"Mile... Mile & a Half" is the answer that hikers give when you ask 'How far from here to there?', according to this documentary: Five artists/friends left their daily lives behind to hike California’s historic John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. The trip lasted 25 days and was funded by a successful kickstarter campaign a few years ago. The movie will wake the wanderlust feelings in you, and is available on the usual channels.
For the first time in 100 years, a Sierra Nevada Red Fox has been spotted at Yosemite. Scientists have estimated the total Sierra Nevada red fox population numbers below 50 (fifty). [more inside]
Rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are nearing completion of an attempt to free climb the Dawn Wall (pic, route map) of El Cap in Yosemite. Over 3000' tall and consisting of 30 pitches (14 rated above 5.13), this will become the hardest free climb in the world.
Removing predators from the wild has thrown ecosystems off-kilter, triggering domino effects that scientists are just beginning to understand. In "Wild Predator Invasion," NOVA follows scientists who are trying a simple but controversial solution: returning apex predators—like wolves, bears, and panthers—to their natural environments. [more inside]
"We are reminded that everything is flowing—going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks both in solution and in the form of mud particles, sand, pebbles, and boulders. Rocks flow from volcanoes like water from springs, and animals flock together and flow in currents modified by stepping, leaping, gliding, flying, swimming, etc. While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood globules in Nature's warm heart." — John Muir [more inside]
Heinrich Caesar Berann is known as the father of the modern cartographic panorama and is also credited as the most prolific panorama artist ever. His style and work could be credited with the lasting appeal of stylized panoramic maps that often feature exaggerated or distorted features as the preferred map type for ski resorts and trails (PDF) but Berann's true passion was art, as seen in these collections of his paintings and drawings found on the tribute site maintained by his grandson, Matthias Troyer. [more inside]
Gimp Monkeys: 'We are climbers first, disabled second. If you're a climber, you want to climb El Capitan.' (SLV)
Shawn Reeder shoots timelapse video, and his latest project is almost 5 minutes of Yosemite timelapse landscapes. Previously: a different HD Yosemite timelapse video.
In the spring of 1977, a Lockheed Lodestar crashed into a lake in Yosemite National Park carrying six tons of Mexican marijuana. The US government recovered most of it. Camp Four got the rest. A true stoner fable by Kief Hillsbery. [more inside]
There's been a lot of great photography of Yosemite National Park. National Geographic has done some excellent work and there's plenty of photos that provide a great historical view of the area. More recently there was a fantastic zoomable 17 gigapixel project (previously). But this HD time-lapse day & night video of several locations around Yosemite Park provides perhaps the most amazing view of the area yet. More info on the making of the video at Project Yosemite.
This week, an Austrian climber in Yosemite Valley took a fall on the granite monolith El Capitan. As he fell, his thumb caught in some climbing gear and was severed. Amazingly, the severed digit landed on the ledge beside the injured climber's partner, who retrieved it. Amazing helicopter rescue ensued. [more inside]
Kennan Ward Nature-Wildlife Photography -- “Being a nature-wildlife photographer is a demanding job … but all the hardship is forgotten when I make eye-to-eye contact with a wild animal, or experience the moment when a window in the clouds opens up, highlighting a landscape … I feel honored to be able to bring the inspiring beauty of nature to others.” [more inside]
Hetch Hetchy is Yosemite's lost valley (the name is Miwok.) But it's no longer necessary as a water supply, so it may be time to bring it back.
Do you know your National Parks? We've all heard of Yosemite and Grand Canyon, but what about some of the less well known but nevertheless remarkable parks such as Haleakala, Capitol Reef and Isle Royale? (I guess I'm a sucker for underdogs.)