Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mt. Dana Hike

Here is an early morning photo of the task ahead of me. Mount Dana. 13,054 feet. I am starting at 10,000 feet.

These guys are in trouble. They require cool temps to survive. As the Earth warms they are pushed higher and higher in elevation. This Pika couple was at 12,500 feet. The mountain is only 13,000. I guess they look up and say "Oh boy". This speces may not last much longer. They also have to go down to gather grasses. The more they travel, the greater the risk being caught by preditors.

Well, there it is, but it keeps going and going and going...

I finally made it. It was awesome. Only 47 feet below the highest point in Yosemite. Mount Dana summit. 13,054 feet. Yahoo! I love it. The reward is amazing. This is the closest I will be to an Eagle.

13,054 feet.

I desended as quickly as possible because this was all I could think about. I made a bee line for Bodie Mikes BBQ to get a Garden Burger and iced tea.

Oh yeah, and this.
It's OK. I burned 5,000 calories today.

My Ranger Duties

I have started to intigrate Miwok lectures into my naturalist hikes. I will soon do a complete post on Miwok information.

This is my friend Julia Parker, a local Miwok who works at the Yosemite Museum. I have learned a lot from her.

One of my duties is bear management. I am not a formal bear manager, but in Glacier Point we are quite remote so we Rangers are called upon to do more then most Rangers because we are out here alone. This is the same bear that took down a deer about 50 feet from me. Read that story here. On this day she and her two cubs entered a heavily human populated Glacier Point area. She approached a man and his dog. The man picked up his dog in his arms, the dogs food and his food and ran to me to tell me of the bear. I approached the bear and ran her and her two cubs up into the mountains away from people. This was a very important moment for the cubs. It was my goal to adverse condition the cubs so they will be afraid of me and this place.

Things didn't go so well for the owner of this truck. The bear easily broke in. She bit into a cold gel-pack, dropped it and quit. No food was acquired. Yahoo!

This plane flew about 2,000 feet above the valley floor and 1,000 feet below the valley rim. A visitor shot this picture and sent it to me. I thought he was on a suicide run because he was flying directly for Half Dome. He turned right just at the last second.

I love Italy.


Climbing Yosemite is like the World Series of mountain climbing. We have world class climbers and world class walls to climb. I really admire climbers and their abilities. I can barely hike muchless climb.

Yosemite Views


The base of Mount Dana offers a wildflower paradise around the snow melt runoff.

Old Man's Beard

Shepherd Art

Back in 1860 to 1890, sheep were grazed in what is now Yosemite. The shepherds had a practice of creating art on the trees. 500 art trees similar to this have been identified in Yosemite. They must have been bored and lonely guys. I think I am beginning to understand their mindset.

Valley Smog

Here is a sunset picture of the valley as viewed at 8,000 feet in Yosemite. Those are not clouds. That is smog in the central valley of California. I drove in it recently and visibility was about 100 yards and breathing was no fun. Some of this smog is working it's way to the high country in Yosemite and is affecting life. It's nasty stuff.

Ready For The Snow

Well here it is the middle of August again, summer is almost over here in the high country and we are getting ready for the new snow. A couple of nights ago I was out in the Tioga country and it went down to the 20's at night. The snow plow is installed on my truck and I am ready to go. Who needs a massive 6X6 diesel snow plow truck. My little supercharged Toyota will do just fine. ;-)

Mono Lake Tufa

Mono Lake is just outside the Yosemite National Park boundry but we still do some interpretive programs around the lake. Here is an interesting feature of the lake I thought you might appreciate. These vertical columns are called Tufa. Tufa forms under Mono Lake's waters. When fresh water springs rich in calcium bubble up through the cabonate rich lake water, the calcium and carbonates react to form a calcium-carbonate salt deposit called Tufa. This solid limestone-like material continues to develop, eventually forming vertical towers with spring waters persolating up through them. The city of LA robbed water from the lake causing the water level to drastically receed to expose these Tufa. The lake is now in a state of restoration so hopefully the Tufa will one day be submerged again and functioning properly.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mt. Hoffmann Hike

Ranger Dave on the summit of Mt. Hoffmann 10,850 feet.

Mt. Hoffmann as photographed from several miles away near North Dome and Indian Rock.
Mt. Hoffmann was named after Charles Hoffmann who was part of the California Geological Survey Team in the 1870's. The lake next to Mt. Hoffmann is named May Lake. It may be just a coinsidence, but Charles Hoffmann's wifes name happens to be May. Now they rest side by side forever. Everybody say...ahhhhhhhhhh.
As I was hiking the mountain a large thunder storm blew by and dropped a lot of hail on me. It got really cold too. The storm didn't last long so I was able to proceed on soon. My Hoffmann is in the geographic center of the park so the views of the park are amazing. This mountain may be Yosemite's best kept secret. The trail is not on any map and there are no signs to the trailhead.

May Lake

The thunderhead in the distance is the storm that ran over me on the hike.

Ranger Dave on the summit of Mt. Hoffmann. Yahoo!
Next is Mt. Dana 13,000 + feet.

My Work Place

This is a good long view of where I live and work. This photo was taken just east of the Sierra Nevadas looking west to the high country. These mountains are 13 to 14 thousdand feet high. This is truely a beautiful place.


Recently I took a break from Yosemite and traveled east to the desert to discover Bodie. Bodie is an old ghost town that has been preserved by the state of California. Only about 5% of the original building still remain but the town is still quite interesting to tour and photograph. Even though it is not Yosemite I thought you might enjoy it.