I really like this close-up of a woodpecker; from Twitter.
Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson on January 14 completed their free-climb ascent of the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park — labeled the toughest free climb in the world.
Wow. Just wow.
This interactive piece at the New York Times should give the proper sense of awe for what they’ve done. (If you’re a climber, you may want to get some more technical reports from YosemiteBigWall.com, who contributed to that interactive presentation.)
PBS’s Newshour had among the best reports:
NBC News correspondent Hallie Jackson posted this photo on her Twitter feed, a shot from NBC photographer Scot Kilian:
It’s a long exposure, enough that the stars brighten the black sky, but not quite so much that the stars become streaks on the photo. Long enough that the lights used by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson register on the CMOS (I’m assuming no film here).
Incredibly, their tents are pitched upon the rock, where mountain goats and cliff-dwelling birds fear to tread. It’s very much a vertical sheet of almost smooth rock.
And it’s a great photo. In these particularly troubled times, any light shining on human cooperation to achieve great things becomes a beacon.
- Not sure I can embed this, but click over to the New York Times amazing interactive piece on the Dawn Wall route, photos along the way, and a great perspective — note especially that little dot called “human size.”
Up on the Tioga Pass, Dana Village, Bennettville and the abandoned Golden Crown Mine tell part of the story of the 1890s gold rush in the Sierra Nevada.
Mining in California, okay. Mining at 11,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, and staying there all winter?
Great history, geography, and explanation that every U.S. history student should know, about gold rushes, about boom towns, about mining entrepreneurs and investors, about failed enterprises and about the aftermath.
Sitting on the crest of the Sierra Nevada, Tioga Pass is a gateway to Yosemite’s past. In 1880, a gold and silver rush erupted here, and miners flocked to Tioga Hill in droves.
Today, the ghosts of these miners work can be seen in the stone walls of Dana Village, rusty machinery at Bennettville, and the log cabins of the Golden Crown Mine. Even today’s popular Tioga Road was once a simple wagon road built to access the wealth of minerals that were never found.
It’s another great production by Steven Bumgardner, featuring two National Park Service rangers, Yenyen Chan and Greg Stock.
Nice photo forwarded from the Wilderness Society.
Actually, this photo probably is not from the past few days, when Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell worked to free climb the rock — but the Milky Way is there if they care to look!
Not just the whole world is watching — the whole universe shines down.
(Have you been following their climbing exploits?)
- Follow the climbers on Twitter, @kjorgeson and @tommycaldwell1
- “Yosemite Climbers Attempt Historic First Free Ascent of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall,” AdventureBlog at National Geographic
Giant sequoia trees can be found only in the United States, and only in or near the Sierra Mountains in California.
How massive are they? The tree above, with the 6th Cavalry’s F Troop posing on and around it with their horses, is 26 feet in diameter at its base, where it fell, and 285 feet long, Redwood doesn’t rot like other woods. The tree is still there, today, looking much like it did 115 years ago (Comments on Yosemite NP photo).
The Fallen Monarch, in Mariposa Grove, in 1907:
When did the tree fall? Hundreds of years ago, perhaps?
Yosemite NP Nature Notes 11: Big Trees
Here’s why, another video from the good people at Yosemite National Park:
Any of the National Parks is special, in winter. What is your snow and cold experience in them?