Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yosemite Anniversary

An assortment of pictures for you all to enjoy, from our recent trip to Yosemite.

Lembert Dome, up near Tuolumne Meadows.  We hiked up this the first day to acclimatize to the elevation, so we would be ready for a big hike later in the weekend.

Good views from the top

Chad took lots of pictures

We also scoped out the likely conditions on Mt. Dana (just to the right of Chad's head), for later in the weekend.  It's just over 13,000 feet tall, and we wanted to make sure there wasn't too much snow on the side with the use trail.

We enjoyed the low-angle fall light on the granite,

and also the fall color.

We took plenty of time to play on the boulders.

Nothing too tall.  I find that I am much more conservative climbing outside, even with a crash pad, compared to in the gym with the super-squishy floor.

The crash pad made a nice cushion on which to picnic.

We did decide to attack Mt. Dana in the end.  This is the second-tallest mountain in the park, at just over 13,000 feet, and there is a decent (but unofficial) use trail up.  I previously climbed it almost 20 years ago, but Chad had never been up.

The beginning of the trail is benign, but then it heads up -- to the tune of over 3000 feet of climbing in less than 3 miles.  That's an average grade of over 20%, if you didn't automatically do the math.  At elevation.

We took lots to drink.  This is the view from roughly 11,200 feet.

As if it weren't already pretty spectacular, as we ascended, the views kept opening up.

There was a bit of snow, but not too much.  What was amusing was all the bear tracks.  I have no idea what the bear was doing on the top of a mountain that was little more that a giant pile of rubble.

We enjoyed the impressive cairns that help one find the route, such that it was.

Chad took the time to fix/add to the cairns as we went by.  (Note the summit behind him; at this point that was still more than 1000 feet above us.)

The view at this point back down towards the road at the top of Tioga Pass.  Still not at the top.

Proof that we were at the summit.  I'm pretty sure I'm in much better shape now than when I climbed it before, and enjoyed the fact that the elevation didn't cause any problems.

It was colder and windy up top -- note the extra layers.

360 degree views, including Mono Lake to the east,

and the snowy Sierra Crest.

Chilly happy peoples after hunkering behind some rocks to get out of the wind for lunch.  Happy Anniversary to us!

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