Yosemite National Park officials announced Monday that day-use permits to climb the Half Dome cables will be required seven days a week for the 2011 summer season.
An interim program that required permits on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays was implemented by the National Park Service in 2010 to better regulate the number of hikers using the cable system. Safety issues have arisen from crowding, which has also led to long waits on the popular hike.
Although the interim program worked well on the permit days, visitor use on the cables during days when permits were not required reached peak weekend levels -- thus the change to a seven-day-per-week requirement for next year's summer season.
The Half Dome day-use permits will be available starting March 1, 2011 for climbing the cables in May and June 2011. Subsequent permits will be available at the beginning of each month for permits three months in advance.
Reservations for a permit can be made through www.recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777. Up to four permits may be obtained under one reservation, with each person climbing the Half Dome cables required to have their own. Permits are free, but there is a nonrefundable $1.50 service charge for each permit obtained.
The Half Dome cables are generally in place from mid-May through mid-October, depending on snowpack and weather conditions.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: A view of Yosemite's Half Dome and climbers using the cable. Credit: Scott Gediman / National Park Service