Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

Half Dome in the morning light with a new layer of snow.

Merced River from the campground. Yosemite Falls is behind the clouds.

Yosemite Falls from the meadow near Curry Village.

North Dome above the North Pines campground where we've been staying.

Half Dome

Upper Yosemite Falls in the morning light.

Years ago on a backpacking trip I hiked to the top of...

I stood on the "diving board" overhang looking at the valley far...

 

These shuttle busses make it so easy to get around the valley....

Today's bird friend.

Stellar Jay

Horse Tail Falls (near the top, left of center) on El Capitan.

Three Brothers.

El Capitan

El Capitan

Horse Tail Falls.

Horse Tail Falls.

Cathedral Spires.

Another view of Horse Tail Falls.

Cathedral Rocks from the trail by Northside Drive.

Cathedral Spires and Cathedral Rocks

 

 

Several views of the climbers we were able to see on El...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View of the Merced River from El Capitan Bridge.

 

 

 

 

More views from El Capitan Bridge.

 

 

The climbers use one of these "cots" to sleep suspended from lines...

Map of the many routes to the top of El Capitan.

Half Dome was so beautiful in the afternoon light - had to...

 

 

Washington Column on the left - Half Dome on the Right.

North Dome on the left - Washington Column on the right.

 

Bears that take a liking to human food usually end up in...


(Ron Writing) It rained hard most of the night and we even got a little sleet but by dawn the rain clouds had cleared and just left those big beautiful puffy white clouds. We had sunshine in the valley most of the day. It was still very cool. At dawn it was 32° and never got above the mid 50’s all day. But with the sun out and no wind it was very nice outdoors.

We took the park shuttle to the El Capitan area of the park. El Capitan is one of the primary landmarks of the park. It is a beautiful granite monolith rising about 3,000’ from the valley floor as a sheer vertical wall. Climbers come from all over the world to test their skill on the 100 paths to the top. There aren’t many vertical granite walls in the world that are more challenging and suited for mountain climbing and certainly none as accessible. No need to travel half way around the world to some remote mountain in Pakistan – here you can drive up, park in a lot at the foot of the cliff, and start climbing straight up!

It’s hard to spot climbers from the valley floor but we were able to see several today. We also were allowed to look through a powerful telescope that some guys from a climbing school had set up below the cliff. The climb takes three to seven days depending on the skill of the climbers, the route, the weather etc. Climbers either spend the night on a ledge or suspended in a special “cot” on a sheer cliff.

The scenery was spectacular today because, while it rained all night in the valley, it was snowing all night up on the surrounding mountains. Once again it was hard to stop taking pictures of the this beautiful place.

This morning we moved from the North Pines Campground to the Upper Pines Campground. We were only able to get a four day reservation for our first site but a couple days ago I was able to snag one extra day in a different site because of a cancellation that popped up on the internet. It’s very hit-and-miss trying to get these extra days. You never know when they are going to become available and they are gone almost immediately after they are posted. Yesterday I was able to get two more days so that means tomorrow we’ll have to move again. Nearly all the campsites in Yosemite Valley are reserved about 5 months in advance. We find it impossible to plan that far ahead so we just have to try to snag sites when they become available.



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