This October we set off on a trip that could have been the adventure of a lifetime. Instead we found ourself stuck in an overcrowded valley, struggling to find accommodation or space in any campsite and too tired and under-motivated to set off on any big wall. It was a hard moment for me because I felt unable to lead the team (my husband and I) on a vertical adventure, for which I lack many skills and strength. My desire to achieve the goal was not planned out well enough and really I was not passionate enough to achieve it. We still manage to climb a bit, but the rock and the crowds felt like my enemies!
Most of the time when we try something and we fail we lear something positive about ourselves. We are then able to get motivate again and re-attempt. This time it was different: I felt incompetent and defeated before the start. It shook me deeply and made me realize that, for such difficult activities, more passion, commitment and perseverance is required. I climbed high mountains before, completed endurance races, long climbs etc, but never had I felt as intimidated as in Yosemite Valley. A mountain generally starts with some gentle slopes, instead in the Valley every wall start steeply and it is very very very high! On top of this climbers are made feel unwelcome and everything is overcrowded in the high climbing season.
As usual photography allowed me to think about the experience and escape into the beauty of Yosemite Valley. Tourist crowds a side, this place is incredibly beautiful and photogenic. It is hard to take a bad picture here! I was lucky to capture the autumn colors with the Bridalveil fall, that appeared after heavy rain, the valley covered in mist and smoke from the controlled fires, the Leaning Tower and the classic El Capitan view.
We concluded the holiday better with a trip to Sonoma wine country (stunning) and climbing in the calmer, quieter and colder Easter side of the Sierras. A more relaxed holiday was needed this time!
Above Yosemite Valley.
Pictures below: The Eastern Sierras.