I try to find at least one new shooting location each trip... and this one’s a wowie, my favorite so far in all of the Yosemite high country, for its 360° views of all sorts of cool stuff, with hardly a trace of human impact, unlike Pothole Dome not far away, where jackasses have gone and re-arranged all the rocks in unnatural ways.
Up here at this spot, the rocks, fist-sized to very large, sit just like they melted-out 10000 years ago—really lovely stuff to my eyes—the people who go rearrange such stuff ought to be banned from the park (and my understanding is that it is illegal but people do it anyway).
But dang... it was 10°F outside as I camped at only 6500', down to 26°F inside my van. But my new diet has my metabolism ramped up and last night was a once-a-week binge-eating night good for a 2500 calorie dinner (good way to lose fat, seriously!)—it made me roasting hot even in those temps, and I have dropped 5 pounds of fat on this trip.
The 7 one-gallon waters I bought last last night went from room temperature to almost solid overnight (left outside the van.).. they went into the cooler—free ice!
I drove into Yosemite and it got warmer but it was still only 18°F at 8 AM when I started my hike. It warmed up to perhaps 40°F in full sun by mid-day and that felt nice, but at dusk when the big heater in the sky goes away the temperature plummets 20°F within 20 minutes, or so it feels.
This time of year, I just love the way everything remains free and clear for hiking if snow has not yet come to stay, but everything is icing over—it’s a whole different feel to the place and hardly anyone here except for sporadic through-traffic and a few intrepids like me.
Here, I am wearing my Western Mountaineering Flash XR down jacket over a lighter-weight down jacket over a wool hoody over a base layer, plus wool cap. I carry wind and water proof outer layers too (top and bottom), but hiking up 1200 vertical feet I was too darn hot even stripping off layers even in sub-freezing temps. Hands are the biggest issue in such weather with gloves working OK with the Sony A7R IV, but clumsy. The Zeiss Milvus lenses get quite stiff to focus too (shooting Nikon D850 monochrome).
The weather is holding—if you like late-season high-country shooting as I do, now is the time to go!