Guys, I hiked Half Dome this past weekend with my cousin… It was way harder than I thought it would be!
This hike has been planned since back in February and this past weekend the date finally arrived. (We hiked on Friday, 9/11 which was, I think, a slightly ominous date). Because of the recent fires around Yosemite and the fact that Friday was supposed to be 103 degrees, we started hiking at 11:30pm Thursday night… Yes, you read that right. Thursday night!!
Now, if you know me, you know that I am terrified of the dark. Especially the dark in the woods. Especially the dark in the woods with just my cousin and I. To say that my anxiety level was high would be an understatement. It was through the roof! My only focus was to get to the cables and get there fast. My cousin called it a death march because I was going so fast and didn’t want to stop. I didn’t think it was that bad… Of course I was praying the entire time we would not die. Seriously, I prayed the entire time and was finally able to breath a sigh of relief when a very nice couple passed us on the trail at about 4:15 in the morning. Knowing that we weren’t the only ones out there somehow made me feel better.
Anyway, we got to the cables at about 4:40. It was pitch dark. The couple that passed us bravely scaled the cables in the dark. That was definitely not going to happen with us so we found a rock and waited for an hour for the sun to rise and enough light to see more than just two feet in front of us. This might have been a mistake because for the next hour we sat there and looked at the enormous mountain we were about to climb… Talk about a huge mind game!
When we finally decided to climb the cables, I somehow got it in my head that if I did not sprint up the cables, I wouldn’t make it. So I was like a mad woman racing up the cables. When I finally decided to slow down and regain my composure about 1/3 of the way up, I panicked. I thought, you know, this is so not worth it. I do not care that I make it to the top. The risk of death is so not worth it to me. I’m coming down. So I yelled down to my cousin that this is it, I can’t go any further, get me down! I know, it was a little dramatic.
The hike back was grueling. Much harder than I anticipated. Because we hiked in the dark and could only see a few feet in front of us, I did not realize how many stairs we climbed. We climbed, literally, a gazillion stairs. Yes, a gazillion. At least that’s what it felt like. Towards the end I just wanted to get home and shower and sleep. Every bone and muscle in my body was screaming at me and all I wanted was a milkshake. Of course, when do I never not want a milkshake?!
Despite the pain and exhaustion and the fact that I said I would never hike it again, I’m already on planning on going back. Even though we didn’t make it up the cables and I lost years off of my life from that anxiety filled night hike and my calves still hurt 4 days later, it was all worth it! Who knows if I’ll make it up the cables next time but I’m sure going to try again!