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North America » United States » California » El Portal
October 17th 2014
Published: June 22nd 2017
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El CapitanEl CapitanEl Capitan

With binos we could see three groups of more than a dozen climbers on the rock. Bill said the fastest ascent was an astonishing 2 3/4 hours, but normally it took much longer than that, depending on the route, weather and skill of the climbers.
Geo: 37.6603, -119.851

Our driver/guide on the two-hour Valley Floor bus tour was Bill Fontana, a 25 year veteren of the Park who has written books and has a website on the Park. He was full of information, and a little garrulous at times. Got some good pics at the main touristy look outs. We particularly enjoyed watching with binos the many climbers on El Capitan.

According to Bill, there is no widespread agreement on the origin of the word "Yosemite", first used by Capt Savage of the Mariposa Battalion in the early 19th C. Bill favours the argument that it is of Chinese origin, sounding like the Chinese words for "harmony".

3 1/2 hour drive from Yosemite to Castro Valley, that turned into 4 hours with an accident closing one lane of the freeway. Got in just before dusk and ordered pizza for dinner.


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Half DomeHalf Dome
Half Dome

The rock is very impressive close up. It never was a full dome, glaciers simply polished the steep face of the rock to this shape.
Valley ViewValley View
Valley View

The Merced River flows through the valley. In the 1800s the moraines that were damming the river were blasted to allow the valley to drain. The granite walls came from a huge upwelling of magma from deep below the surface, that was exposed and eroded over time.
Lunch at The AhwahneeLunch at The Ahwahnee
Lunch at The Ahwahnee

And a fine lunch it was. I renewed my affair with French onion soup, that the Americans do so well.


18th October 2014

Hi Rob and SelGreat to see you having a fantastic time and catching up with Erin - we have enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your pics! Enjoy the rest of your time.CheersAngela & Stef xo

Tot: 2.358s; Tpl: 0.041s; cc: 9; qc: 36; dbt: 0.0354s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb