August Hiking Stats

August 2011 Hiking Report

August got off to a slow start. I got home from Glacier Nat. Park and was ever so lazy! Unpacking, doing laundry, catching up with snail mail, bills, and then work kept me off the trails, but I got back in the groove. The countdown to Clouds Rest began!

The month was fantastic. With not just one hike up to Clouds Rest but TWO, and I finished the month with a Backpacking class which was fun, and it’s something I’d like to do again in the future.

The photo above was taken on the morning of my second night hike up to Clouds Rest in Yosemite Nat. Park. I made it up to the top, and across the scary narrow span. Below I am looking back at the Narrow Span. I walked across this in the dark with only the aid of my head lamp and what ambient light there was at 4:30 a.m. Unfortunately, on this hike too I suffered from altitude issues beginning around 9,000ft, but they weren’t as severe as my previous hike up the week before.

Having safely crossed the Narrow Span and making it onto the  somewhat wider slab I set up my camera to take a series of shots of the sky, and took a nap. I woke up right before the sun was about to crest the mountains and I was hoping for Alpine Glow. I moved my tripod and camera over to a place I would be able to shoot Half Dome lit by the morning sun and waited. In the very top photograph the sun had just lit up the tops of El Capitan, Sentinel Dome, and Half Dome.  It was a gorgeous morning.  It’s an amazing view, and as for me… I’ve never trained or worked so physically hard to achieve a goal like this before. It’s been an amazing journey. I cross this goal off my 2011 list with a heart full of thanks for those friends who hiked with me, supported me, and encouraged me all along the way. Especially Heman, who put up with me interrupting his sleep at ungodly hours as I got up to train or came in late from a night shoot, and being gone a lot. I couldn’t have done it without you! ♥

8/4-7.98mi, 1,962 ft, 3h3m, PG&E trail to Vista Point

8/8 -6.32 miles, 2,197ft 3h22m, Peak Trail- The Steep Route- o&b

8/8- 2mi, 20ft– W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz stroll b4 dinner

8/10- 10.85mi, 2,252ft, 4h58m, Mount Madonna Several trails to make a loop

8/12- 4.30mi, 920ft, 1h36m, PG&E Trail to Wildcat Loop Trailhead & Back

8/13&14- 14mi, 3,099ft, 9h25m,  Trail to Cloud’s Rest Yosemite Nat. Pk

8/17- 6.50mi, 2,169ft, 3h12m, Mission Peak-The Steep Route w/Seth

8/23&24- 14.2mi, 3,687ft, 12h30,  Trail to Clouds Rest Yosemite Nat. Park

8/27&28- 10.83mi, 476ft, -REI Backpacking class Point Reyes Nat. Seashore Coast Camp

Total Miles Hiked- 76.98

Total Elevation Gain- 16,782ft

YTD elevation gain- 64,540! Can I make 100,000ft in 2011? Don’t bet on it! 😀


The Dawn of a New Day from Cloud’s Rest

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Dawn unfolding her light across the mountains. There is something magical about the way that Alpine glow can reach across the span of a valley and warm, and fill me with inner peace and harmony. In these moments when nothing else exists but me, nature, and God…it’s euphoria.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 18mm ai-s| f22| 1/13sec| ISO 400| Manual Mode| Tripod| Cable Release
Taken from Cloud’s Rest, Yosemite National Park. The Sawtooth Mountain Range is to the right.

Tioga and Glacier Roads Plowing Update

There is still a lot of snow up there!


Watch the crew as it plows near Olmstead Point


For the historians View a log of Tioga & Glacier Roads Closing/ Opening dates.

Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004.

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

One of many pull outs along Hwy 120 that we stopped at on the way home from Bishop,CA.
This is a meadow again by July I’ve heard. I wonder if it’s covered in wildflowers right now.
I remember playing here as a girl.

PP- Usual ACR sliders plus a wee bit of sharpening. Shooting RAW I find I need to add it verses JPEG where I’ve added it in camera. Resized, and cleaned up a few dust spots.

Nikon D300s
Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S

In Cook’s Meadow

After an already great day in and out of Yosemite Valley we went to Cook’s meadow to try and get Half Dome lit up at sunset.

When I arrived down in the meadow after scaling a fallen tree, and crossing a little creek, and walking along the boggy grass to a nice spot with a great view of Half Dome it was covered in clouds. We all hoped the wind would shift and clear out the clouds before the sun set.

The top of the mountain was “hot” so I put on my 2 stop soft edge Singh-Ray Grad ND filter. It really didn’t help enough so I fooled around with different apertures-stopping it down and it was still too “hot’. So I took off the the 2 stop and put on my 3 Stop Hard Edge Grad ND filter. That did the trick! After awhile I was blessed with this shot.  It was a fantastic birthday!

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This is how Half Dome looked when I first got down in Cook’s Meadow.

Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

Yosemite National Park


Sierra Mountains

Nikon D300s, Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S