Don't Look Down

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's official: I made it to the top of half dome! And it is officially the most terrifying thing I have ever done. Am I proud of myself? Heck yeah! Will I ever do it again? Heck no! You truly can not understand what it is like to look up at those cables on half dome unless you have been there. I have heard of friends climbing it before, but to experience it myself was completely different. I do not have a fear of heights but when you are climbing up a sheer rock face without a harness you tend to develop one!

When it came to crunch time I honestly didn't know if I was going to be able to do it. I hesitated way too long at the base of the cables weighing out my life and how much it meant to me. I was literally trembling with fear and thought that I might vomit lose my Luna bar or just start crying out of sheer terror. I sound like such a baby, right? One of the things I thought of was "I told all my readers that I was going to do this so I better sack up." Can you believe that blogging had that much of a peer pressure effect on me?! Along with this another factor pushing me up that face was the fact that my own mother-in-law had already done it before! And if she can do it I can do it!

And so I went. Matt was in front of me and his uncle was behind me. If I was goin' down Uncle Bruce was comin' with me! I didn't stop shaking the whole way and I never once took my eyes off of my feet. Matt was so encouraging and I will never forget when Uncle Bruce said, "Natalie, I'm praying for you right now. That you have courage and strength." And trust me...I was praying too! "Dear God, please don't let me die on Half Dome." :)

Getting to the top was surreal. I couldn't believe that I had pulled my weight up those cables and survived. It felt so good to be on somewhat level ground. The way down was much easier and I actually looked out over the valley instead of at my feet. And it was my turn to encourage the climbers who were now in the position where I had just come from. 

the view from the sub dome looking up at the cables. can you see them?

 that is definitely a fake smile from me. i was really panicking!

 the beginning. i'm in pale green.

 2/3 of the way. and by far the hardest/scariest/steepest part.

 we made it! now this smile is sincere. :)

we're crazy!

 zen rocks

 this marmot ate some poor guys sandwich! how did he get to the top?!

 yes i am buff!

a victory kiss

Overall I am glad that I climbed Half Dome but the anxiety and fear that it gave me is enough to know that I will never do it again. Nor will I ever let my kids do it. Or my husband. Or anyone else I love for that matter! Let's just say I have a very healthy respect for that mountain now! So what do you think? Are you planning a trip to Half Dome after reading this?


  1. Holy cow girl! You ROCK!!!!! Those pictures are amazing! I honestly don't think I would have done it- not one bit. You can forever say you completed it!!!

  2. darn that marmot! just looking at these photos make me nervous. way to go, nat!

  3. awesome hike and climb! way to go!!! the pictures are awesome. hmm, i would have done that years ago...not sure if i would now? i feel like i am less adventurous these days. :)

  4. Congrats on such a huge accomplishment!! I am SO scared of way could I have done that! But so cool that you made it!

  5. OMG SO impressed! but yes, now that you've done it stay safe and put it on your 'completed and never do again' list.

  6. That's amazing! I love Yosemite, but I don't think I could have the courage to climb those cables...yikes! What a great accomplishment =)


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