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Home National & State Parks Yosemite Yosemite’s Tioga Pass Reopens, Half Dome’s Cables Going Up

Yosemite’s Tioga Pass Reopens, Half Dome’s Cables Going Up

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Continuing its efforts to shake off Old Man Winter, Yosemite National Park in California has finally reopened Tioga Pass, and will be putting Half Dome's cables in place for climberson Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

Due to the heavy snowpack this past winter (199 percent of normal) and a cool spring, Park Superintendent Don Neubacher said there is still several feet of snow in the Tuolumne Meadows area.

halfdomecableThe Tioga Road, bounded on both sides by California Highway 120, is the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada. Even though the road is open for all vehicle traffic, visitors are urged to take safety precautions, he added.

There are several no-stopping zones along the road, which are clearly marked with road signs.

Hiking opportunities remain very limited, Neubacher said, and visitors are urged to use extreme caution in the area. Additionally, ice is prevalent throughout the area and stream crossings are treacherous.

All campgrounds along the Tioga Road are closed. All commercial services, including the gas station, store, and village grill, are also closed. There are no anticipated opening dates for any of these facilities at this time.

For park visitors, Neubacher had good news about Half Dome.

Delayed because of the park's heavy snow pack, the cables allowing access for hikers to the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park will be in place and open for the season on Wednesday, June 22.

The trail to Half Dome from Yosemite Valley is an extremely strenuous hike covering over 17 miles. Hikers gain 4,800 feet of elevation along the trail that passes highlights such as Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, before reaching the cables on Half Dome's steep granite shoulder.

Metal cables and wooden planks are placed along the steep shoulder of the dome to assist hikers to the summit.

Visitors are required to have a permit to ascend the Half Dome cables seven days a week. Permits can be reserved three months in advance. For more information on permits and availability, visit
www.recreation.gov. Visitors hiking the trail leading up to the base of the Half Dome cables do not need a permit.

Visitors are advised to take appropriate precautions when planning a hike of this length and difficulty, and to be prepared for changing weather and trail conditions.

Thunder and lightning are common occurrences in the High Sierra during the summer and fall seasons. Hikers should not attempt to summit Half Dome during thunderstorms and are advised to use extreme caution when the rocks are wet.

For more information about visitor services, visit the park's Web site at
www.nps.gov/yose/

 
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