The in between day of rest yesterday was very welcome. I'd say currently stomach 70%, strength 95% and mind default 110%. Good enough to tackle Half Dome. We left the campsite around 5 in the morning for the 14 mile round trip to the top. Or 16 miles. The signposts sometimes contradict eachother.
We left our tents at the campsite and only took some snacks and water in our backpack. Not fully compliant with the rules as you are not supposed to camp in the backpackers area for more than one consecutive night. You can only camp there the night before and after your wilderness trip. Unclear what to do if you do your entire wilderness trip in one day, like us. Long story short, I'm not dragging my tent or bear can up Half Dome.
We made it to the top around noon. The last part going up the cables is quite exhausting and steep. But once at the top, the views are well worth it. Thanks Laura for getting the permits! Hope you enjoyed your birthday on top of Half Dome!
By the time we went back down, mass tourism had started. Traffic jam both ways on the cables. Halfway down the mountain - the top of a big waterfall - it got worse. Hundreds of tourists with no stamina puffing and panting up and down the path, unaware to let faster hikers pass.
Eventually I did make it back to the campground to drop my pack. Ranger Charlie had left us a warning at our tents as we were in violation of the camp rules. We knew. But but the rules don't make too much sense. If you complete the entire hike in one day, you can't camp. Weird.
I went back to the store to meet up with the others. An icecream and pizza later, time for bed. Tomorrow we head back to the pct after two wonderful days in Yosemite Valley.