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The cables allowing trail access for hikers to the summit of Half Dome are up and open for the season today, May 15, 2009.
The Half Dome hike is a round-trip hike of over 17 miles and is considered extremely strenuous. Hikers gain 4,800 feet of elevation along the hike that passes highlights such as Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, before reaching the cables on Half Dome’s steep granite shoulder. A series of metal cables are placed along the steep shoulder of the dome to assist hikers to the summit.
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 lightening are common occurrences in the High Sierra during the summer and fall; hikers should not to attempt to summit Half Dome around or during thunderstorms and are advised to use extreme caution when the rocks are wet.