The first photo shows a view of the mountain from Mirror Lake in the Yosemite Valley. The vantage point for this photo is accessible from most of the lodging and camping sites in the Park; it is a short walk from one of the bus route in the Valley. There is another vantage point that is always crowded with people. Which I find ironic, because it looks like blissful solitude abounds, but most likely the shot is being taken while the photographer is surrounded by 50 or more people! Of course I have a photo or two from there.
The next photo is the view as we approached the summit, about a half mile away and something like 600 to 1,000 feet left to climb. We did this in October 2005, while the trail was under construction and only open Friday through Sunday. The number of people in this photo is probably only 20 to 30 percent of the people who might be on this hike in the summer while school is out.
The third photo is of the famous cables. This route is open from April to October every year – our hike was the last week in 2005. In 2010, NPS and Yosemite set a policy limiting access to 200 permitted hikers a day – check the Yosemite web site for details.
This last photo is Chris and me at the summit. It was a great feeling and a great place to be. While our training hikes were throughout the Shenandoah Valley, we’d not encountered anything quite like this (4,500 feet of elevation change, 17 mile round trip, etc.). As we started to climb the cables, clouds passed over and a wind started up, quickly dropping the temps to the mid-50’s, so we put on the long sleeves for the final ascent. Soon as we were up, the temp got back into the high 60’s and those duds had to come right off.
There are two more posts in this series to come. Enjoy!