Yosemite - Hiking Yosemite Falls
May 13th, 2006
After a long winter with almost twice the normal snow fall, the snow-melt from the mountains created some of the biggest waterfalls Yosemite had seen in years. So we took this opportunity to see Yosemite Falls at its best, by hiking all the way to the top. The hike is shorter than the hike to the top of Half Dome, but it seemed a lot steeper, so was just as tiring. But the spray from the bottom of the falls gave us a good soaking, so we kept cool.
A mile further along the trail is Yosemite Point, which looks out across the valley to Half Dome. And directly beside Yosemite Point is 'Lost Arrow', which climbers somehow manage to climb before they rappel from its summit back to the valley rim. It doesn't even look possible.
Distance Hiked - 11 mile round-trip (including Yosemite Point)
Elevation Gain - 2,400 ft
Time Taken - 6½ hours
While taking photos of the climbers on Lost Arrow, one of them joked '...one condition of taking photos is that you have to send me a copy !!'. That turned out to be Chris Handy, and he was from England of all places!
'SURE', I replied, and got his e-mail address. I didn't have a pen with me, so I had to scratch the address onto a piece of card with a rock, so I'm sure he thought that was the last he would hear from me.
A few days later I sent him the photos and mentioned in my e-mail that I wouldn't mind seeing the climb from his point of view, since I was never likely to climb the rock myself. And sure enough, Chris replied soon after with the pictures below.
They are amazing photos, and explain (in part) just how the climb was accomplished. But it still doesn't explain how mad you have to be to attempt this climb in the first place. Thanks Chris for allowing me to publish the pictures here.
May 14th, 2006 Driving around Yosemite valley, with a visit to Mariposa Grove near the southern entrance of the park.