Fourth Ascent

Back (and a couple of days) after a great weekend at Yosemite with a gaggle of friends.  Despite being October we were surprised by not only warm days and uber clear skies but also water coming over Yosemite Falls and an upsurge of water down Vernal and Nevada falls thanks to some rather fierce storms that overtook Yosemite the weekend prior.  Score!  Lots of great fun was had, including scrambling on the rocks to the base of Lower Yosemite Falls, seeing many climbers top roping, leading and bouldering, enjoying dinners together, seeing Nevada Falls from a new vantage point of the John Muir Trail (I’d never done that route before), meeting a father and his two kids continuing a tradition of going up their first Half Dome hike on their 10th birthday, and of course the fun of summiting Half Dome itself.  Being late in the season and the implementation of required passes led to zero wait on the cables and maybe only a dozen people on the cables at any one time, a welcome change from my prior couple of visits.  The view and the valley were, as always, spectacular upon spectacular.  I didn’t take many photos this time (after three other visits, I think I’ve taken about all the pics I need to), snagging only a few that were brought to life by great lighting or to capture those new vistas.  The hike itself remained a great invigorating challenge, fun in of itself.

Most amusing to me was that I met not one, not two, but three groups of people who were either on their way to or just finished climbing up Snake Dike.  Never met anyone before headed up to climb and them BAM several in this one trip.  I have the free topo provided at the link above so while I’ve never done the climb (yet!) I feel familiar with it, cool to meet those who were doing/done it.

Alas the person for whom we organized the whole trip for was in the end unable to join us so… back we will go again next year!

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