Last year I finally got to hike up to the top of Half Dome, crossing one of the world’s epic hikes off of my bucket list. I was hoping to do the hike again this year, so at the beginning of April I applied for a permit. This year they changed to a lottery system, and of course with my luck I failed to get a permit.
I still wanted to do a major hike in Yosemite, and I had a group of friends who wanted to visit Yosemite, so I ended up planning a trip to hike Cloud’s Rest instead. The campsites in Yosemite were all booked already for July, so I ended up reserving three campsites at Oh Ridge campsite, which is located just east of Yosemite on the June Lake Loop. At one point we had over twenty people who were on the email list for the trip, but in the end it dwindled down to eleven people, so I ended up cancelling one of the campsites.
It worked out for the best, because we were able to fit into two tents, and we had just the right amount of space for our group to sit around the campfire.
Saturday morning about half the group went to hike Cloud’s Rest. The other half slept in and spent the day relaxing at June Lake. The hike to Cloud’s Rest started at Tenaya Lake, then quickly started gaining elevation.
The wildflowers were still in bloom. It probably would’ve been even more colorful towards the beginning of the spring.
About two and a half miles into the hike a lot of the climbing was done, but there was still almost five miles left to get to the ridge at Cloud’s Rest.
Group shot near the bottom of the ridge section. From here on out we were mostly scrambling up granite.
Cloud’s Rest is famous for being an arête– a narrow knife edge ridge. In fact, if you look up arete in Wikipedia, you get a picture of Cloud’s Rest similar to this one. I thought it would be pretty scary up here, but it actually wasn’t all that bad. I think this was just about the narrowest section– it was about as wide as the hallways at my work.
As you continue scrambling along the ridge you start to see half dome. In my opinion the view from Cloud’s Rest is actually better than the view from Half Dome, just because of the fact that you can see Half Dome.
I took a seven shot panoramic near the top of the ridge, almost 100megapixels worth of data condensed down into a 35megapixel panoramic (you lose a lot of data because of the overlap and perspective correction), further condensed down to 9mp for the blog. Even this huge panoramic with its plethora of pixels doesn’t do the scene justice, you just need to tough out the hike and sit on the rocks and soak it all in.
(click on the image to view larger version)
A group shot at the edge of the ridge. Epic hike, great friends, good times.
Heading back down the ridge. You can just barely make out Tenaya Lake in the distance, seven miles away.
We finished our hike just before sunset and arrived back at the campsite a little after dark. The group that stayed at June Lake had gotten the fire going and prepped the table for our hobo meal dinners.
I try to cook at least one decent meal when car camping. I figured I could make up for the canned food from the previous night by having fresh salsa for breakfast. Everyone helped to cook breakfast. The guys tent woke up early and chopped fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro to make fresh pico de gallo and corn salsa.
Jess cooked the chorizo.
Stanley and some others cracked eggs to scramble.
The ladies wrapped tortillas.
I ate the finished product. Chorizo and egg breakfast tacos with fresh salsa. Rawr.
Before heading back to civilization we took a group shot at (or I guess in) June Lake. It was a good group of old and new friends.
Things I’m thankful for:
- Despite my crappy planning skills the weekend turned out better than I could have planned.
- Good friends, good food, good scenery, good times.