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simone54's avatar

Do you think I will be ready to hike Half Dome?

Asked by simone54 (7565 points ) February 26th, 2014

I have a trip to Yosemite booked for July. I would really like to climb Half Dome. I’m aware of it’s difficulty and that I would need a permit to climb the cables at the end.

Right now, I’m 32, I’m about 20 over pounds weight and I will lose my breath running about 10 yards. I live in San Diego. There are a lot of walks around my neighborhood with slight elevation gain and there are plenty on mountains hikes.

If I walk about 10 miles and do a hike every week, do you think I’ll be ready to conquer Half Dome?

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11 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Thats a good plan. Look for as many hills as you find and take longer, steeper hikes as often as you can.
You don’t put an out of condition race horse in a race and you don’t climb a mountain if you are tubby and can’t breathe well.
Go forth Mountainbisquit. lol

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Lots of walks with a long rise, the hike is an all day ( 10 or 13 hours ) at almost a mile high. Go for it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Be careful. You’re taking on Mother Nature and she can be mean if you cross her. If you can’t go 10 yards now you really need to work on the conditioning. I’m in the East and our mountains aren’t big but they are challenging.

Judi's avatar

Why don’t you train with Team in Training and do a half marathon first? You might be ok for the hiking portion but how will you train for the climbing portion?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Judi GA. Simone, get a guide. It’s not cheap, but neither is a funeral.

LDRSHIP's avatar

Know anybody who has climbed it and/or trained for it? They would probably be best to ask.

I’d say you need to get in better shape, but need a good plan and a solid diet which is framed for your mission.

Cruiser's avatar

I have two suggestions here…find a high school or college outdoor sports stadium and stair climb the seats with a 25 lbs of weight in a back pack to condition yourself for the climb up and climb down from the mountain. Climbing down trails is treacherous when your legs are exhausted rubber bands from the climb up.

Secondly plan the climb at the very end of the trip to allow your sea level body to adjust to the change in altitude you will be up against. I would even plan some short hikes at lesser altitudes to again condition your body to the altitudes.

I have been in the mountains many times and remember flying into Denver, renting a car and driving straight to Rockie Mountain National Park went on the shortest hike they have to Bear Lake and got totally slammed with altitude sickness. A totally unfun experience and the headaches and nausea made me want to die on the spot.

Do download that app in @Judi‘s link it look like a stellar guide with sage advice to help you plan your hike. It says: “I include advice on preparation – but you need to be in top condition to do this hike painlessly”

Smashley's avatar

I can’t tell you how many pathetic, red-faced, wobbly-legged fools I’ve seen coming down from half-dome. That said, most of them pulled it off. Things to think about to increase your chances of pulling it off (and not falling to your death, which does occasionally happen to the inexperienced/overconfident):

Every good decision counts, and so does every bad one.
Drink lots of water. (By which I mean, drink what seems like a lot, then drink more)
Start early, but don’t skimp on sleep
Use collapseable hiking poles with wrist straps for the cables
Wear a wide brimmed hat, light long sleeved shirt and sunglasses. The sun can be merciless up there

Train train train – don’t break yourself, but it sounds like you’re a little out of shape. This isn’t the end of the world but Half Dome is a real hike, and the better shape you’re in the more likely you are to pull it off without destroying yourself. Do long day hikes (15 miles is a good goal) with steep sections, and practice carrying some weight as well. This isn’t a walk in the park (even though it technically is). Sounds like you have some time before the hike though. If you start training now, you’ll be fine for July.

Good luck!

simone54's avatar

If anyone is still following this…

I WAS ready and I did it!

Also, proposed to my girlfriend up there.

Coloma's avatar

Woo Hooo double congrats!
Maybe a little half dome coming. lolol

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