On Friday, Yosemite National Park announced an extension of an interim permit program that limits to 400 the number of hikers who can climb Half Dome on any given day. Two years ago, in response to overcrowding and safety concerns on the popular cable-lined route, Yosemite began issuing permits on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends and holidays and will now move to a lottery system. Last year, permits were required seven days a week. Before 2010, it was not uncommon for more than 800 people to ascend Half Dome on a typical weekday. The 2012 lottery system is designed to deter scalpers, who would buy the $5 Half Dome permits online and sell them at many times their face value. Hikers may enter the lottery in March, or apply for one of the approximately 50 permits available daily from cancellation.
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