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Yosemite rules

I'm usu­al­ly the per­son who rec­om­mends going any­where but Yosemite in the Sier­ras because it's expen­sive and tends to be over-run with peo­ple even in the high coun­try, where­as the Emi­grant Wilder­ness, for instance, tends to be pret­ty sparse­ly vis­it­ed, even on the busiest of week­ends. But let's keep that on the shh­hh. Any­way, I spent 3 warm, sun­ny days in Yosemite last week with my good friend and all-around good guy Andrew Goodman.We had nice weath­er, went to pop­u­lar places (North Dome, Yosemite Falls — which has its own Wikipedia page), and yet saw very few oth­er peo­ple. Maybe it's the time of year, or the fact that it was a low-snow year, or both? Or our route? We hiked down to North Dome on the Por­cu­pine Creek Trail, and then got back to 120 via the Yosemite Creek trail (where, inci­den­tal­ly, we took some excel­lent swims). What­ev­er con­tributed to it, I've now seen the good side of Yosemite.

Flickr photoYosemite Val­ley from North Dome, ren­dered via the mag­ic of Autos­titch. It assem­bled 25 or so pho­tos from my Motoro­la SLVR into a pret­ty com­plete panora­ma, and even the arti­facts — mov­ing clouds and ghost­ed edges — seem to make the result more com­pelling, I think.

Yosemite Val­ley is an incred­i­ble place, espe­cial­ly when seen from a place above the Val­ley, like North Dome or the out­crop­ping above Yosemite Falls. If you want a glimpse at the Val­ley was like when peo­ple were putting up the first routes on El Cap, check out Glen Denny's pho­to book, Yosemite in the Six­ties. It's real­ly nice­ly pro­duced and filled with amaz­ing black-and-white images of sim­pler times and the leg­ends who start­ed it all — Yvon Chouinard, War­ren Hard­ing, Roy­al Rob­bins, Galen Row­ell, and many more.