BIR GUNDE HALF DOME (San Francisco'dan gunu birlik!) / HALF DOME IN A DAY (From San Francisco and back!)

Half Dome'un tepesi / The top of Half Dome

Half Dome'un tepesi / The top of Half Dome

Yosemite Milli Parki Amerika'daki en guzel milli parklardan biri. Genel olarak bu ulkedeki milli parklar, burasi ile ilgili en sevdigim ve begendigim sey diyebilirim. Yosemite San Francisco'ya yaklasik 3-4 saat uzaklikta ve epeyce turist cekiyor. Bir dolu gorulesi guzel noktaya, hem yuruyus hem de tirmanis rotalarina sahip. Half Dome'da hem tirmanis hem de yuruyus icin harika bir hedef.  Eger duz! duvarini tirmanmak istemiyorsaniz, arka tarfindan tepeye ulasmak mumkun. Half Dome'un arka tarafina kadar yoldan itibaren yaklasik 8 mil yurumek/kosmak gerekiyor. Son kismi da kayaya cakilmis metal bir kabolya tutunarak yapiliyor, cunku cok dik. Tahmin edilecegi uzere bu cok populer bir rota oldugu icin Milli Park tarafindan bir gun icinde normal duvar ya da patika rotasinda kac kisi olacagi sinirlandirilmis. Bahar sonu ve yaz aylari icin cok onceden izinlerin alinmasi gerekiyor cunku bu vakitler en kalabalik zamanlar. Ben onceden bircok kereler basvurmaya calismistim ama kalabaliklar yuzunden hevesim kacmisti izin almak da hic nasip olmamisti. Ekim basinda Veronica ile hafta icin bir gun sansimizi denemeye karar verdik. Ama Ekim 15'te de celik kablolar kaldirildigi icin (hava sartlari yuzunden Ekim 15 sonraasi o kisim kapatiliyor) cok fazla gunumuz yoktu. Onceden izin alamayanlar icin gitmeyi planladiginiz gunden iki gun once Park yonetimini arayip basvurunuzu yapiyorsunuz kalabalik olmayan mevsimlerde, iptal vs durumlarina gore Park size 24 saat icinde evet ya da hayir ile geri donuyor. Ben 3 Ekim pazartesi iki kisi icin randevu talebimizi yaptim, ertesi sabah evet emaili gelisti bile! 5 ekim Carsamba sabahi erkenden yola ciktik. (Normalde bir suru insan Half Dome icin 2 gun ayiriyor - bir gece kamp yaparak 16 mil/25.7kmlik ve 4800ft/1463m irtifa kazanimli rotayi iki gunde tamamliyorlar). Ogleden once de patikaya girmistik bile! Ikimiz de antremanli oldugumuz icin fotograf cekmek disinda cok vakit kaybetmeden hizli bir sekilde yol katettik kablolara kadar.  Tepede kisa bir ogle yemegi ve fotograf molasindan sonra inise gectik, toplamda 6,5 saat sonra arabaya geri gelmistik bile ama onumuzde 3-4 saatlik geri donus yolu vardi. Gece 12de evimdeydim harika bir gunun sonunda! Haftaici bir gunu boyle bir maceraya ayridigimiz icin ikimiz de tum bir haftasonu calismak zorunda kaldiysakta pisman degildik! :)

Vernal selalesi / Vernal fall

Vernal selalesi / Vernal fall

Half Dome'un tepesine cikan celik kablolar / Steel cables leading to the top

Half Dome'un tepesine cikan celik kablolar / Steel cables leading to the top

Yosemite National Park is one of the best national parks in the US. I can easily say that national parks in this country are the one thing I love the most about here. It is about 3-4 hrs drive to San Francisco and attracts the crowds all the time as it has a lot of great vistas, hikes, and climbs. Half Dome is one of those attractions in the park whether you climb one of the routes on the wall leading to the top or whether you take the trail to reach the top hiking from behind (about 8 miles roundtrip with 4800ft elevation gain).  The last part of the trail is "a steep hike" to the top and the Park service puts steel cables during the summer season. Because of the crowds though, the park service also put a cap on the number of people who can be on the wall or on the trail on any given day so one has to apply for permits in advance. Since the popular seasons are at the end of Spring and Summer, it is almost impossible to get a permit unless you act way in advance assuming you know exactly which day you will be going up there. I haven't had a chance to go to Half Dome because of this permit hassle until this year. I knew that off-season, one could apply for a day permit contacting the Park service 48hrs in advance and that's what I did on October 3 Monday. I also knew that the park service was going to remove the steel cables by October 15 (due to season change). I got the confirmation from the parking service the next day for my permit for October 5 so me and my friend Veronica left early in the am driving towards the park! It took us about 3.5 hrs and we were on the trail before noon and we moved as fast as we could and stopped only to take photos until the cables. After lunch and some more photos on top, we made our way down back to the trail and run back to our car. It took us about 6.5 hrs with all the stops from car to car.  The 3-4 hr drive back to SF was a dread but ok. I was at home by midnight and very grateful for such a great escape. Taking a day off midweek cost both of us to work all weekend but it was totally worthed so no regrets! :)