My first stop was to rephotograph John Muir's journal sketch "Bog back of Three Brothers," which he drew on August 13, 1869. I scared up a cinnamon-furred small black bear on my approach to the bog. Balancing on a long-fallen bleached lodgepole pine, I made my photograph and found that the trees now blocked Muir's view of Mt. Hoffman from the bog. Green rein-orchids and shooting stars were in peak flower in the bog and I saw a striped coral root orchid in the forest.
On Eagle Peak, which is the highest of the Three Brothers, I gained what I think is the finest view of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra of the Clark and Cathedral Ranges.
Though I promised myself I'd be satisfied with the view from the summit of El Capitan, I found myself drifting further down the granite slope trying not to slip on the granite pebbles that covered the bedrock. Soon I was withing 15-feet of the 3000' vertical cliff and I decided the last few feet were not worth the candle. I think I was the last one to visit the clifftop that day from bottom or top.
Enjoy these photos of my adventure. Note: If you click a photo it enlarges and you can scroll through the images.
Eagle Meadows photo:
John Muir visited Eagle Peak at least twice. the first time was August 13, 1869 just after he made the sketch of Eagle Meadows-bog. The second time was on August 8, 1870 with Joseph LeConte, the U.C. Berkeley geologist who was leading the University Excursion Party through Yosemite and over to Mono Lake with Muir as guide. Here are Muir's words describing his 1869 solo climb up Eagle Peak:
I spent the afternoon in a grand ramble along the Yosemite walls. From the highest of the rocks called the Three Brothers, I enjoyed a magnificent view comprehending all the upper half of the floor of the valley and nearly all the rocks of the walls on both sides and at the head, with snowy peaks in the background. Saw also the Vernal and Nevada Falls, a truly glorious picture, --rocky strength and permanence combined with beauty of plants frail and fine and evanescent; water descending in thunder, and the same water gliding through meadows and groves in gentlest beauty. This standpoint is about eight thousand feet above the sea, or four thousand feet above the floor of the valley, and every tree, though looking small and feathery, stands in admirable clearness, and the shadows they cast are as distinct in outline as if seen at a distance of a few yards. They appeared even more so. No words will ever describe the exquisite beauty and charm of this mountain park--Nature's landscape garden at once tenderly beautiful and sublime. No wonder it draws nature-lovers from all over the world.
Glacial action even on this lofty summit is plainly displayed. Not only has all the lovely valley now smiling in sunshine been filled to the brim with ice, but it has been deeply overflowed.
Eagle Peak photos follow:
El Capitan photos follow:
Brink of El Capitan photos follow:
|Lightning-struck pine on El Capitan|