Considering a Hike up Half Dome?
There is a great article in the San Francisco Chronicle this weekend entitled, "DANGER ON THE DOME". It's subtitled, "Overcrowding: Hikers swarming Yosemite's Half Dome create a bottleneck at the treacherously steep granite climb to the summit". I've never climbed Half Dome, and hadn't realized that a climb to the top could easily be accomplished as a day hike. I guess I'm in the minority of Yosemite travelers that didn't know this, because have a look at the photos in the article! Everyone is climbing that thing. In fact, the article says waiting to ascend may take 45 minutes or more. I don't think I'd feel too comfortable in that position, stuck on a 45 degree slope hoping the guy in front of you doesn't fall backwards. I mean, look at that, people are stacked on top of each other climbing those Park Service provided cables up the mountain.
The article gives focus to the dangers present hiking this challenging route. Among the dangers cited, people are arriving quite unprepared. Folks don't bring enough water, and their hiking gear is sub-par (did you catch the photo of the person climbing the mountain in sandals?). As you may recall, three people have died on Half Dome in just the last year, and according to the article, a fourth would have been a goner if his clothes hadn't caught on the cable before he slipped over the edge.
The article ends with some interesting facts regarding deaths in the park. While Half Dome has received some attention lately, people are more likely to die in water related accidents -- like falling from the top of a waterfall. Gruesome.