Fishburn <outhiking_55@...> wrote:
                               

                              The subject of Half Dome reminded me of this book.

                              http://www.amazon.com/Off-Wall-Yosemite-Michael-Ghiglieri/dp/0970097360/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_c

                              I think I read about it at http://yosemiteexplorer.com/ . I believe there is a series of similar books on other national parks. Looking at his site I'm reminded that the record for Happy Isles to the top of Half Dome and back is 2:28:18.





                            • John
                              I can pretty much guarantee that leaving the cables in place has nothing to do with USNPS economics , and everything to do with politics and private sector
                              Message 14 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                                I can pretty much guarantee that leaving the cables in place has nothing to do with USNPS "economics", and everything to do with politics and "private sector" economics. Most of my friends in VERY high places with Yosemite National Park would love to see the cables come down. Indeed, it has been considered. However, it will take a very strong Park superintendent to make that happen.
                                With any luck, over time, the daily Half Dome quota will be reduced to a reasonable number of something less than 100.

                                JD
                                Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                                www.johndittli.com


                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > On 12/9/2010 12:33 PM, Barbara Karagosian wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > But then subtract the costs of SARs and recovery and it may not make
                                > > so much money for the park after all.
                                >
                                > but do they pay anything extra for that? They already have the ranger
                                > staff, add a few volunteers, and the helicopter is there anyway unless
                                > without Half Dome it's not needed any longer? You take the revenue away,
                                > what are they using to pay for all those things?
                                >
                                > Interesting that all the statistics in the report don't include one word
                                > about actual accidents or the number of SAR calls to that location.
                                > Clearly they want to make it safer, so why no numbers on actual
                                > incidents? The whole report essentially is about safety on the cables,
                                > but only comments on people at one time on the cables without every
                                > taking a look at actual events that required SAR and how those may
                                > correlate to those high use days. Guess not much stuff actually happens
                                > up there, or that data would be in the report.
                                >
                                >
                                > >
                                > > Cheers, Barbara
                                > >
                                > > On Dec 9, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Peter Burke <pburke@...
                                > > <mailto:pburke@...>> wrote:
                                > >
                                > >> On 12/9/2010 7:23 AM, judy wrote:
                                > >> > I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit
                                > >> system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with
                                > >> far fewer people on the trail. Those there, in general, seemed much
                                > >> better prepared. Perhaps the permitting process provides an
                                > >> opportunity for some pre-trip education (a good thing) in addition to
                                > >> reducing the numbers on the cables. --Judy
                                > >> >
                                > >>
                                > >> mostly the pleasant part was due to be out there on the least busy day
                                > >> of the week, Friday (average 273 visitors per day, while Monday averaged
                                > >> 732)
                                > >>
                                > >> http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/YOSE-Half%20Dome%20Trail%20Use.pdf
                                > >>
                                > >> on page 30 of the report you will also see that it was a 250 visitor day
                                > >> on July 30, but just the Monday after that date, you would have shared
                                > >> the trail with almost 900 people up to Half Dome Trail Junction. Permits
                                > >> every day will come for sure to shave those peaks down to the same level
                                > >> now seen on weekends and holidays, but it really doesn't address the
                                > >> deeper issue - why are these cables up there in the first place?
                                > >>
                                > >> I find the whole thing with the cables is a far cry from the whole
                                > >> untouched wilderness concept they seem to put so much emphasis on with
                                > >> comparably minor impact issues such as fire circles and (the elimination
                                > >> of) bear lockers in the backcountry. If the cables had not been put up
                                > >> in a period with less concern for impact, they'd never be placed there
                                > >> today.
                                > >>
                                > >> However, the cable route to Half Dome is there today, and it is an
                                > >> attraction to many and it draws paying patrons into the valley, I guess,
                                > >> hundreds each day who may not visit without this goal for their trip.
                                > >> The money generated by these extra visitors is probably the overriding
                                > >> economic factor for park management - 500 $20 car entrance tickets alone
                                > >> each day is $10,000 in the bank. Do that for 3 months and you have a
                                > >> million bucks you may not collect without the cables. Add money spent at
                                > >> stores in the valley, and suddenly a set of cables that's not visible
                                > >> from anywhere but up close by those who venture up there to take
                                > >> advantage of them makes sense. The side effect of heavy trail erosion up
                                > >> to the peak is something they have to deal with, though. The steep
                                > >> section from Little Yosemite Valley to the HD trail intersection is
                                > >> probably the most eroded and widest section of the entire JMT, although
                                > >> compared to some French Alsp trails I have been on, this is in perfect
                                > >> shape. This is all relative, I guess. In Europe, many trails are built
                                > >> by erosion, nothing else.
                                > >>
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                              • Linda Reitz
                                Jophn, I was proud of myself the first time I made the summit at age 55! For us native Californians I think it is almost a rite of passage. To where I don t
                                Message 15 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                                  Jophn, I was proud of myself the first time I made the summit at age 55! For us native Californians I think it is almost a rite of passage. To where I don't know.
                                  Lind


