A Spirited hike to the top of Half Dome

Let me start this post by saying… when you get a text message like this on a Friday, you book that plane ticket within a few hours. And thus my Half Dome adventure began.

However, flights from Dallas to anywhere in Nor Cal within a week aren’t exactly the cheapest. And so my first adventure on Spirit Airlines also began. My assessment of Spirit: they’ll get you there, but it will be a pain in the ass. Literally.

Bare fare = zero seat cushioning. Considering I paid $220 roundtrip with a checked bag within a week of traveling, I really can’t complain. I expected the worst going into it and I read enough about how their prices work that I wasn’t surprised. I’ll take Spirit again if the price is right and if the flight is short enough that I won’t lose all feeling in my backside.

But within a few hours I found myself in my home state of California! Then a few more hours on the road I found the forest!

After setting up camp and having some dinner, the group all went to bed early so we could get up for our 2:30am alarms. Thankfully I stayed on Texas time this whole trip so it wasn’t as painful. After stumbling around the campsite in the dark for oatmeal we hopped in the car and drove over to the village where we could park and started walking at 4:40am.

A mile or two in we actually got to the trailhead but don’t be deceived by this trail marker, we took a longer route up via the John Muir trail. Roundtrip to the parking lot was 19.35 miles and made for a very long day.

But starting early also made for some amazing sunrise views over Nevada Falls with Half Dome peeking out in the back.

A few miles later here I am on the bridge over the falls.

Just out of revenge here is my photographer Louis, who apparently likes to sneak selfies in the middle of pictures he takes of you.

Most of the hike really wasn’t that hard in my opinion. Sure it was up a mountain but it wasn’t especially difficult until the last mile to the top. Then you start getting to this part where it is insanely steep granite steps going up the rocks. Keep in mind this is about 9.5 miles in and your legs area already tired.

Then you get to the top of that segment and can see the goal! Shortly followed by the thought of oh crap it’s still way up there.. and yet only 0.25 miles away…

And then you get to the cables. This is why they only give out 300 passes a day. You can only have so many people trying to go up and down these at the same time. Parts of this are a 45% incline and you have to pull yourself up by your arms to each plank.

Yet we persevered and made it to the top, all together just like we promised from the beginning.

For the Frito people out there, this is a RSR, DSL, GTM Manager (and husband), and Finance Manager. There was a fair amount of chip talk going on.

Then since I was finally at the top I had to take pictures off of the famous “diving board”. At first I saw others doing it and didn’t want to go anywhere near it, then I realized there is a good chance I’ll never be up there again so damnit I will get pictures of my legs hanging off the edge!

Yes I planked. No I did not realize my toes were that close to the edge. Sorry Mom!

After taking pics and having some snacks it was time to start trekking back down. This time we took a slightly shorter route down the Mist Trail. Appropriately named since we were much closer to Nevada and Vernal Falls, the mist felt great on that hot day!

I can’t thank my friend Sara enough for inviting me on this trip. I really hope to do it again someday, but if I never do at least I can check it off the bucket list. Fun fact, Sara and Louis got engaged at the top of Half Dome on a previous trip. Second fun fact, Sara and I hiked in Yosemite starting from the same place 4 years ago and one day to our hike on Friday! That time it was to Glacier Point and was also a great hike.

Then and now, almost the same place 🙂

Another fun fact, hiking ~20 miles over 11+ hours makes you hungry. Pizza, wine and ice cream all very well deserved.

The next day (after a short hike) I had to head back and made it back home around midnight. But not before getting a huge bag of Gu! Louis Gu-ey works for Gu and totally hooked me up with all sorts of running and biking fuel! Can’t wait to try out some new flavors!

For some reason I can’t sit still after a trip. Sunday I still got in a bike ride, and a GoT finale party. I will miss these Sunday nights for a while!

And now back to some nice flat Texas runs 🙂