Sunday, June 04, 2006

MY hike to Half Dome

I am blogging this because I have an infinte sense of achievement (runner's high in other words) and it hopefully will be a part of my training.

We started around 7 on friday (June 2) to Yosemite. Due to the usual delays, managed to reach there by 12:30 am (June 3). We had hotel Clerk set the alarm for 5:00 am.

As usual with the normal delays, by the time we started the hike, it was about 10ish. We took the John Muir Trail, went up vernal falls and along the way to Nevada falls.

We had a very refreshing break in Nevada Falls and as usual plenty of pictures. We reached the bottom of the elephant back pretty soon. But looking up was so scary that I went about in my usual self asking people what they thought about climbing all the way to the top.

Well with that courage, Chethan, Vishwa and me set out on that crazy task. I was shit scared, but the point is DONT EVER LOOK DOWN. Once you know that it is fairly easy.

Vishwa for some more reason I hope I will fathom some day, stopped, as we hit the tall tree on the elphant's back. Magi and me kept plowing.

At the top of the elephant's back was really a great view awaiting us. Magi decided to stay there as he started developing cramps in the left leg.

Though the cables all the way to the top were freaking me out. Though I am terrified of heights, something inside me told me to keep going. One step at a time I kept forging ahead, never once thinking about how I am going to come down.

I picked a pair of gloves and grapped the cabe and kept moving up. Soon I realized my mistake. The gloves had a few holes and the cables were tearing into my hand. If you look at the pictures you will know that there are a series of 2x4s which act as ledges, on with you can rest your feet (my toes).

It took every ounce of energy from me to get to the top. Half my energy was lost trying to fight the fear of heights in me. Anyways after a lot of huffin and puffin made it to the top.

I sat on the boulder and looking at the view, emotions poured out. The view was fantabulous and the hike to the top was worth every step in gold.

I wanted to look down and well I kind of slept on the ledge and peeeeeeeeered down. Boy was it sheer. It was a straight drop. Though it was an awesome sight, I had the courage only to look at it for a few seconds. But those images will remain in my memory for a long long time to come.

It was on our way and at the top that I met Harjinder Dhillon. He is one amazing guy and has been to the top about 6-7 times. :) All the pictures I have were taken by him. We walked around for a while talking in general about life, hike up here and mostly about going down.

He helped me all the way to the bottom, guiding me and constantly reminding me, DON'T LOOK DOWN. Hats of to him for helping a stranger get down. But it wasn't just me. There was another couple too, whom he helped come down. And all he had to say at the end of it was pay it forward.

The down hike was alright, but painful, as I had a few tiny gravel in my shoes and we were going way too fast, to beat the daylight ( I mean get back before it was dark). Also our water supply had run out and kudos to Vishwa for finding some one with a filter to help us get water.

I would not have made it to the top if it were not the encouragement, determination of Chethan, Vishwa and Vivek. Thanks guys. And I would not have it back down, if it were not for Harjinder Dhillon. :)

Last but not the least, I am supremely confident that it is my marathon training that gave me the strength and mental toughness to presevere all the way to the top and back. Go Asha!

It was a phenomenal experience, that I would recommend to everyone.
Pics are in my yahoo photos. Ping me if you want to have a look.

1 comment:

Kaushik Narayanun said...

Good Job, Gunda. Keep rocking and climbing :-)