                                  From: John Ladd <johnladd@...>
                                  To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Thu, December 9, 2010 10:27:11 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Half Dome

                                   

                                  For a lot of California kids, the Half dome cable route gives them their first "bragging rights" in the outdoors.  While you wouldn't want to take a really little kid up there, it's probably doable safely with many kids (ones that will be careful) at age 10 or so and they are really proud of themselves once they "summit".

                                  John Curran Ladd
                                  1616 Castro Street
                                  San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                  415-648-9279


                                • Barbara Karagosian
                                  I know 3 died from falls the year I did it. At least one of those was attempting it after the cables had been taken down in the autumn. Cheers, Barbara
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Dec 9, 2010
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                                    I know 3 died from falls the year I did it. At least one of those was attempting it after the cables had been taken down in the autumn. 

                                    Cheers, Barbara

                                    On Dec 9, 2010, at 11:07 AM, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:

                                     

                                    On 12/9/2010 12:33 PM, Barbara Karagosian wrote:

                                    But then subtract the costs of SARs and recovery and it may not make so much money for the park after all.

                                    but do they pay anything extra for that? They already have the ranger staff, add a few volunteers, and the helicopter is there anyway unless without Half Dome it's not needed any longer? You take the revenue away, what are they using to pay for all those things? 

                                    Interesting that all the statistics in the report don't include one word about actual accidents or the number of SAR calls to that location. Clearly they want to make it safer, so why no numbers on actual incidents? The whole report essentially is about safety on the cables, but only comments on people at one time on the cables without every taking a look at actual events that required SAR and how those may correlate to those high use days. Guess not much stuff actually happens up there, or that data would be in the report.



                                    Cheers, Barbara

                                    On Dec 9, 2010, at 9:12 AM, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:

                                     

                                    On 12/9/2010 7:23 AM, judy wrote:
                                    > I started the JMT on Friday 30 July last summer and the permit system definitely made that part of the hike much more pleasant with far fewer people on the trail. Those there, in general, seemed much better prepared. Perhaps the permitting process provides an opportunity for some pre-trip education (a good thing) in addition to reducing the numbers on the cables. --Judy
                                    >

                                    mostly the pleasant part was due to be out there on the least busy day
                                    of the week, Friday (average 273 visitors per day, while Monday averaged
                                    732)

                                    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/YOSE-Half%20Dome%20Trail%20Use.pdf

                                    on page 30 of the report you will also see that it was a 250 visitor day
                                    on July 30, but just the Monday after that date, you would have shared
                                    the trail with almost 900 people up to Half Dome Trail Junction. Permits
                                    every day will come for sure to shave those peaks down to the same level
                                    now seen on weekends and holidays, but it really doesn't address the
                                    deeper issue - why are these cables up there in the first place?

                                    I find the whole thing with the cables is a far cry from the whole
                                    untouched wilderness concept they seem to put so much emphasis on with
                                    comparably minor impact issues such as fire circles and (the elimination
                                    of) bear lockers in the backcountry. If the cables had not been put up
                                    in a period with less concern for impact, they'd never be placed there
                                    today.

                                    However, the cable route to Half Dome is there today, and it is an
                                    attraction to many and it draws paying patrons into the valley, I guess,
                                    hundreds each day who may not visit without this goal for their trip.
                                    The money generated by these extra visitors is probably the overriding
                                    economic factor for park management - 500 $20 car entrance tickets alone
                                    each day is $10,000 in the bank. Do that for 3 months and you have a
                                    million bucks you may not collect without the cables. Add money spent at
                                    stores in the valley, and suddenly a set of cables that's not visible
                                    from anywhere but up close by those who venture up there to take
                                    advantage of them makes sense. The side effect of heavy trail erosion up
                                    to the peak is something they have to deal with, though. The steep
                                    section from Little Yosemite Valley to the HD trail intersection is
                                    probably the most eroded and widest section of the entire JMT, although
                                    compared to some French Alsp trails I have been on, this is in perfect
                                    shape. This is all relative, I guess. In Europe, many trails are built
                                    by erosion, nothing else.


