YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (KCBS) – Cables went up on the path to Half Dome at Yosemite National Park on Friday, park officials said. Permits to hike the summit are still available by lottery.

The strenuous 17-mile trail is Yosemite’s most popular hike, attracting as many as 1,200 hikers in a single day, said Ranger Kari Cobb, which is why the park no longer issues Half Dome permits on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We are reducing the chances of scalping and computer-based programs snatching up those permits,” Cobb said.

An advance lottery for permits throughout the season closed in March, but Cobb said the park will continue to issue 50 passes a day until the cables come down from the trail’s steep granite shoulder in October. Hikers can enter the lottery for those permits up to two days in advance.

Forecasters expect some rain in Yosemite this weekend that could translate to snow at higher elevations. The Half Dome trail has an elevation gain of 4,800 feet.

At least five people have died on the cables since 2006, nearly all with rain as a factor.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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