Vernal Falls. By the time you reach this point on the way back down, it'll be getting dark. Yet, it's not far from first light on the way up.
In spring, flow is much greater. Mid-August here. Only a small fraction of the spring flow. This is the Merced river.
Planned our vacation so it ends on a full moon. Climbing Half Dome is the last thing we do before heading back home (420 miles campsite to driveway). Gave ourselves one day to rest after Half Dome.
While crossing Little Yosemite Valley, we ran into a group of 4 or 5 boys (18-yr olds?) who were coming back down. Makes me feel old when I see people heading back down while I'm still on my way up. So I asked, "You guys climb Half Dome?"
Said they'd started night before, at midnight. No sleep. Must be nice to be a teenager. =)
Wendy liked that idea - climbing HalfDome at night, on a full-moon night. Usually don't sleep well the night before HalfDome, cuz you know what's in store the next day, and you have to get up at 4:30, so you can start on the trail early enuf to miss some of the hot sun. Getting an early start is the first lesson of climbing HalfDome.
The first light of day breaks on the horizon during the drive down to the trailhead in the valley. At one point, you get a glimpse of Half Dome, which looks like it's glowing from the first light of day.
Climb begins at 6:30, which is plenty light, but not far from total darkness.
See the next pic for a warning sign posted at the top of Vernal Falls.
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