Half Dome Reality ©

Bobbi Rankin at Half Dome

half domeHalf Dome became a reality to me this summer.  That awemanousness  (my new word) of a mountain is indescribable.  Or I could say a mastodon of a mountain.  That giant rock that sits among the clouds 8’000 feet above sea level and 4’000 feet above the Yosemite Valley floor, the distance I climbed.  This hike was on my bucket list and the reality is I can now cross it off.

This was nothing I had ever experienced before.  The training was necessary to make this climb and have the feel of fulfillment and not the anguish of defeat.  I say that because being prepared elevates the anxiety, fear and problems that can occur if you aren’t in shape for this “ mother of all hikes”.  And that’s the reality of this hike.

We started early and got back late.  We had plenty of energy bars and electrolytes to drink.  The energy needed for this hike is the most important ingredient along with physical training.

Nature at its best is how many describe Yosemite.  The wonder and majesty of the granite mountains are breath taking.  The trail to Half Dome is sprinkled throughout with winding tree covered trails, many stairs that are chipped into the granite and beautiful waterfalls.  The Merced River pushes it roaring waters over the cliffs at Vernal and Nevada Falls – such a sight to behold.

When I finally arrived at the base of Sub Dome I’m not sure I’m ready for this untethered climb of over 800 granite cut stairs.   As I have come to realize, not much is said about the Sub Dome.  I now know it is harder to climb than the cables of the Half Dome.  I climb the Sub and get to the base of Half Dome.  I pause to take in the enormity of this next phase of the trip and reflect on how far I have come.   As I look around, I realize that this vast wilderness is there for my pleasure, I respect that and I’m grateful for the experience so far.

What lay ahead is my goal.  Where I’ve come from, is my journey.  Along with me on this journey was Rick, or more fondly referred to as “Mr. Half Dome”. This trip was his 32 in ten years and I felt the privilege of him sharing the stories and folk lore of the trail, the mountain and giving me the grand tour.

The cables were the next adventure waiting for me to grab hold of.  And grab I did climbing almost straight up 800 feet to the top.  I felt the reality of my journey the minute my feet touched the top of the Dome.  At the top, I’d come 4’000 feet to be part of and experience something that was so much bigger than I could have imagined when I had looked up at it from the Valley floor.  There I was eye to eye with the tops of the neighboring mountains taking in that mystical, majestic and spiritual moment.  One I’ll never forget.

In my world this was a reality that was so tangible and mystical that it took my breath away.  In my world this was the hike legends are made of.   In my world I am preparing to do this again next summer.

The reality is…I can.

photo by Mr. Half Dome

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19 Responses to Half Dome Reality ©

  1. Malati Marlene Shinazy

    Sister — You served the experience as much as the experience served you. Your dedication was rewarded with more than an athletic feat. Thank you! xoxoxo — mms

  2. Malati Marlene Shinazy

    Bobbi — Thank you for sharing this chapter in your life. You served the experience as much as the experience served you. — mms

    • Bobbi Parker

      Thanks Malati. I think the experience served me more than the other way around. Still enjoying the euphoria of that moment.

  3. Bobbi, I know how much work you guys put in to prepare for this adventure…congratulations. I really enjoyed you’re description of the experience. Are you really going to do it again?

  4. Congratulations Roberta! You’ve undergone strenuous, consistent training for this hike for two years now. I’m so impressed. For those who don’t know, Roberta first did this hike last year. Unfortunately, the cables to the final ascent were down due to late snow. Not considering this a failure, (such a positive attitude), the hike this year was immediately planned. What a bonus to be in the company of Mr. Half Dome, your original inspiration. Good for you!

    • Bobbi Parker

      Yes AS, two years in the making and worth every minute. But for all, a goal in life is so worthwhile to prusue. Follow your dreams, you never know where they will take you.

  5. Bobbi,

    It was a great day. Congrats on this major goal. You can do anything now!

    Mr Half Dome

    • Bobbi Parker

      It was a great day Rick and you were diffinately a good part of that journey. As AS said, I read your book before last years trip, it was great information. Then I got the newer edition and it was more inspirational. Good job. The day was fun along with it being the fruitation of a two year goal. Thanks for all your help and encouragement. Next year is diffenately in the picture.

  6. Bobbi Parker

    Yes Jim I’ll do it again next year and maybe the year after that. Why not, I say to myself, enjoy it while I can!

  7. Enjoyed the memory of your climb… I was almost there enjoying it with you 🙂
    Thank you for a story well told —

  8. Marge Hiner

    Roberta, I want to hear about the trip back down!
    You are very brave, don’t think I would be up to it.

    • Bobbi Parker

      Well Marge, I guess I didn’t fly back down…..;) It didn’t take as long to go down as it did to go up, but I guess that’s pretty obvious. At the end of the day it felt good to lay down in my bed.

  9. Bobbi Parker

    Dona, so glad I could share this adventure with you!

  10. Bobbi, I can feel the excitement of this hike to which you clearly committed some time back. It’s an inspiring story that causes me to ask… what lofty goal can I set to inspire myself to push my limits of physical and emotional joy?!!?? YOU deserve the congratulations on this!!! Thank you for sharing.

    • Bobbi Parker

      Ah Beth, thanks. You deserve to find that goal that will inspire you and take you to a place you’ve never been. Go for it!

  11. will thompson

    Great story Bobbi. Very much enjoyed having Shinazy and Daniele stay with us. No Half Dome here but some good hiking. Maybe you should think of a trip out our way!
    Best, Bill

    • Bobbi Parker

      Well Bill, I’ll consider that. It would be so fun to spend time with you all and see what hiking options CO has to offer. 😉 Glad you have a good time with Shinazy and Daniele.

  12. Terry Tedesco

    Bobbi, I loved your story. Besides this spectacular feat, you had me right there with you. I think you’re an amazing writer and I can see your article in any travel magazine. Thank you for sharing! XOX Terry

  13. Bobbi Parker

    Hey Terri, so glad you got to read my story. Thanks for the encouragement.
    I’m enjoying this time in my life and I keep coming up with more to write about so, stay tuned.