Horsetail falls – NOW

Half  Dome – Yosemite Musing
I’ve written about the fabled Horsetail Falls at Yosemite a few times in the past. This week I go! Heading up Friday with veteran Domer  Pat  T. and Half Dome virgin Harvey H. We’ll be bunking in a “signature Curry tent cabin.” That means it has insulated canvas and one 110V outlet. But temps at night are hovering near freezing so it will be a down sleeping bag event.  Our goal is to join the gaggle of wanna-be photographers trying to get their own shot of the glow of the falls. The best source of information I’ve found is from veteran Yosemite photographer Michael Frye. The photo below is his and yes, he gave me permission to use it.

Frye has written books to help you capture the many spectacular shots in the park – and beyond. In the Moment: A Landscape Photography, and 25 Years in Yosemite: A Photographer’s Journal. Check out his blogs <HERE> and <HERE>. All my pix are taken with a Casio Exilim credit card sized camera. I’ve given up lugging an SLR around. I have about 50 boxes of 35-mm slides taken with my Canon AE-1. Then the Canon ELAN 2E, so I know just a little about the subject. Once digital resolution became better than slides I bailed for the point and shoot. Whatever rings your bell. So back to the erroneously dubbed “firefall.” (the real firefall was off Glacier Point – but I digress). We plan to be at the El Cap picnic area well before sunset to see this really odd astrophysical phenomenon. It only occurs for a couple weeks and the stars have to be aligned just right:  enough flow out of  the fall, a gentle mist to create a soft spray, clear skies at sunset, and a cup of hot chocolate. Anyway, if you want to make it up before the window closes, be sure to read Fyre’s advice <HERE>.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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  1. Carolee Wheeler says:

    I was up in Yosemite with friends to see Horsetail Fall on Feb. 13, 2011. What an awesome site–just amazing to see it develop. We thought we might miss it because of a few clouds, but it did happen and we were blown away–it is a phenomenon not to be missed–according to another person in our area who was looking with binocs, it was “dry as a bone” so it appeared that what we saw was reflected off the frozen fall–none the less beautiful. Really worth the trip.

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