The Chief Of Yosemite
El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end. The granite monolith extends about 3,000 feet (900 m) from base to summit along its tallest face, and is one of the world's favorite challenges for rock climbers.
The formation was named "El Capitan" by the Mariposa Battalion when it explored the valley in 1851. El Capitán ("the captain", "the chief") was taken to be a loose Spanish translation of the local Native American name for the cliff, variously transcribed as "To-to-kon oo-lah" or "To-tock-ah-noo-lah". It is unclear if the Native American name referred to a specific Tribal chief, or simply meant "the chief" or "rock chief". In modern times, the formation's name is often contracted to "El Cap", especially among rock climbers.
The top of El Capitan can be reached by hiking out of Yosemite Valley on the trail next to Yosemite Falls, then proceeding west. For climbers, the challenge is to climb up the sheer granite face; there are many named climbing routes, all of them arduous.
The last day of my Yosemite adventures was just as impactful and self-spiritual for me as the first day I arrived. So many sights and sounds and scents of this Yosemite Valley and surrounding areas have forever changed who I am. And not just the present moments changed me, but also the historical moments and the players who played a part in the time before my arrival. With this reflection in my mind of those who have come before me, I dedicated my last morning to emulating Ansel Adams, as best as I could imagine him. Living in the monochrome world that morning was enlivening and has added to my colored experience.