aka PCT day 51 – June 9th 2015: Happy Isles – Top of Half Dome – Little Yosemite Valley
We wake up early. Enough with being lazy (o it’s been wonderful though!!!)! It’s time to rock some more trail! JMT the second. Here we goooooo!
Together with Trisha and Spencer from Toronto (who we’ve been sharing the campsite with) we take the shuttle till Happy Isles. They’ll go up the Half Dome cables too today. I redo the picture I took 2 years ago at the mileage sign and then we hike up the JMT while they choose to go up following the Mist Trail. (HQ and I both hiked the Mist Trail before, so we go with the easy peasy JMT outta the Valley this time.) Man it’s a smooth climb up towards Little Yosemite Valley. Much easier than I remember. Ha I didn’t have these awesome PCT legs two years ago! In no time we’re in LYV. We eat our sandwich plus tons of nutella, put up our tent and then hike on towards Half Dome. Clouds are hanging low. It feels like thunderstorms are in the air. I walk up the path towards the Clouds Rest / Half Dome junction for the 3rd time in my life and am flooded with memories. First time I walked here was the day before my mountain lion night at the foot of Sunrise Mountain. The second time after that night. And I can tell you… Down came another woman from that mountain. And now… here I am again. Who am I now? What is waiting for me?
We reacht the subdome an start scrambling up till we reach the cables. Eh!? Didn’t I say I’d never go up those cables again? Ya, well, I guess I was wrong. Here I go again. At the base of the cables a lady, named Maria, offers me her harness and an express and o yeah I gratefully take it. That makes the ascent 100% less scary and 100% more safe so this time I enjoy Half Dome like crazy. I can’t fall, HQ is with me… awesoooome! On top we meet Spencer (Trisha decided the cables are too steep for her) and we take the obligatory diving board pictures. Everything feels like 2 years ago. Except this time the clouds are coming closer so we hurry back down. We chat with Maria and her group. They are super nice and I give her one of my “PCT-thank you-charms”. She made my Half Dome experience so much more enjoyable! On the way down we find Phoenix (a young man from China who’s been living in San Francisco for 7 years already) scared to death, sitting on the slab rock of the sub dome. He’s afraid of heights and can’t go back or forth. So we help him out. Slowly step by step and with a lot of encouraging we manage to get him down to the base of the sub dome. He’s fine now.
Hiking back down to Little Yosemite Valley we wave goodbye to Trisha and Spencer (such a lovely cute couple) and then it starts raining like fuck and the thunder rolls in the sky. Thank God we’re well below the subdome and in the forest already.
We’re back in camp quickly, filter water at the Merced River, drink hot coco and wait for the rain to pass. What an amazing day we had, filled with meetings with kind people and finally we were on Half Dome… together!