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Getting in Shape

Half Dome

I used to live in San Francisco and always wanted to hike Half Dome.  It never happened and I still really want to do it.  My friends and I are thinking next summer.  Has anyone done it?  Is it hard to get a permit through the lottery system?  Any advice for training or the hike itself?  TIA! 

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Re: Half Dome

  • You don't have to put NWR on this board.  I don't think we care unless it's not getting in shape related  ;)

    i have not hiked it but it is on my list.
  • I peronally haven' ever hiked half dome but my dad did a multi-day hike last summer to do it and I'm really regretting not doing it because when am I ever going to do it if I don't do it now.

    I don't know much of the specifics on him getting the permit but it seemed to go pretty easy and he went during peak summer time.

    As for the hike itself if you just plan on taking things slow and enjoying the hike if your alredy in decent shape I don't think you need to train much except maybe a few steeper hikes just to get used to the steeper inclne that will be hiking up the back of half dome. My dad's story: used to be in great shape 10+ years ago when he was in the army but since then he really does nothing except for the occaional multi-day hike and he did it without training for it.

    Also I guess this pretty much is training is doing a couple mile hike beforehand with everything your planning to carry becaue it's one thing to put that pack on in your living room and it feel ok versus carrying it for hours while hiking.

    For more stories mght want to post this on the local northern califoria and bay area boards for more local people who may have done it.
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  • GiaspoGiaspo member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Oooops! That's funny. Edit to remove NWR.
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  • I'm doing Half Dome next week...my cousin got the permit.  You have to fill out an online form and you give a window of dates- we did not get the exact date we wanted, but close enough.  We had to submit the form by the end of March for the summer cables season (May- Sept. I believe.)
    In terms of training...I regularly do CrossFit (4-5 days/week.) I also incorporated stair training.  Going on long hikes and walking hills will help too.  You need to be fit.  I've also read that doing push ups, pull ups etc helps with the cables- you need upper body strength.
    I'm nervous about the cables more for the sheer height and scariness factor.  I feel that I am in good shape from everything else.  We will start early, go slow and steady and have good snacks.  Also, lots of water and clean eating in the days leading up to it.
  • GiaspoGiaspo member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions and info.
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  • Just thought I'd follow up since I completed my Half Dome hike.
    Yes, I made it to the top and back!  It is a very, very strenuous hike.  It as also very hot that day (100 degrees!)
    My tips for training:
    -do lots of stair training- and not the stair master.  Real stairs where you can skip two and practice taking large steps.  I'm not kidding you, there are literally around 2,000 steps in the hike- and that's just one way.  Some are very tall.
    -do strength training, especially for your legs.  Squats, lunges, dead lifts etc.  Lift heavy.  You need strong legs to power up the hills.  You also need some upper body strength to pull yourself up the cables.  Push ups, pull ups etc will help.
    -Spend a good amount of time doing long hikes, preferrably in the shoes you'll wear.  The more time you have on your feet for long amounts of time, the better.  My feet really hurt at the end of the day- insoles might have helped.
    -Hiking poles would really help with the impact on your knees coming down
    -The days leading up to the hike you need to be really hydrated.  The altitude makes you constantly thirsty.  If you can get up there a couple of days early and acclimatize, I would.
    -Try to stay somewhere with a comfortable bed.  We stayed in tent cabins in Curry Village and they were very loud and the beds extremely unfomfotable.

    It's a hard day, you have to be mentally ready for it.  But it's an amazing view at the top and a worthy accomplishment.  Bring lots of snacks and water!

    Hope you get to do it!

    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_nwr-half-dome?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:e644c030-e11c-4166-a604-d1a364b0a6b2Post:248e0448-075f-4741-845c-e5546525dbd6">Re:Half Dome</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks everyone for the suggestions and info.
    Posted by Giaspo[/QUOTE]
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