Its kinda cool that the park service made this for the general visitor to make his/her way up to the top of Half Dome. I would bet in our contemporary times, environmentalists would scream about having such a thing installed nowadays. Nevertheless, it is indeed a breathtaking view from the top.
Amazing what the "Govt. Folks" can get away with! God help anyone caught using a power drill in the park these days.Or maybe they used hand drills! "Damn those people can drill." I'm surprised the "Park Service" doesn't charge a user fee for this handrail yet, or do they already! I don't see anyone carrying poop tubes,so look out for those cow pies. Mooooo.. Oh my god, look there is a shiney object on that rock honey..(I think that is a bolt.)
The cable route was constructed in 1919, so understand that things were a bit different back then. Nowadays, the presence of the cables is a seasonal thing, as they are removed from late fall through the spring. And regarding the poop tubes, the NPS has a new contract with Diamond Environmental Service who has put a half a dozen porta-potties up there so no worries there.
ATS, you have a lot of knowledge of this place. I had no idea that rail was installed way back in 1919. Anyway I can't help to wonder how they do repairs when needed on the rail. I wonder if they use power drills or something like a big hand drill? Hopefully they practice their (No Power Drill Policy) Practice what you preach kind of thing.
Port o potties??? Are you effin kidding me!!! Look at all those fat people in a place they don't belong, a place that can and has killed their kind. I am trying so hard to abide by "Guideline #1" here so forgive me for riding the fringe, but I am a climber, it is in my nature to be on the edge. This is a terrible sight to see, I think that people that do not take the time to learn the respect it takes to be in an environment of this nature have absolutely no right to be there. They are an endangerment to themselves and others. Look at the booze wings hanging off those folks where their triceps should be. That is a clear indication of someone unfit to be in the hills. from a walk off perspective those cables are great, from a fish out of water perspective they suck!!! As a climber I'd say chop em and bring whatever semblence of sanctuary Half Dome can have back. Of course it is hard to bring sanctuary back to a place that The North Face (a subsidiary of Vanity Fair Company) logo is based on.
Daniel C. - Although there's a fair bit of truth to what you say I wouldn't say they are "unfit to be in the hills".
The hike up to Half Dome and back is about 17 miles round trip and involves an elevation gain of 4800' - hardly the realm of those who are truly unfit. True, the average tourist on the cable route may not be in the best of shape, but they give it their all and no doubt have a lifetime of memories afterwards - so cut them some slack.
Daniel writes: I am trying so hard to abide by "Guideline #1" here so forgive me for riding the fringe, but I am a climber, it is in my nature to be on the edge.
Dude... you must be soooo Rad! On the edge? I think you are over the edge on this one. Guideline #1..... Show some fukkin respect for someone doing what they enjoy. Lighten up. You ain't all that badasss yourself.
Give them credit for pushing their limits as we sometimes do when we go climbing. At least they are not sitting on their duffs in a car or tour bus. Hopefully it gives them enough appreciation of our earth to help save it. We need all the help we can get.
Firstly, I am not a "badass" I am a purist with tolerances. As for being on the edge, yes I am on the edge of my abilities and I keep pushing, whether I am skiing, snowboarding, climbing, or riding a bike. I have no conquest to be "Rad" I am just being. And yes these people are doing what they love. I can't blame them for seeing a road and taking it, rightfully my angst should be directed towards John Conway, George Anderson, and The Sierra Club. But again, these folks had no idea what can of worms they were opening. Now it's there, now it must be maintained b/c it brings tens of thousands of dollars into the local economy. The image of it is like a turd smeared across the Mona Lisa, but that's life for you I guess. My appologies for my impulsive misdirection.
When I see a place like this with traffic like that I get fumed. Remember, John Muir called Half Dome "A temple lit from above", and many like myself consider peaks steeples carved by the very hands of creation. In the early days of Yosemite the Sierra Club described Half Dome as being "Perfectly Inaccessable" That "perfection" is now a memory (not a bad thing, but on this scale, not great either). When you grant access like this to throngs of people preservation (litter, people dropping their belongings, etc.) travels a bit closer to the wayside. I think the idea of a handrail going up a mountainside is tragic. It's like putting training wheels on a motorcycle.
The cables aren't removed in the off-season, only the supports. The cables are still there, they're just laying on the slab instead of supported by the little poles. You can go down them in this condition. (I have. In the dark.)