Finally, the story regarding my Half Dome climb…
A few years ago, after seeing the Bucket List, I started populating my own list of things I’d like to see and do before I “kick the bucket.” Rather than wait until death was eminent, I set out to start crossing things off of the list. After all, it seems I’m always finding new things to add to the list anyway. My list has doubled since I first created it.
Climbing Half Dome was one of the more physically demanding things on my list. Certainly it makes sense to try to achieve this goal while I am healthy, strong, and most able to appreciate it. There was a man we saw heading out towards the dome that we guessed, based on the equipment on his back, was possibly hitting his bucket list toward the end of his life. The aura about him and his traveling partner seemed to suggest the same. That’s not how I wanted to do it. I’d rather the live-like-you-are-dying approach – then live a long, long time.
After breakfast, we loaded up our day packs and began our trek towards the dome. It was early (0630) and quite chilly. We quickly warmed up and began shedding the various layers of clothing. We traveled through varied views and terrain: winding, rocky, steep, stair-step, dense trees, and open panoramic views. We had it all.
And the people? They were great. Everyone seemed to be upbeat and friendly. You know how I like friendly people. In fact, we chatted up two really cool guys while we were refueling for the final stretch. We ended up getting invited to camp out with them in Tuolumne after we backpacked into the valley. It’s true. But that’s a whole other story.