Saturday, July 22, 2017

Up and down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne at High Flow

In July 2017 I backpacked for five days with my niece Georgia from Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows to Waterwheel Falls and back. After a record snowpack, the Tuolumne River and its many falls and cascades were most impressive. We enjoyed the beauty and the sublime singing waters but were forced out on the fifth day by smoke from the Detwiler Fire near Mariposa. Enjoy these images!

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Yosemite's Panorama Trail and a Climb Up the Liberty Cap

I've long wanted to visit the top of imposing Liberty Cap that looms over Nevada Fall and the lower Vernal Fall of what is known as Yosemite's "Giant Staircase". In June 2017, two friends joined me for the saunter from Glacier Point down to Illilouette Fall and then up and over Panorama Cliff and down to the top of booming Nevada Fall. Our near-record Sierran snowpack finally broke Yosemite's long drought and the Merced River and all the park's falls were literally echoing from wall to wall in Yosemite Valley.

I parted with my friends at the top of Nevada Fall after looking to match and rephotograph a 1900 photo of John Muir sitting at the brink of Nevada Fall. I ascended the 1,100 feet up the non-technical yet challenging east "stoss" side of this RĂ´che moutonnĂ©e of Liberty Cap. Lots of pulling myself up rocks using branches of manzanita that otherwise blocked my way. The view from the top was indeed quite impressive and imposing but since I topped out at 5 pm, I knew I would be arriving in the valley in the dark. I met my wife at 9 pm at Curry Village. Enjoy these pics of this adventure.

Note: If you click an image you get a larger photo and you can scroll through them.

Nevada Fall from the brink


Illilouette Fall





Liberty Cap and Nevada Fall





John Muir's spot








Looking down 1,000 feet from Liberty Cap with erratic boulders dropped by the last glacier perched precariously

Summit of Liberty Cap


Back of Half Dome



Nevada Falls from the old Zig-Zag Trail



Nevada Fall mist in evening light