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(June 18-22, 2008)

Viktor Balogh

Camping at the Lookout Tower of Sasto

Joel M. Baldwin

Yosemite Valley from Eyehook Point

View along Ledge Trail, under Glacier Point, above Curry Village and Staircase Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Friday June 20, 2008 1:48PM PDT

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© 2008 Joel M. Baldwin, All Rights Reserved.

Yosemite Valley is inherently a location of Elevations. A valley surrounded by high cliffs, you’re always looking either up or down! Few spots there give you the opportunity to do both.

I don’t know if this vista has a name. I call it Eyehook Point. If you look down you’ll see the namesakes. Long ago a power line pole was supported at this point. All that is left are the eyehooks that held the support cables.

In the opening view we’re looking down at Curry Village. The meadow in center left is Stoneman Meadow. To the right of the meadow at dead center of the view is the Curry Apple Orchard that used to be the “Day use parking”. The blue patch below that is the Curry Village swimming pool. To the far left and up you see the Ahwahnee hotel, and to the far right the clearing in the forest is the trailhead parking lot.

If you drag the view up and to the left, Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls come into view. Continuing to the left brings into view the gully within which Staircase Falls creek comes down from Glacier point. Farther to the left brings us back to the original view with Royal Arches, Washington Column, North Dome, Tenaya Canyon, Mt Watkins, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Liberty Cap, and Nevada Fall in view at the same time.

This location is readily accessible from Ledge Trail. However the trail itself is another matter. Ledge Trail is a long ago abandoned trail notorious for its steepness, difficulty, and danger. It has had more than its share of fatalities over the years. I’ve been up the trail a number of times. However for this shoot I choose for the first time to hike down from Glacier Point. The trail starts along Four Mile Trail where the creek crosses. It then comes down the gully alongside the creek, even crossing the creek a few times. Normally downhill is pretty easy. Not in this case. Every step down had to be calculated, tested, and above all NOT trusted. The hike back up naturally wasn’t any easier. Do not attempt this hike unless you have someone else with you who has been on it, or you are extremely experienced in off trail hiking!

A lovely and wonderful hike, but QUITE EXAUSTING!
Would you like to see some of the panos I took on this trip?

For more panos of Yosemite go to http://www.virtualyosemite.com/
Canon 450D, Peleng 8mm Fisheye, Panosarus Pan Head, cheap monopod
PTGui Pro 7.8 x64 using HDR, Photoshop CS3, Pano2QTVR 1.6.6 Pro

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