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Yosemite Hikes

A tale of 3 trails in Yosemite

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After I arrived to live in California in February 2012, I took a small trip to the south of San Francisco and got the opportunity to go across Big Sur. I remember saying to my travel companion that it was the most amazing and wild place I had seen. Man, oh man how mistaken was I…

A couple of month later I went to visit Yosemite. And it was just majestic. The valley has such a concentration of natural wonders in such a narrow space, that it makes this place intimidating. You might have heard some names of the landmarks like El Capitan, The Half Dome, Nevada Falls and so on.

Since that first visit I have become an avid hiker and have visited Yosemite many times to explore it’s amazing trails and views. This is the tale of 3 walks we’ve made in the National Park.

April 2014. Day 1 | 4 Mile Trail

On April 2014 a good friend came to visit. It was his first time in California. I decided to bring him to Yosemite. After booking a room 30 miles away, we hit the road. The first thing I do when arriving to Yosemite is to take a tour of the valley to immerse ourselves in the place and let the majesty soak in.

We were still newbie hikers and didn’t knew well what we where doing. We randomly stopped the car and took the first trail we found. We ended up in the 4 mile trail. This side of the valley is pretty shaded in the spring time and snow was still scattering the trail. While trying to avoid the patches of snow, we started to go up. After a couple of miles the views started to open up to us.

After a while, the trail got too snowy to continue. It was slippery and dangerous. We decided to go back down. Since we still had a bit of time we decided to go to other vista points and find another quick trail where we played in the snow…

April 2014. Day 2 | Yosemite Upper Falls

That day was a Sunday and we had the time to make a 2-3h hike and then come back to the San Francisco Bay Area. Without really looking at the distance or elevation, we decided to try the Yosemite Falls Trail. Since we hiked in the snow the day before and didn’t drink much water, we decided to not take any food and just 1L of water for the 3 of us. Big mistakes… After going up for at least 2h, we were out of water, tired and thirsty. But we wanted to go to the end, not knowing when was the end and what we would find up there. While it was scary to carry on blind folded and with no water, the hike was amazing and definitely a must do in the park. The views are just gorgeous especially on the top.

June 2015 | Half Dome

On June 2015 we got lucky enough to get a permit for the Yosemite Half Dome. This is the toughest day hike Yosemite has to offer and ends up with a mountaineering section: The Half Dome Cables. Being dangerous when overcrowded, Yosemite Rangers have put into place a permit system to avoid the crowds. After training for the 26km distance and 2000m total elevation, we started the hike on June 29 at 6a.m.

We would take the Mist trail passing through Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. Afterwards you continue through Little Yosemite Valley before hitting the John Muir Trail and going up towards the Half Dome. You then start climbing the Sub Dome that is a very twisted trail carved straight up in the rock. At some point the carving ends and you got no choice than climbing straight on the rock with precipices on both of your sides.

Once you finish the Sub Dome, the cables are in front of you. You put your rubber coated gloves and start pulling yourself up the cable. It is very steep. 45° angle. It is scary too. The weather can change in a glimpse, and if the rock gets wet it can be very slippery. People have died because of that… The trick is to go fast to the top and go back down.

Free Desktop Wallpapers

Since this blog post doesn’t do justice to the quality of some pictures, I have decided to give away 28 of them in a Desktop Wallpaper Pack that you can download below

All pictures are at the highest resolution available and with no compression. Feel free to use those in both personal and commercial projects. No credit is required.

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