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Hiking on Yosemite’s famed Half Dome delayed due to snowpack

Hikers who were hoping to scale Yosemite National Park’s famed Half Dome peak this year may have to wait to tackle the strenuous hike: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that, due to the historic season of snowfall California has experienced, the park is delaying opening the top of Half Dome for at least one week.

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The hike to the top of Half Dome can be grueling but is world-renowned. Photo: Courtesy of Nagaraju Hanchanahal/Flickr

According to the Times, park officials usually install the cables needed to scale the sheer upper portion of Half Dome the Friday prior to Memorial Day. But, due to the heavy snowpack on Half Dome Trail this year, the park will wait until at least June 2 to install the cables.

“Due to lingering snow, the installation of the Half Dome cables will be delayed until at least June 2 this year (instead of May 26),” Yosemite National Park wrote in a Facebook post bout the delay. “If you have a Half Dome hiking permit for the dates between May 26 and when the cables are installed, your permit fee will be refunded.”

As referenced in the park’s Facebook post, aspiring hikers who want to scale Half Dome Trail have to apply for a permit to do so.

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Yosemite Valley, in all its splendor. Photo: Courtesy of Pexels

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Yosemite issues 225 day-hike permits each day for Half Dome, which can be applied for through a lottery system. In addition to the 225 daily passes, Yosemite makes an additional 50 permits available that can be applied for two days before visitors plan on hiking the trail.

Earlier this month, Yosemite announced that it is increasing the permit fees for ascending Half Dome to a $10 application fee and a $10 permit fee for the upcoming hiking season, which is scheduled to end on October 10. The application fees were previously $4.50 online and $6.50 by phone, while permit fees were $8.

The 14-mile roundtrip hike to the top of the 8,839-foot granite dome is renowned for the incredible views it offers of Yosemite Valley and for the staggering 4,800 feet of elevation gain covered during the trek.

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