Memorial Weekend at Yosemite

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     Another glorious weekend at Yosemite. Although it rained heavy Saturday and Sunday, it was sunny Monday and it looks good for the week ahead. I hiked up to Glacier Point Friday and Monday. The water on the trail is flowing, so Gortex boots are very handy. Hiking Poles are mandatory in my book. A few stream crossing were way easier with the poles. I talked to a ranger at Glacier Pt and he said that the High Sierra Camps may not open at all this summer since it will be very late until the snows are clear. Sorry if you won lottery slots.

The Holiday Horde arrived Friday evening and the place was jammed. I heard folks were turned away at the gate since the park was “at capacity.” I think that really means that all campgrounds and lodging were fully booked. They asked if you had reservations.

Curry was a beehive and a long line ran out the door for dinner. Tip – Go inside and get in line at 5:00 pm – they open at 5:30. Then go right to the main course line. If you wait and get a salad first, the line for the good stuff will be huge. The lobster, shrimp and filet mignon go fast. By the way if you are over 60, you get $2.00 off. Don’t be proud – take the discount.

Rumor is that the new Royal couple (William and Kate) – YAWN – will be coming to Yosemite and the Ahwahnee Hotel July 8-10.  Their honeymoon??  A good reason to keep away. Wonder if he needs a permit?

For a little fun – A Hearty Handclasp if you can identify this waterfall.



Unrelated thought worth quoting:There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.  A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo.  Even a bicycle goes too fast.” – Paul Scott

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –

22 Responses to “Memorial Weekend at Yosemite”

  1. Humboldt Voter Says:

    illoutte (sp) falls ???

    • Sönke Says:

      Almost there. 😉

      But don’t worry. Even the editors of Backpacker Magazine didn’t get it right in the latest issue of their magazine.

      Question: I know that there’s a sign “No Hikers” but did anyone hike up the Gorge to the base of the fall?! I’ve read that it’s more difficult than it looks.

  2. Al Laurente Says:

    Here are the picks to our Memorial Day hike to the summit of Clouds Rest yesterday.

    We saw idiots attempting to climb Half Dome with the cables down and snow on subdome. People would really die to get up there. If they want to go up with cables down, they should do it when there is no snow on the subdome trail around October.

    • Sönke Says:

      Very nice pictures, Al! I love the contrast between the snow and the blue sky. Lovely!

      But that ain’t bear tracks. 😉

      • Al Laurente Says:

        There were bear tracks. We saw a couple of them but we were not surprised. We expect bears and prepared for a possible encounter. I have now seen Clouds Rest with and without snow. WITH SNOW is many times more beautiful and harder than without. This is worth a return trip next year.

        I called the park ranger the day before the hike and they estimated ALL snow tracks at around 7000 ft. They are WAY off. I wonder if these guys are just guessing or use telescopes to make a guesstimate. There were snow crossings at 7500 ft but it was not all snow until way up at 8700 ft and that after 8 inches of snow last Saturday.

      • Sönke Says:

        Seriously…this picture here:

        has no resemblance with what I would expect from a bear track – especially in snow. Also the track pattern seams odd. I’d say it looks more like a rabbit/hare.

        I admit my eyes are getting weaker and weaker every week though. 😉 Maybe I just don’t understand the picture but I assume this shot is not with a big tele lens.

        I have NO DOUBT whatsoever that you saw bear tracks during your hike though. 🙂

      • mrhalfdome Says:

        I agree…. WHY do you think this is a bear…bunny rabbit….or maybe Sasquatch. Oooooo Ahhhhhh

        And so what? Bears live there. :>)

    • Nick Says:

      Awesome pics. Thanks for sharing.

      Was planning on half dome June 9, but that seems doubtful. Thought about Cloud’s Rest as an alternative.

      Is the trail easy enough to follow even with the snow? Thanks.

      • Al Laurente Says:

        As of yesterday, the trail is well marked until The Pinnacles (or false summit) at 8700 ft. By June 9, more of the trail should be exposed making the hike more easier for you. Be sure to monitor the weather forecast because T-storms can quickly form over Clouds Rest. There is a reason its called Clouds Rest. Call the rangers office the day before your hike for any info. In my case, they gave me wrong info. They said “all snow” on the trail at 7000 ft when our experience showed 8700 ft.

        Besides Clouds Rest, you could also do Upper Yosemite Falls/Yosemite Point like what my family did last year:

        Then if you are hardy, you can add Eagle Peak to the two-fer and your day will be almost like you went to Half Dome.

  3. Janet Says:

    July 8-10: The Royal Couple–I heard the only people allowed in the park during their visit are employees. Hmmm….

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Where’s that come from? When JFK came there was no such rule!

      • Janet Says:

        It came from my daughter who works for NPS….the rumor mill among employees and I hope that’s all it is, a rumor.

      • mrhalfdome Says:

        Keep us posted…..Monarchy is BS. No way US citizens should be shut out. NPS loves the coverage, but it’s MY park – and YOURS.

    • Scott Baines Says:

      Janet, I would bet almost any amount of money that is not true. First, the NPS is not going to close off access to the entire park for a whole weekend in July. Think of all the people who have camping or lodging reservations in place. The uproar would be unimaginable. Second, such an action would be unnecessary. I’m sure adequate security can be provided.

  4. Dean Says:

    Hi Al,

    Nice photos.

    How long did it take to hike Clouds Rest? On the way up did you take any long breaks?


    • Al Laurente Says:

      It normally take 10-12 hours to go to Clouds Rest when coming from the valley … the snow slowed us down and the 4th person had altitude sickness at 9000 ft. It was a total of 14 hours for us. I wanted to do HD just to the base of the cables but my 2 teammates are too beaten up.

  5. Kathy Temby Says:

    Illilouette Fall? Got our permits for September, yay!

  6. Kathy Temby Says:

    not sure why my post says 6:17, i sent it at 7:17. Rick? Did you change your clock? LOL!

  7. Roberto Hernandez Says:

    Perhaps the Prince and Princess will be given a royal helicopter tour, including a landing on Half Dome summit.

  8. Maureen Lahiff Says:

    if memory serves, the High Sierra Camps opened late in 2005 and did not open at all in 2006.

    the lottery applications for 2007 and 2008 asked people to say if they’d lost High Camp reservations in ’05 or ’06, and these folks got some sort of preference.

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