After enduring nearly a week in the western Nevada desert waiting-out the unhealthy thick smoky haze in the Eastern Sierra, a cold front blew it all away for other states to inhale, setting the stage for three days of stunningly clear air and perfect hiking temperatures. And I had both Tenaya Canyon and Glacier Canyon entirely to myself too, just the way I like it. Worth the wait!
But on Oct 1, a miles-high white pall loomed from the south by 11 AM, resulting in smoke so thick in Tuolumne Meadows that smoke was visible only 50 ft away—hazardously bad*, probably AQI 300 or so for 10 miles or so. I donned a P100 particulate respirator, closed my windows, put the A/C on recirculate and drove out of Yosemite into crummy but far better air, all the way home.
Below, I would have liked to have compared a good sample of the Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL on the Leica SL2 to the Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar on the Sony A1. But the brand-new 50/2 APO-SL is/was badly swung, and it was out of the question (weight) to carry two systems. I opted for prudence and carried the lighter and more compact Sony A1, which also offers a far more enjoyable shooting experience, IMO.
As a huge bonus, I had regained enough strength for such hikes every other day (I sensed a change starting early September). Though carrying an extra 25 pounds of body fat plus camera gear is little different than a full backpacking load by comparison to my 2019 condition. But I am thrilled that after 18 months of major impairment, I seem to be on track to working myself back to full health and fitness, albeit with still high sleep demands some days (10+ hours). Paying close attention to avoid a recovery/relapse cycle this time, so I expect it will take another year to get back to 2019 condition, as I fear to try too much too soon.
* Sad to see the highway repair crew completely lacking in lung-protective gear. It should be an OSHA violation to subject workers to such unhealthy air conditions.
Bellow, Dana Glacier (really just an ice field now). The very large gray moraine is seen below it, parted in the middle by some remaining bedrock; a human figure on it would just barely be visible. The picture was taken standing on a smaller but still quite large moraine that creates this large upper lake. Great ice skating for a few weeks in November if the snows do not cover it. The summit of Mt Dana is up and to the right, clipped off.
Time to leave.