I’m not afraid of much. Not spiders, or snakes, or heights, or being lost, or getting punched in the face.
I realize this makes me sound like a hard, emotionless dude, which isn’t the case. I have been known to eat the occasional cupcake or two.
So when you’re planning a trip to Half Dome, one consistent theme you’ll encounter throughout is the dreaded cable discussion. Will you go? Will you stay back/chicken out, wishing you could muster the courage?
The hike up is beautiful, no doubt.
My wife and I sat at the base of the cables for a good hour, watching one dehydrated moron after another tackle these bad boys like pros.
Little old ladies, children, fanny pack foreigners, jocks—you name it, they approached us with kind words of encouragement.
“Oh, come on, you must go up! You came all this way for nothing?”
Thing is, we didn’t. Getting there was awe-inspiring. This portion seemed like an amusement park ride.
We saw people walking on the outside of the cables, people slipping on the rickety 2x4s they have “bolted” into the rock, people gripping the cables for dear life.
At this point, I can officially say I was scared. The manly man in me wanted to saddle up and conquer those cables. The not-so-manly man in me said “you know Eric, this is a fantastic spot to have lunch with your wife, or eat cupcakes.”
After much debate, we finally decided to give it a shot. I went up first, with my wife right behind me.
Blood pumping, head spinning, muscles acting funny. A board slips out of the rock, and I’m thinking “to hell with this” but I press on.
Then a petrified foreign lady is working her way down the cables when she clamps onto me for support. Am I to die here on this blasted rock because Ms. Fanny Pack is convinced I’m a cable post? I am now officially freaking out.
That’s it. We’re done.
If you have conquered the Half Dome cables, I want to hear from you. How did you find it in yourself to risk it all? Was it worse going up, or coming down? Do you value your life? Do you think I’m overreacting?