No Half Dome permit, no problem for Ursus americanus.
That’s right. A black bear scaled Yosemite National Park’s iconic outcrop.
While humans need to obtain a permit to reach the top of Half Dome, and do so by tackling the legendary 425 feet of cable that leads you up the dome’s shoulder, at least one bear stood atop Half Dome recently. Rangers recently discovered evidence of a black bear’s presence on the summit.
“Yosemite bears are excellent climbers and can easily tackle the 46-degree angle — no cables needed!” park staff reported on social media channels.
“This observation serves as a good reminder that bear safety applies EVERYWHERE in Yosemite. Keep all smelly objects, from food to sunscreen, locked in a bear locker or bear canister,” the staff continued. “If you need to keep food in your car during the day, it must be out of sight, with the car windows rolled up and doors locked. At night it must be in a bear locker. While nobody drives up Half Dome, Yosemite bears are great at opening car doors in the valley if they smell something tasty.
“Whether at camp or on the trail, always keep backpacks and scented items within arm’s reach — bears and other animals (like the Half Dome ground squirrels) will approach unattended bags quickly and are likely to create a few new holes before you notice them! For the safety of people and animals alike, keep your friends close and your food closer.”