12/29/15 Our second day in the Valley brought clear skies and postcard perfect conditions. Fresh snow in the trees with bright sun and not a cloud in the sky. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
1 Half Dome against the dawn sky. We hadn't been able to get pictures of the iconic spots around the Valley loop the previous day because of low visibility in the storm. We had hoped that if we stayed the night in the Valley, we would be rewarded with clear skies in the morning. And were we ever!
2 Yosemite Fall from Curry Village in the morning light. Evidently the mist freezes as its coming over the fall and creates a plume of snow against the cliff wall.
3 Getting ready to leave our luxurios tent cabin. Neither of us got much sleep at all, but it was well worth it for the perfect weather today. Normally we consider this tent city "glamping", but we didn't really have any other option this trip.
4 Half Dome later in the morning with the sun just starting to hit the back of the dome.
5 A snow-capped North Dome with Washington Column and the Royal Arches below.
6 Frost on the car windows. It was 15 degrees and dry as we left Curry Village. Evidently good conditions for some fascinating ice crystals.
7 North Dome above the Merced River.
8 The Merced River as calm as I've ever seen it. Making for some great reflections together with the intermittent patches of ice.
9 Upper Yosemite Fall from the Valley Loop.
10 Half Dome from further West around the loop.
11 The full Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls from the path to the base of the falls. At a total of 2,425', the full Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.
12 Lower Yosemite Fall from the footbridge.
13 El Capitan. A much clearer view than the day before.
14 Dad's car dwarfed by the towering El Capitan. With its 3,000' face, it's one of the largest rock monoliths in the world.
15 Coyote walking along the road.
16 Black crow against the snow. We saw these big crows all over the Valley.
17 Inspiration Point. One of the most iconic outdoor pictures in the world. There's light snow on the valley floor at about 3,500', heavier snow on the rim at around 6,500', and deep snow on the upper peaks above 8,000'.
18 Dad and I at Inspiration Point. Technically, it's called the Tunnel View at the end of the Wawona Tunnel, which is below the actual Inspiration Point.
19 Dad taking in the view.
20 Back down to the Valley floor. Here's El Captian with Ribbon Fall to the left. There must have been at least a little water flowing over the normally dry fall since there's a snowy mist similar to Yosemite Falls.
21 El Capitan above the snowy trees.
22 Looking down the Merced River at a heavily snow covered Clouds Rest in the distance.
23 El Capitan and Clouds Rest above the Merced.
24 Bridalveil Fall and the Cathedral Rocks above the meadows and Merced.
25 El Capitan and its reflection on the Merced.
26 My favorite picture spot on the Valley floor. A perfect way to end an amazing experience in Yosemite.