A writer confronts The Cables at the Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

So now what? Do I hurl my hands forward and reach for the cables, hoping in the split second my hands are free I don’t slip? Or should I shuffle my feet ahead, then pull my body forward? I look up. The next set of posts is close. I inhale, hurl my right leg forward and catch it on the right post. The Fat Ankle has landed. I curl my leg around the post and heave my body into a standing position. If a crab and a tree sloth had a one-night stand, I could be their lovechild. The lovechild takes a breath. Looks down.

Okay, six feet. Not so far. But still.

Last summer I hiked around the Half Dome for a whole day and it pretty much allowed me to take the place off my Life List. The parts that are not straight up are still amazingly steep. Lots of folks who have fear of heights chicken out at The Cables. I’m sure I would. One man’s fear is another man’s survival instinct.