Half Dome Cable Route, Yosemite National Park, California
Towering high over spectacular Yosemite National Park, Half Dome has long beckoned the adventurous. This is a challenge that was once considered beyond human capabilities, with a report in 1865 describing the 5,000-foot summit as ‘perfectly impassible’ and predicting that Half Dome’s highest point would ‘never be trodden by human foot’.
Yet the first successful expedition took place just 10 years later — and climbers and hikers have been drawn here ever since. It’s an arduous undertaking, a 16-mile round trip that takes at least 12 hours, with the final 400-feet of the climb requiring the assistance of the famous — or infamous, depending on your perspective — cables.
This last part is daunting and accidents are not uncommon, with park rangers often required to rescue the unprepared. Planning to tackle Half Dome? Take our advice, leave at sunrise, don’t rush or take risks and be sure to treat it with the utmost respect.