I moved this from Climbing, as I didn't see there was a "Hiking" thread. I headed up to Yosemite Valley to check out the large waterfalls given the huge winter snowpack this year. I have never been to Yosemite Valley to see the spring run-off. I figured I would share some pictures.
The weather was great both days with generally sunny skies and warm temps. I always love the view just past the tunnel heading into the Valley floor.
Crazy contrails in the skies – the jets were in full force on Saturday. Here Sarah poses with Bridalveil Fall off in the far distance.
El Cap along the Merced (which was flowing much higher than I have ever seen it given the time of year and the spring melting).
Ribbon Falls and El Cap – I have never seen Ribbon Falls in person as it only runs during the snow melt-off (and I am usually skiing this time of year in the High Sierra). We need to get back to the Valley more this time of year!
The Nose in mid-day light.
Posing just across the street from El Cap Meadows.
Reflection of Upper Yosemite Falls in the Merced.
Looking back at Cathedral Spires across the Valley. Interestingly, there were some pretty big gullies still holding snow that looked skiable earlier in the season (the noticeable V-bowl in the center). I wonder if these ever get skied.
We hiked out to Mirror Lake to check out the Northwest Face of Half Dome from the bottom. There were many minor waterfalls along the way that probably only last several weeks to a month.
Mirror Lake with a reflection of the edge of Half Dome. Mirror Lake itself will likely dry up later in the season so it was cool to be able to see it when there is actually a lake there.
I guess I can’t really do a trip report from Yosemite Valley without including a shot of Half Dome. When we were at Mirror Lake sitting near the shore on a rock, we saw a large cornice break off the summit of Half Dome. It was really spectacular as the loose snow dissipated in the air, but the large ice blocks fell to the base, causing a loud eruption that sounded like an explosion. I can’t image how loud the Ahwiyah Point rock fall in 2009 must have sounded. Note that the Mirror Lake loop is still closed up near Tenaya Creek as a result of the rock fall.
Fast moving water along the Merced.
It was also fun to just walk around near the base of Royal Arches, as there were several water flows coming down the face and working through the forest to connect to the Merced. I am also starting to figure out the basic use of shutter speed and exposure to capture the moving water – really cool stuff and can’t wait to get a better eye for it.
Cool clouds moving in on the summit of Half Dome with the evening alpenglow.
I was looking forward to some night-time shots of the starts and moon with long exposures, but unfortunately total cloud cover moved in at night. At one minor point, the moon did try to break through a gap in the clouds.
The next morning we headed up to Yosemite Falls – which was raging. It was so cool to see the flow so large (especially with Upper Yosemite Falls depositing onto a large snow cone at its base).
Upper Yosemite Falls in full force.
There was a very cool rainbow at the base of Lower Yosemite Falls.
Unfortunately my camera lens got misty for this shot – despite the abundance of sun it was still in the low 40s at the time (hence the down jackets).
And thanks to my photo-savy buddy Alex, I now have figured out how to use focal depth on a camera as well!