The seasons are changing in Yosemite National Park. Temperatures are dropping and fall foliage is beginning to explode as park officials begin the transfer into autumn and eventually winter. With that transition, the cables on Half Dome have been removed, essentially ending the climbing season on Yosemite’s preeminent rock.
The cables of Half Dome were originally installed in 1920 and updated various times in the hundred years since to allow regular hikers to reach the top of the summit. The two metal cables allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment.
The cables are installed during the springtime, typically in May, and removed in the fall to avoid any dangerous activities on the rock face. The granite rock face can become very slick in wet conditions, making the climb very dangerous even with the cables. Now that the cables have been removed, it is highly recommended not to attempt the climb, even though daredevils and experienced climbers are known to do so.
“With the cables down, we strongly discourage hikers from attempting to summit,” wrote Yosemite officials in a statement. “Summiting Half Dome with the cables down requires technical knowledge, experience, and equipment.”
Prospective Half Dome hikers will now have to wait until next spring to reach the top of the summit. If you want to begin planning your hike for next year, don’t forget to prepare for the Half Dome hiking permits, which typically open in April.