Well, my Yosemite trip is finally up on the blog! Back in May, my (climbing) partner in crime, Edwin, and I flew out to California to get a taste of the climbing mecca that is Yosemite. Edwin had been before. This was my first time. And my first impression? I was......Ssverely un-impressed. Before you get all upset that I could have yawned at the Valley, hear me out!
I drove from San Francisco west towards what was sure to be an epic 3 day climbing extravaganza. However, the more west I drove, the heavier the rain fell. That’s right, it poured! “No big deal” I thought. The weather will change once I get over the mountains. And oh how right I was. That rain changed into SNOW. Ugh! Then, as if to rub the salt in a little deeper, the snow decided to turn into a messy slurry. In addition, the fog was hanging low and dense. As I rounded the bend towards the first overlook into the Valley, the one where I was to be able to see El Capitan and Half Dome in a single swipe, I was met with a grey void.
So yes, my FIRST impression of Yosemite was rather sad.
HOWEVER, as I finally reached the Valley floor, I noticed everyone stopping and getting out of their cars, their faces all turned in a collective “up.” And that’s when I saw El Cap looming above the fog. I think my jaw literally dropped, and I joined the hoards in gawking and taking photos.
After I picked my jaw up and wiped away a tear ( I admit it, I got emotional!) I met Edwin and his friend Mark at Camp 4, which has become known as Yosemite's climber camp. We set up shop, and the rain continued to fall, just like the temperature, and we hoped the next day would produce dry rock for us to get on....
We awoke to rain, which quickly turned to snow. So, we warmed ourselves in the lodge, and by mid afternoon, the rain/snow had stopped. They guys went to find a dry route to hop on, and I went for a hike. I went up to Vernal Falls, back down to Mirror Lake, and everywhere in between. The fog still hung thick, but there were so many gorgeous waterfalls and lakes to take photos of!
By the evening, the clouds began to part! I had a feeling I would finally be able to see Half Dome, so I grabbed my camera. Lo and behold, I was able to get a few quick photos as the light faded. This was the Yosemite I was hoping for!!! Friends, words fail to describe the sheer magnitude and beauty my eyes beheld. I took some time to take it all in, and knew the next day would be the day!
The next morning, we were greeted with bluebird skies! Edwin and I said goodbye to Mark, and we wasted no time getting over to Glacier Point. There is a route named "The Grack," that Edwin had been wanting to get on. It was a beautiful, 3 pitch crack climb. The views were stunning, and I was finally climbing in Yosemite!! I was on top of the world!
However, all good things must come to an end. We said our goodbyes, and The Captain saw us out of the Valley. I can not wait to get back to this magical, beautiful place. Only next time, I need at least a week! Oh, and if you were at all thinking of taking the trek to Yosemite.
Do It. You will NOT be un-impressed
Bonus points if you can spot the climbers in the photos below!!