Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Had a biz trip to San Francisco a few weeks ago and figured since in the neighborhood it would be a good time to check out Yosemite. Called CA friend Ian to see if he could get a hall pass for the weekend and it just so happened he could. Aside from being a fellow bank dude, Ian's a jack of all trades, from bee keeping to wine making to rock climbing - and knows his way around Yosemite, so aside from having a pal along, I also had a guide.

From the top of Vernal Falls on our way to Nevada Falls - hard to describe the water, never seen anything like it. Will try and add a video that shows the speed at which is was flowing off the mountain - it sounded like a train in a tunnel. A gentleman died in the lower section of the photo above within a half hour of when it was taken - we were rerouted due to the trail being closed when we descended. He was one of two accidental deaths in the park that day.

Down the trail a bit - Vernal Falls in the background.

Yosemite Falls - they say Yosemite is best in the spring during runoff when the waterfalls are raging. It was more impressive than advertised.
This one needs no description.
The trail between Vernal and Nevada Falls.

This is what a mountain looks like when it's watersheds can't hold the water that's on it -
The famous Camp 4 or climbers camp - i.e. dirtbagger circle. Waited in line here early in the morning for over an hour to get a campsite. Demand for any place to sleep in Yosemite far outpaces supply. We had a plan B that we didn't have to resort to, wisdom passed down from veteran Yosemite friends.

The Aahwahnee Lodge - worlds apart from Camp 4, just down the road.

Last but not least - El Cap.... to provide some scale/perspective - there is a climber in that frame.

Here's a closer shot of the climber - see those vertical black streaks - look at the one (black streak feature) farthest right - then just right of the bottom of it - look close and you'll pick him out - I've added an arrow to help. Now go back to the previous shot to put it back in perspective. Yes, it's a massive, massive wall.

We got 1 climb in while there - stuck close to camp on the Swan slab which was a short walk with some quality routes. Unbelievable place, can't wait to take the family and spend more time there, just scratched the surface on this trip.


Aaron said...

Hey, so as luck would have it, the misses and I decided yesterday that we're heading to Yosemite in a couple weeks. I haven't really started planning though. My hope is that we'll find a campsite since we'll be arriving on a weekday. Do you know of a good campground we should try that is close to stuff a 3-yr-old could hike? Also, do you know if you can access Yosemite from Hwy 120/41? I've heard that at least part of it closes in the winter.

South County Ciclista said...

One year I am going to get to Yosemite. I need to since I spend a lot of time only a couple hours north of Yosemite every year. Nice pics. Looks like you had a good time.

Jason said...

Aaron - any of the campgrounds in the Yosemite valley have good access to everything, they've got a good shuttle system. The valley itself is a lot smaller than I had expected so most of the stuff you see in the magazines is really close. The main valley had 3 (if memory isn't failing me) larger campgrounds that I think need to be reserved, with first come first serve lines forming early to catch any spots being freed up by people leaving early. Camp 4 is first come first serve, and people started lining up around 6 am for the ranger shack to open at 8:30.

We went in via 120 from the CA side - Tioga Pass from the east wasn't open yet so you should double check before you leave.

Brandon - I was in the same situation in regards to making regular trips to No. Cal and having never made it out there - well worth the excursion when you get a chance.

Aaron/Brandon - being the bike climbers you are, there's a 3-4 mile stretch of road on the 120 from CA, not too far outside the park, called "old priest grade rd" that has made my list of must do road bike climbs, check it out if you get a chance, it had the car whimpering.

Tri and Run Couple said...

Awesome pix! Yosemite looks like an amazing place that we hope to visit soon. We may have to take you with us to show us around.

Jason said...

Michelle/Justin - some family adventure/race trips with you guys are high on our list of stuff to do.

evilbanks said...

Great post man----those pics are incredible.