"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings"
- John Muir
Our third day of the tour was an unknown. I figured it'd be a pretty quick day, but having not studied the route closely, I hadn't realized that we had another 15+ mile day in front of us. But after chatting with the Tuolumne Meadows Winter Rangers, Rob & Laura Pilewski, they assured us that it should be another easy day. They also update the Tuolumne Meadows Conditions page weekly. And since we went to bed pretty early, we woke up before sunrise and got off to another early start. And it was a good thing we did, as the snow stayed nice and cold until around noon, when we started breaking through the crust. But by then we were nearly at our destination for the night.
|Unicorn & Cathedar Peak moonset. |
Imagine having this as your backyard every morning... the TM winter rangers live in zen.
|Garbage cans! Don't even have to pack out your trash... now that's some luxury hut livin'!|
|The biggest man with the smallest backpack. Nice job packing!|
|the view for the first hour...|
|Cruising across these meadows was a really peaceful experience... listening to the coyotes howl, birds chirping, and the grouse drumming.|
|A look back at the Unicorn|
|Mariuolumne Dome, with Hobbit Book... my first climb in Yosemite... over 10 years ago.|
|Soon the sun came out... and was HOT. We were hoping to ski across Tenaya Lake, but the sides were melted out.|
|Some evidence of slides|
|and soon we got off the flat road and started going down...|
|actually mainly just Stefan and Alexis... they were testing their Nordic ski set up|
|check out the elasticity of the snow on this tree... Alexis was betting 10$ that I couldn't cross it...|
|Soon the winds picked up, the sun went behind the clouds, and we went on another short tour.|
|and got caught in a hail storm... with some thunder. The forecast was for some thundersnow... which might have been the case in the upper elevations.|
|Then we went back, got Stefan and toured up Mt. Watkins. Where we were treated to quite the show. I had been up here before, when Nick & I climbed up the South Face of Watkins... which took 3 days. Nice to be back...|
|half dome, half lit|
|light on the leaning tower|
|Jumping for joy|