The Action Me: The Story of Man of Action Breaks World Speed Record In Half Dome Climb – Part 5

June 21, 2017

If you think you can stomach it, you can click here to go to the beginning…

The Wrong Direction

We were now serious about this endeavor. 

While I was starting off correctly by putting the right foot (my left foot) first, I cannot vouch for the proper foot conduct of anyone else in the group. I can, however, say with certainty that nobody in the group was going in the right direction to get us on the right trail to the top of Half Dome. 

This was, however, remedied within about five minutes when someone realized that we had walked straight into a cliff. Fortunately, it was the cliff wall that we walked into and not the top edge. 

Naturally, this caused a re-evaluation of our collective sense of direction, and we reversed our course.

NOW we were on the road.

Throughout the night, we made our way along the trail. We saw nary a creature along the way and there were no special incidents . Of course, it was dark so we probably wouldn’t see any, would we?  

One of the highlights of the journey is reaching the top of Nevada Fall. One of the reasons it’s a highlight is that everybody wants to stop and take it in (translation: let’s wait for Bill to catch up). It’s a great resting point after the arduous climb to get there. And it has some pretty spectacular views, even at 2:30 in the morning:

The hours crawled by, and it was getting a little tough on Man of Action. However, I refused to give up and stop. I have developed a sort of mantra and kept repeating over and over in my head. “I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”  

“I should have prepared more for this hike.”

“I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”

“It sure is dark out here.”

“I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”

“I wonder if my sleeping bag back in the tent is comfortable.”

“I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”

“Well, time to stop.”

“I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”

“Are we there, yet?”

“I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”

“Did I leave my guitar turned on back home?”

“I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”

“I wonder what makes my feet hurt.”

“I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”

“Did I remember to turn in my vacation request?”

“I will go as far as I can go and this ain’t it.”

At some point, we came to the “Little Yosemite Valley”. This is always a welcome sight because it means that you are walking on level ground and you will be for a while. Plus, it’s got restrooms, food lockers and tent camping. There is also a river running down the middle of it which eventually becomes Nevada and Vernal Falls.

It really is very beautiful and inspiring.

I took a picture…

photo

 After a brief stop, we continued along our way. 

Donna, knowing that I was a little slower than the rest of the party, stayed with me along the way and kept me company. I hardly had to use my mantra at all – Thank you Donna!

Eventually, the sun began to show itself, and I began to recognize where we were, having been there a couple of times before in the daylight. 

It was time to take another picture…

donna on trail

Donna, just after the sun started to make its appearance.

And another…

me on trail

Me, just after Donna became visible. See how happy I look?

We weren’t there, yet, but we were approaching the switchback steps. These go on for about three seconds short of an eternity.

switchback stares half dome

I didn’t take this photo. Mostly because I couldn’t make my body move in such a way that I could lift my camera. I found it on the interwebs. The steps are a challenge…

Once past the steps, you pass through a couple of large stones and out onto the saddleback. It’s not very wide and it’s about a 5,000 foot drop off either side…

saddleback

2011-07-15_10-03-01_315

A long way down. But it’s faster than walking…

And then…

If you think you can stomach it, you can click here to go to the beginning…

 Click here to go to the next chapter…

 

 

 

 

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