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The imposing view of Half Dome dominates the view of Yosemite Valley as the visitor approaches from the West. This one mile high granite monolith, sliced in half by the glacier that carved the present shape of the Valley, is as much a symbol of this National Park as any of the waterfalls and even better known than its sister giant El Capitan. The sheer NW face was first climbed by Royal Robbins and Dick McCracken in 1963. For many visitors (more than 500 a day in the summer), a climb to the top is a challenging goal, and a set of iron cables has been installed for the last 800 feet of climbing to permit a relatively simple, though exposed, hike up its curved east face. This face was descended by snowboard in 2000.  The first paraplegic ascent of the NW face, using arms only, in September, 2001, was completed by  adventure athlete, Mark Wellman, along with climbing partner Mike Corbett.