Christmas in Yosemite, Part 2

February 11, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

While we were cozy at our cabin, Yosemite Valley was getting IMG_3501 covered in snow.  I decided a day full of snow flurries in the park was just what we needed.  I underestimated the snow.  It was beautiful but heavy. Our first stop was Bridal Veil Falls, a short but slippery hike.  I was well equipped with a rain sleeve and umbrella  to protect my Canon from the snow.  However, I couldn't stop the snow from drenching the lens or keep it from obscuring the view.

I battled the snow all day and lost, but it was a fun and memorable fight. 

IMG_3540   yosemite 261   I was able to catch some of the snowy magic of that day. And so ended our second trip.  

We had one day left before we headed back to San Francisco. I was determined to get amazing photographs.  This time nature complied.  Our last day the sun would shine on the valley.  

Knowing it was my very last chance, I convinced my parents to go early to get some early morning shots.  4:30 am came and I jumped out of bed.  We managed to leave the cabin by 5.  Dawn broke just as we were nearing tunnel view and the full moon was setting between the mountains.  Where is this breathtaking picture, you ask? Here's the thing about mountain roads, there's never a chance to pull over when there's a break in the trees and you see the view you want.  If I knew the lay of the land I would have planned better. Next time.

We arrived back in the valley just in time to see the sunlight hit El Capitan. Of course when I say "just in time," I actually mean I stood on the bank of the Merced for a good 20 minutes in 19°F. My new thinsulate fingerless gloves are were not ideal.  I'm pretty sure frostbite tried to set in several times but I wasn't going to miss my shot. My parents were in the car keeping things warm for me.

Sunlight Strikes El Capitan

The next early morning stop was Swinging Bridge with the view of Upper Yosemite Falls. The calm of morning gave me a near perfect reflection.

Winter's Musing on Yosemite Falls Sentinel Bridge gave us another reflection, this time of Half Dome.

Half Dome YosemiteFrosted Half Dome

What trip to Yosemite would be complete without a hike to Yosemite Falls?  Only about a mile away, the ice path was slippery and treacherous.  My new Benro Mefoto tripod was an excellent stablizing device.  Without it, I would have busted my ass more than once.

Lower Yosemite FallsLower Yosemite Falls

In one little spot, I could frame all of Yosemite Falls.

Yosemite FallsYosemite Falls Another trip to Bridal Veil Falls yielded one of my favorite shots of the trip.  It was not without difficulty.  I basically had to climb, slip and slide up a 10 foot skateboard ramp of ice.  Good things don't come easy.

IMG_3616  IMG_3614

Bridal Veil FallsBridalveil Fall Tunnel View gave me my final look at the stunning valley vista. I can't wait to see this park again in the spring!

Winter Abates on the Valley


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