Half Dome is one of the most amazing sights in a Yosemite tour. Half Dome is one of the most difficult Yosemite rock-climbing challenges in the world. It takes climbers over 7 hours to conquer the 2,000 ft. face.
Half Dome - Information
For many years, Half Dome was deemed unclimbable, but in 1919 a cable route was added to Half Dome's eastern face, and Yosemite hikers can now pull themselves up the steep grade to the top. Weather is a major factor when hiking on Half Dome. To hike to the top and back will take at least 10 hours.
The western face of Half Dome is a sheer cliff, made up of Plutonic granite, and probably was never a full round dome. Half Dome was originally called "Cleft Rock" by the Native Americans who lived in the area. Fractures in the granite of the dome captured water, which went through freezing and thawing, pushing the rock apart and causing 20 percent of the rock to fall away, creating Half Dome's dramatic face.
Half Dome - History
Lightning strikes Half Dome often during rainstorms, and in the summer months, the sun beating down on the trail to Half Dome can be intense, so be in good physical condition and prepared for the challenge!
There is a Native American legend that explains the creation of Half Dome through domestic violence. The legend tells us that a young married couple was arguing. The wife, Tesaiyac, in her despair threw a basket of acorns at her husband as he was chasing after her.
The gods, as a punishment, turned them into stone. The husband became North Dome, the basket became Basket Dome, and Tesaiyac became Half Dome. If you look closely, you can see the outlined profile of Tesaiyac on the face of Half Dome and tears running down her face.