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Yosemite Loop Expedition 2023

In 2018, I went to Yosemite National Park to scale Half Dome. It was a tedious journey that required me to sleep on a sidewalk for 14 hours in order to get permits, and then hike up to the peak the next day. Although it was an incredible trip, I felt it was too easy with the handrails in place and the large crowd of people doing the same thing. In 2022, I learned that you do not need permits to climb Half Dome. If you wait until the off season, they take the handrails down and anyone may climb. So I began replanning the journey, added a few days and a second peak and in the month of October 2023 Niagara Adventure Club took 11 individuals to complete a 5 day journey in the backcountry of Yosemite. Not only did we once again climb Half Dome, this time without handrails and utilizing Harnesses and climbing techniques, but we also hiked deeper into the park, spent a night camped at 9000' above sea level and summited the 10000' peak of Cloud's Rest. It was an amazing and astonishing trip that left everyone feeling highly accomplished.

Pre Hike


On this day the entire team met at Toronto's International Airport and boarded our flight to San Francisco, California. After a short 5 hour flight, we loaded all our gear into a large Ford van and proceeded to head across the state to Yosemite National Park. We made a stop or two for fuel and food and arrived in the park 6 hours later. We made our way to the Backpackers camp where we settled in for the night before our journey into the backcountry of Yosemite. 

Day One

DAY ONE - OCTOBER 15, 2023

We rose early, broke camp and had a quick camp breakfast. We headed to the van to get our gear prepared and by 11am we were off. We climbed 2500 feet to make our way to Little Yosemite Village camp area which would be our home for the next 2 days. It was a challenging day for many of the team, lumbering all our gear up thousands of feet to camp. But we did make a few stops and enjoyed the incredible beauty of waterfalls and mountain peaks along the way.

Day Two

DAY TWO - OCTOBER 16, 2023

Today was the day everyone signed on for. After a good breakfast, we packed our backpacking gear away, left the tents behind and took only what we needed to scale Half Dome. In our daypacks we packed snacks and a lunch, climbing harnesses, Via Ferrata rigs, and prusik cords and began our journey to the base of Half Dome. After a long uphill hike to the base of Half Dome at 7400 feet above sea level, we took a well deserved rest and had lunch. After which, we put on our harnesses and double checked all the equipment before attaching ourselves to the cables to climb the last 1600 feet to the summit. It was no easy task, but everyone did an amazing job and we were able to spend some time up on the summit to enjoy the breathtaking views. After a few hours, we again attached to the cables for the down climb and then hiked our way back to Little Yosemite Camp for dinner and a good nights sleep.