                                  • Kim Fishburn
                                    Some of you might be interested in efforts remove the dam at Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite.
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Dec 10, 2010
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                                      Some of you might be interested in efforts remove the dam at Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite.

                                      http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/12/it-quioxtic-work-towards-restoration-hetch-hetchy-valley-yosemite-national-park7321
                                    • herbstroh@charter.net
                                      I hiked half dome about 4 years ago. The number of people on the cables was out-of-control (a Saturday in August). It took us a good 45 minutes to get down.
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Dec 10, 2010
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                                        I hiked half dome about 4 years ago. The number of people on the cables was
                                        out-of-control (a Saturday in August). It took us a good 45 minutes to get
                                        down. People became impatient, and started to go up and down on the outside
                                        of the cables. That works in some places, but they have to come inside to
                                        go around obstacles, and do not have the benefit of the 2x4s to perch on
                                        while waiting. It started to get ugly.

                                        Ahead of me was a 14-15 year old kid who was the last member of his group.
                                        He started to panic with the crush of people and didn't want to move. His
                                        lead group got too far ahead and apparently did not realize the kid iced
                                        over. I had to talk him down, encouraging him to walk down to the next set
                                        of poles and 2 bys whenever space opened up.

                                        Reaching the bottom there was--no exaggeration--150-200 people lined up to
                                        ascend. The line went past where the big rock near the base. I could not
                                        believe there was no control over the number of hikers on the cables.

                                        When we did the JMT in 2008 I knew I did not want to do HD again. We choose
                                        to go to Clouds Rest, and as Peter suggests, it is a far better experience.
                                        About 1,000 feet higher, the view is better and we even had it to ourselves
                                        for awhile. I am not a big fan of regulating and permitting everything, but
                                        in this case the Park Service needs to manage the numbers or pull the
                                        cables.

                                        Herb



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                                      • Ed Gilroy
                                        I have been up HD twice, the people and the risks are part of the experience. I wouldn t change a thing. I agree with Herb, if you don t like the crowds, do
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Dec 10, 2010
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                                          I have been up HD twice, the people and the risks are part of the experience. I wouldn't change a thing.

                                          I agree with Herb, if you don't like the crowds, do Clouds Rest from the other side (TM). Much more of a wilderness experience and the view is superior.

                                          Ed

                                          On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM, herbstroh@... <herbstroh@...> wrote:
                                           

                                          I hiked half dome about 4 years ago. The number of people on the cables was
                                          out-of-control (a Saturday in August). It took us a good 45 minutes to get
                                          down. People became impatient, and started to go up and down on the outside
                                          of the cables. That works in some places, but they have to come inside to
                                          go around obstacles, and do not have the benefit of the 2x4s to perch on
                                          while waiting. It started to get ugly.

                                          Ahead of me was a 14-15 year old kid who was the last member of his group.
                                          He started to panic with the crush of people and didn't want to move. His
                                          lead group got too far ahead and apparently did not realize the kid iced
                                          over. I had to talk him down, encouraging him to walk down to the next set
                                          of poles and 2 bys whenever space opened up.

                                          Reaching the bottom there was--no exaggeration--150-200 people lined up to
                                          ascend. The line went past where the big rock near the base. I could not
                                          believe there was no control over the number of hikers on the cables.

                                          When we did the JMT in 2008 I knew I did not want to do HD again. We choose
                                          to go to Clouds Rest, and as Peter suggests, it is a far better experience.
                                          About 1,000 feet higher, the view is better and we even had it to ourselves
                                          for awhile. I am not a big fan of regulating and permitting everything, but
                                          in this case the Park Service needs to manage the numbers or pull the
                                          cables.

                                          Herb

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                                        • seatreesky
                                          Ah yes, Half Dome, I remember now! -postholer
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Dec 10, 2010
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                                            Ah yes, Half Dome, I remember now!

                                            -postholer

                                          • ekacura
                                            Thanks for the info on Hetch Hetchy Kim, that s great to hear !!! A tribute to the great John Muir !
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Dec 11, 2010
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                                              Thanks for the info on Hetch Hetchy Kim, that's great to hear !!! A tribute to the great John Muir !

                                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Kim Fishburn <outhiking_55@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Some of you might be interested in efforts remove the dam at Hetch Hetchy in
                                              > Yosemite.
                                              >
                                              > http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/12/it-quioxtic-work-towards-restoration-hetch-hetchy-valley-yosemite-national-park7321
                                              >
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