Cathedral Peak Yosemite Winter Sunset

Behind the scenes of this photo


Taken from a granite outcropping overlooking Cathedral Peak, Yosemite National Park, on May 3rd, 2014

On the first day Tioga Pass opened this year I found myself loading up a bear canister with salami sandwiches and chocolate for a hike into Upper Cathedral Lake. No one was really sure what the trail conditions would be like, but the guy at the wilderness office in Yosemite Valley estimated the snow on the trail to be “patchy but manageable.” And it totally was, for about 1.5 miles. After that the snow cover became 100% and since I neglected to bring snow shoes I enjoyed postholing for the next few miles through deep snow drifts.

But even at the staggeringly slow pace of one mile per hour I eventually reached the lake, just after sunset. I missed the opportunity to shoot that night, but fast forward 24 hours and I found myself on this granite outcrop between Upper and Lower Cathedral Lakes. I had a grand view of the majestic Cathedral Peak and the dramatic clouds beyond. And although this photo doesn’t show it, a biting wind was blowing, dropping the perceived temperature into the low teens. Still, it was an uplifting experience!

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