The cables that allow hikers to walk up the sheer face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park will be removed for the season on Tuesday, leaving the route accessible only to skilled rock climbers. The 400-foot section of metal cables and wooden slats, which were first installed by the Sierra Club in 1919, creates a kind of staircase to the top of Half Dome from spring to fall.
There were no fatalities on this part of the trail in 201--but there was at least one dramatic ordeal.
The video above, posted by James Williams on YouTube, captures a rescue late in the day on June 22 when a hiker from San Jose reached out to grab a hand-held radio someone else had dropped and slid out of the cables, according to a park report. He fell but stopped himself by grabbing a ledge on the rock face, leaving him in a precarious spot.
As the video shows, fellow hikers, including Williams, according to the video, removed the cables and used them to save the stranded hiker. After the rescue, park officials reinstalled and tested the cables before reopening them to the public.
Four hundred permits each day were awarded lottery-style this season. In August, the route and the cables quietly earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.