El Capitan Hike

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, 7569 ft, 5/31/2003.
The Yosemite Valley floor is about 3900 ft. Started hiking at 6:30 am with 2 friends. Arrived at top of El Capitan about 12:45. Returned to Yosemite Valley floor at 6:30 pm. I felt like I needed a gurney and an IV when I reached the valley floor, but I settled for a glass of red wine. The upper falls was roaring and the valley floor was partly flooded. Most of the snow was gone, and the mosquitoes started biting on the way down.

Half Dome is visible from the top of El Capitan and from much of the valley, with it's left side scraped off by ancient glaciers. I'd like to hike Half Dome in 2005. (Maybe not. The park service had initially told me the safety cables would be up before Memorial Day. As of my visit on 5/27/05, the park service had postponed installation until June 14th, because of heavy winter snow.)