2012-02-02 / Local News

Park releases Half Dome EA

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My only trip to the Half-Dome

My only trip to the Half-Dome summit was on my 40th birthday almost two decades ago - a truly memorable hike. Judging from that single day, I estimate it was roughly equivalent to Plan C (300 hikers/day) and I felt it was just a bit crowded. Of course each of us up there probably wished we had the place to ourselves. If we assume that the 300 hikers hit the cables between eight and noon, that works out to an average of 1.25 people per minute. Assuming all 300 hikers go up during four hours in the morning and descend between noon and six, then we'd have an average of one person descending every 72 seconds. In my opinion, this is a safe number, minimzing instances of hikers crossing paths on the cables, which can be scary. I vote for Plan C. Keep the cables open, but keep the crowds down to a safe level such that all can enjoy the experience. Another thought for all back-country enthusiasts and climbers, insurance should be a requirement to get a permit. This way, if a rescue were to be necessary, the associated costs would be covered by someone other than the tax-payers.

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