Lachowsky Descendents and Extended Family
who have Hiked to the Summit of
(called “Tis-se-yak”by the Ahwahneechee)
in Yosemite National Park, California

This hike, a kind of “rite of passage” begun by Eugene M. Portner with his oldest kids in 1964, was a major feature of the 2005 Reunion and is now…
a Family Tradition!

[List is by birth order of the children of Frank and Lena Lachowsky, and by birth order within family branches, with year(s) of ascent. A proud few made it to the cables, though not to the summit, and are designated by an asterisk * with year in parentheses.]

“I Made It To The Top!”

Kathleen Cusick: 2005
(oldest gal!)

Jay Dunbar: 2005

Tim Cusick: 2005
Eugene M. Portner, 1964
Mike Portner: 1964, 2008
(oldest guy: 58 years 6 months)

Chris Portner, 1964
Carolyn Portner, (2005*)
Jason Portner, 1995
Kim Portner, 2005
Chris Portner, Jr., 2005
Suzy Portner, 2005
Paul Portner, 1964, 1974, 2005, 2008
(tied with John for most ascents; leader of most leisurely one day & half-a-night roundtrip--approx 17 hrs-- with Fred, Jeanne, Carolyn, Julie, and Kim)

Mark Portner, 1964
(youngest guy?: 10yrs ?? months, pending determination of 1964 date; most courageous solo ascent by a pre-teen, or perhaps by anyone! See STORIES.)

Brian Portner: 2005
Erin Portner: 2005
Tim Portner: 2005

Mary Portner, 1974

Jeanne Portner Keeler, (1974*), 2005
Fred Keeler, 1974, (2005*)
Dan Keeler, 2005
Julie Keeler, 2005
Freddy Keeler, 2005
Mike Keeler, 2005

Katy Portner Salcido, 1974
Nick Salcido, 2005

David Portner, 1974, 1978, 2008
Mary G. Portner, 2008
Gregory Portner, 2008
Elizabeth Portner, 2008
(youngest gal: 13 yrs 4 mos)

Jim Portner, (1974*), 1984, 2005
Sherry Portner, 2005

John Portner, 1974, 1984, 2005, 2008
tied with Paul for most ascents;
youngest guy?: 10 yrs ?? months, pending determination of 1974 date)

Matt Portner, 2005
Sara Portner, 2008
Bryan McCutcheon, 2005
Keith Friedlein, (2005*)
Dave Holligan, 1983, 2005
Christi Holligan, 1983, 2005
Dan Holligan, 2005
Brian Holligan, 2005
Kevin Holligan, 2005
fastest roundtrip: 7.5 hours -- 6am to 1:30pm;
Team Holligan also included Bryan McCutcheon & Keith Friedlein)
(cousin of Frank Lachowsky)
Robert Louis Lachowsky: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004
Kyle Louis Lachowsky (twin): 1998, 2001
Paul Jacob Lachowsky (twin): 1998, 2001
John Troy Lachowsky: 2004

List maintained by Dr. Jay Dunbar: send additions/corrections to


Suggested reading: Bob Madgic, Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome. Burford Books, 2005.


Check out a live view of Half Dome, sponsored by the Yosemite Association, a non-profit park support group. The image is updated every couple of minutes:


See this webpage for a map and a good description of the hike: .


Also, check out for crucial information regarding the Half Dome Hike. For example, the list below is from that site, although the version presented here has been somewhat revised:

Things to Take With You to Hike Yosemite's Half Dome:
  1. Water. Lots of water. Recommended amount is 1/2 -1 gallon.
  2. Water purifier pills (“Potable Aqua” is a two-tablet set where one purifies and another neutralizes the taste of the first), a micro-filter or micro-filter water bottle. Streams may contain parasites.
  3. Food (high energy, light weight), such as food bars, Lunchables, trail mix (“gorp”), granola bars, dried fruit, raisins, cheese & crackers or high protein drinks like Ensure.
  4. Gloves (leather or rawhide, not winter type), to protect your hands on the cables. (A pile of castoff gloves is usually at the base of the cables... if you want to take a chance the gloves will be there).
  5. Spare socks (to put on after cooling feet in a stream on the way down).
  6. Mole skin (to put on sore spots on toes, precut or bring pocket knife).
  7. Kleenex or toilet paper (only pit stops are at Vernal Fall bridge, Nevada Fall, & Little Yosemite Valley campground), and plastic zip-lock bag to pack out your waste paper.
  8. Plastic bag containing: Band-Aids, gauze pads & tape, Neosporin, pain reliever, rub-on ointment like Ben Gay, Traumeel, Arnica, etc. for sore muscles… whatever other first aid items that would make you feel better prepared.
  9. Dramamine (while this is certainly optional, many have found that it helps fend off climber’s vertigo!)
  10. Nail clipper/pocket knife.
  11. Bandanna (nice to wet in streams along the way to wet the face/neck).
  12. Sunscreen (apply frequently since you will be perspiring often).
  13. Bug repellent (mosquitoes are out in early day and evening, pesky small flies, too).
  14. Hat (cover over the back of neck is good as the sun will be on your back most of the way).
  15. Backpack or waist pack (some use two waist packs, one front the other back). If you use a backpack, make sure it has a chest strap to pull the shoulder straps toward the center.
  16. Knee/ankle brace (or a wrapable Ace bandage with clips).
  17. Hiking boots, light weight with good ankle support and rugged soles (sneakers are slippery on rocks).
  18. Depending on the time of year, you may want a longsleeve shirt, lightweight windbreaker, or jacket.
  19. Poncho (a small, inexpensive, disposable one will do).
  20. Small flashlight (hike may take you longer than expected). Better yet, an L.E.D. headlamp (keeps your hands free)… and bring an extra set of batteries.
  21. Camera (put around neck or in backpack while going up the cables).
  22. You may prefer to hike with a walking stick, which aids balance and lets your arms assist your legs… or trekking poles (good idea to learn to use these in advance).
  23. Topo map (just in case).
  24. Silver warmth emergency blanket.
  25. Money to get ice cream at Curry Village at end of hike.