Yosemite: Washburn Point
Aside from the trip that I took this summer into Eastern Yosemite, all of my trips into the park have been in the early winter.
The Eastern Sierra Nevada is, as I have said elsewhere, a place that my being finds rest–that is intensified in the winter, with its shorter days, its cold mornings when your breath mists in the air, its longer nights when a wood fire is a comfort, and its frost.
So, due to the timing of most of my trips into Yosemite, this is the first time that I have been there when the Glacier Point Road was still open. Like all twisting mountain roads, the drive can be a long one, especially if you get stuck behind someone.
However, right before you get to Glacier Point itself, you suddenly see the vista from Washburn Point. I was amazed at the sheer magnitude of the Valley below me and at the daunting size of Half Dome. I thought, “People climb that?!”
I’ve been below Half Dome and taken pictures of it from Mirror Lake and from the Valley Floor. I thought its size was impressive then while looking up at it, but when you see it from Washburn Point . . . it is a whole different perspective that reinforces how enormous it really is.
I saw many, many people (all strangers) climbing past guard rails and walls to get pictures on rocks and outcroppings, both at Washburn Point and Glacier Point, as if they were unaware of the number of accidents-of all types–that can, and do, occur in the park.
For me, it’s not worth the risk.
But, they served occasionally, like in the photo below, as useful indicators of the size and scope of the landscape.
I hope you enjoy the pictures!