Most Epic Ways to Descend Half Dome

Snowboarder going down steep
Jim Zellers shredding down the Dome.Getty Images

Thousands are drawn to the top of Half Dome every year. They don’t all descend the same way.

1. Snowboard

In 2000, Jim Zellers became the first snowboarder to shred down the Dome, completing what he called “The Half Brain Project.” He later told Snowboarder magazine that it probably would have been safer just to BASE jump off the summit.

Skiing down steep line

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People climbing steep cable ladder
Getty Images

2. Climb the Cables

Hordes of Yosemite visitors scale the rounded east face’s final 400 feet using a steep cable ladder affixed by park rangers. Coming back down the slick granite is even trickier for exhausted hikers, causing frequent falls and a dozen deaths over the last 15 years. No flip-flops, people!

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Person in wingsuit gliding in sky
Getty Images

3. Fly

Despite strict prohibitions, BASE jumpers regularly fling themselves off the Dome and other Yosemite landmarks. Experienced locals Dean Potter and Graham Hunt perished in 2015 when they jumped from Taft Point wearing wingsuits, failed to navigate across a ridgeline and crashed.

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