How to Use a Climbing Rope on Half Dome Cables

How to Use a Climbing Rope on Half Dome Cables
Half Dome is one of Yosemite National Park's most prominent features. The traditional route to the summit of Half Dome is a long and strenuous route that ends with rising cables up the back side of the dome. In addition to wearing shoes with grip and borrowing gloves for the cables, you can also use a climbing rope to clip into the cables as you ascend and descend the back of Half Dome. Clipping yourself into the cables will provide an extra layer of safety and confidence as you work your way up to the summit of Half Dome for an amazing one-of-a-kind view of the valley.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • climbing harness
  • 2 locking caribeaner
  • 2 three-foot long sections of a rope (preferably a climbing rope)
Step 1
Put on a climbing harness. Make sure each buckle is double backed if your harness does not do this automatically.
Step 2
Use a figure eight knot to tie yourself into one end of the two ropes. You should make sure that you are tying yourself into each figure eight knot through the lower and upper loop on your harness.
Step 3
Tie a figure eight knot on the remaining end of each rope and clip a locking caribeaner into each knot.
Step 4
When you initially reach the cables, clip both caribeaners into the first cable and begin ascending the cable route.
Step 5
As you reach a metal rod, unlock the first caribeaner and lock it back on the next section of the cables following the metal rod.
Step 6
After you are securely locked the first caribeaner to the next cable section, move the second caribeaner to the new cable section after the rod and lock it securely. This method allows you to always be locked into the cables with at lease one lock as you ascend or descend Half Dome's cables.

Tips & Warnings

Check that all locks are double backed on your harness and the caribeaners and locked securely at all times.
Always make sure you are locked at least with one caribeaner into a cable. Inspect all equipment before use.

Article Written By Stephanie D

Stephanie D has been writing and exploring the outdoors for as long as she can remember. She has spent time climbing across the United States and backpacking out west. Stephanie D earned her Bachelor of Science in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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