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23 Days to WSER: A Dome to the North

After my misdirection (and subsequent additional 9 miles) the previous day I had mentioned to the other people at my campsite that my legs were a little tired. They suggested that I should rest, but I pointed out that this was when the real training started. Running when both physically and psychologically tired is the training that is most important for ultras. Therefore I did not change my planned route for the day at all.

I started my day by climbing straight out of my campground up the same trail that I had descended only 12 hours earlier. I climbed up to the top of Yosemite Falls, now having the opportunity of adding some early morning photos to my late evening photos of the falls. When I reached the top I then turned east (the previous evening I had arrived from the west) to start on some new trails. I climbed to lookout above the falls but unfortunately you do not get close enough to the edge to really see the water falling down.

Yosemite NP - Yosemite Falls
Yosemite NP – Yosemite Falls

I then continued my way around to Yosemite Point, and made my way towards North Dome. The top of North Dome provided some great views of Half Dome, so I stopped briefly to admire the view and take some photos but it was very exposed with little shade and the sun was starting to beat down. From there my route would take me briefly up to the top of Indian Rock, before descending, looping around the rock and then descending into a ravine that would take me under Half Dome. As I descended I went past a group of school children and shortly after thought that I might have just missed the turnoff to climb Indian Rock, but decided that I could live with missing the 0.6 mile (1 km) return that it would have added. I turned out to be correct so instead I made my way around Indian Rock and onto the Snow Creek Trail.

Yosemite NP - North Dome Panorama
Yosemite NP – North Dome Panorama

I was low on water in the heat so I stopped at the creek to fill my hydration bladder and was greeted with stunning views of the creek descending through a series of jagged rocks. I then continued around to the west side of Indian Rock and started to descend a series of switchbacks across the ravine floor from Half Dome. It provided some stunning views, and I eventually descended down to the ravine floor that would lead me into Yosemite Valley. I reached Mirror Lake, continued into the main section of the valley and then would follow the Valley Trail straight back to my campsite. On the way along the Valley Trail I spotted a large cat with a short tail, and realised that I had just spotted a bobcat.

Including the black bear I had spotted the previous week on the Tahoe Rim Trail and the mountain lion I spotted back in 2010 in Redwood National Park I had checked off all of the major animals found within Yosemite National Park: black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, deer and squirrels. The following day’s run would then help me tick off all of the major viewpoints directly above the valley floor.

For details of the day’s run you can check it out at MovesCount.com here.


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