Mitchell Taylor tells us about his latest trek deep into this mythical National Park. Snow-covered boots and nights under the stars.
It was 4:30 in the morning, we’d started driving at 8pm and arrived around 1:30. Why wasn’t I asleep yet was all I could think as Chris asked me to point my headlamp out to the valley one more time. I’d stopped shooting 2 hours ago and just wanted to sleep but the little voice inside reminded me to be grateful, after all I was in Yosemite. At about 5:30 we jumped back in the car and headed to the El Cap meadow to sleep outside.
Four hours later I poked my head out of my sleeping bag and saw the light beaming down upon the large granite faces for the first time. All of a sudden I wasn’t tired anymore. We spent most of that day hiking up the Yosemite falls trail, four miles up and more switch backs than you can count. The views however make it well worth the trouble. We stripped down buck naked and jumped in the river up top to cool off, the water was so cold it became painful if you left any extremity in it for longer than 10 seconds.
After a few moments taking in the view from the top we headed down again. As we got down the sun had just set and we were able to catch a fleeting glimpse of the golden California light hitting half dome. After all that it was time for dinner. After dinner we napped for an hour in the car and then at 9pm prepared to charge 4 more miles up to Glacier point. The moon was almost full and we didn’t even need headlamps as we acceded high above the valley. Three hours and a few boots full of snow later we made it to the top. I was super excited to find a stone building to curl up under considering I’d opted out of brining a tent.
In the morning we awoke for the sunrise and shot while the light was good. After the light had lost it’s glow we packed up and headed down. We all had other places to be, after all it was Valentines Day and the thought of spending another night with two other dudes whose farts smelled just as bad as mine wasn’t my first priority.