Quick trip to Yosemite

May 29, 2003

random trip report

(Click on images for 1600x1200 versions)

Erica and I drove to Yosemite valley, stopping in Mariposa on the way. We hiked the Upper Yosemite Falls trail, which is listed as 'very strenuous' in the visitor's guide, and has a vertical gain of 2,700'.

With this winter's large snowpack and recent warm temps, the flow of water is about as large as it ever gets. The Merced river was both turbid and turbulent. The upper falls sounded like giant bombs constantly exploding.

This was a hike of unprecedented length and difficulty for Erica, and I instructed her to go as slow as necessary. This strategy worked pretty well.

At about the halfway point there's a flat stretch with a nice view of the falls.

[NOTE: Erica points out that she's not as fat as she looks here.]

Then the path leaves the oak/laurel/madrone forest and goes up a dry, hot gully at the base of a wonderful thousand-foot granite cliff.

There are views of Half Dome and the High Sierra beyond.

Erica was psyched to make it to the top.

We watched the water shoot over the edge and make its 1,500' drop.

The pools upstream of the falls are where I once almost got Swept Away.

We hung out at the top for a while, and started down around 3 PM.

Afterwards we watched some climbers flailing on the routes I did with Hamid on Xmas. Erica was tired but felt pretty good, and I felt great. We cooled off our feet in the frigid Merced River. The drive back was extremely pleasant.

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