Yosemite January 2017 Instagram Monthly Review

This is the Yosemite January 2017 Instagram Monthly Review. Winter storms continued to reinvigorate Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada with several feet of fresh snow. Yosemite waterfalls have been full since November, and we are still anticipating a huge spring waterfall runoff. Finally, it appears the California drought may have ended. This is welcome news for us all!

Here are the most liked photos from the YExplore Yosemite January 2017 Instagram page with over 250 likes. They were all taken on Guided YExplore Yosemite Tours. There are several more daily images from Yosemite on our feed and now have 2585 followers. Please follow and share with other IGers to help us build our Instagram audience @yexplore.

Yosemite January 2017 Instagram

Yosemite January 2017 Instagram

 

Loving Yosemite Falls this winter. #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #yosemitefalls #waterfalls #yexplore

A post shared by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Yosemite January 2017 Instagram

Sentinel Rock reflecting in the Merced River. #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #yexplore

A post shared by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

El Capitan just because

A post shared by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

All photos taken for Yosemite January 2017 Instagram on an iPhone 6s by John P. DeGrazio

Yosemite January 2017 Instagram Photos & Videos Courtesy of  http://instagram.com/yexplore

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 6s with a 12 megapixel camera and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone. – John P. DeGrazio

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

February is African American History Month. A great way to celebrate is by honoring many prominent African Americans in United States history. I’d like to kick off Yosemite African American History Month 2017 with a tribute to several African American explorers who visited Yosemite in 2016. Additionally, it was my true honor to share these adventures with brave and energetic pathfinders. I was able to take many exhilarating images in their presence as they met every obstacle Yosemite threw at them.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

President Barack Obama gracefully overcame so many challenges over the past eight years. He has cemented his legacy as the United States President who has designated the most wild land for protection. By designating Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monuments in December, he has protected over 553 million acres of wild land.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

During all that work for conservation, President Obama still had enough time to come to Yosemite in 2016 on Father’s Day weekend. I was honored to be able to take a few photos of this wilderness champion during this historic event.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

Many African Americans visit Yosemite each year. However, there are several community leaders who wish to see better representation of African Americans in our national parks. I met Rue Mapp, the founder of Outdoor Afro, in Yosemite on the day of the president’s visit. Ms. Mapp shared the mission of her organization which is an effort to get more African Americans outdoors. This is directly from their About Us page on the Outdoor Afro website:

Outdoor Afro has become the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature. We help people take better care of themselves, our communities, and our planet!”

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

I was able to spend a lot of quality time on the trails in 2016 with African American expeditionists and their families. They all were brave enough to accomplish some outstanding achievements. Most noteworthy were Yosemite Falls and the summit of Half Dome. I have selected some of my favorite photos to share in celebration of these wonderful achievements.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

As we celebrate African American History Month, it is important to also recognize those who make their own history every day.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

In conclusion, look forward to sharing so many more Yosemite guided hiking experiences with African American hikers in 2017. And if you’re listening, President Obama, it would be a great honor to lead you and your family to the summit of Half Dome now that you are a private citizen.

Yosemite African American History Month 2017

Finally, this could be you on the Half Dome Visor in 2017!

 

Yosemite December 2016 Instagram Monthly Review

This is the Yosemite December 2016 Instagram Monthly Review. Winter returned to Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada in full force in December as 2016 ended with a bang. Warmer temperatures brought mostly rain to the lower elevations as storms pummeled California. Elevations above 10,000 feet received a steady dose of snow. The realities of climate change prove although all precipitation is welcome, much of the rainfall turned into runoff before it could be captured for future use. However, most Yosemite waterfalls have been full since November, and we are anticipating a huge spring waterfall season.

Here are the most liked photos and videos from the YExplore Yosemite December 2016 Instagram page with over 225 likes. There are several more daily images from Yosemite on our feed. We have reached an instagram milestone and now have 2554 followers. Please follow and share with other IGers to help us build our Instagram audience @yexplore.

Yosemite December 2016 Instagram

Yosemite December 2016 Instagram

 

Half Dome is letting off a little steam this morning. #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #halfdome #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Yosemite December 2016 Instagram

I come to Yosemite to wallow in my own humility. #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #elcapitan #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Yosemite December 2016 Instagram

Nevada Feliz Navidad

A video posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

More Yosemite Magic at Mirror Lake. #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

All photos taken for Yosemite December 2016 Instagram on an iPhone 6s by John P. DeGrazio

Yosemite December 2016 Instagram Photos & Videos Courtesy of  http://instagram.com/yexplore

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 6s with a 12 megapixel camera and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone. – John P. DeGrazio

Yosemite Season’s Greetings

Yosemite Season’s Greetings from all of us at YExplore Yosemite Adventures. We are so thankful for the tremendous opportunity to share every inch of Yosemite National Park with all of our guests on guided Yosemite tours and also with our friends on social media. We wish you all a very happy holiday season.Yosemite Season's Greetings

Yosemite Season’s Greetings

It is amazing to share the Yosemite experience with people for the very first time in their life. We receive so many visitors from many nations on several continents. Yosemite is truly an international gathering place. I was able to witness a young couple hiking in snow for the very first time on a recent adventure through the Valley. Yosemite Season's Greetings

It is always a thrill to share this experience, and I watched them make their first snowballs with careful hands and eyes of delight. I cherish every moment of joy shared with all of you.

As we move toward the new year, I would like to express the gratitude we feel for having these opportunities. I would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year. Here’s to a bright, happy, and healthy 2017 from all of us at YExplore.Yosemite Season's Greetings

 

 

 

Yosemite November 2016 Instagram Monthly Review

This is the Yosemite November 2016 Instagram Monthly Review. October was followed by a very colorful November that highlighted the fall season. Snow on the valley floor signified that winter is near, and the waterfalls continued to be the stars of the show. Thank you all for also using the #yexplore hashtag and tagging us in your photos. Here are the most liked photos and videos from the YExplore Yosemite November 2016 Instagram page with over 200 likes. There are several more daily images from Yosemite on our feed. We have reached an instagram milestone and now have 2510 followers. Please follow and share with other IGers to help us build our Instagram audience @yexplore.

Yosemite November 2016 Instagram

Yosemite November 2016 Instagram

This is my favorite puddle in Yosemite. It brings joy to those who know it well. #yosemite #yosemitefalls #flipagram #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Yosemite November 2016 Instagram

So many opportunities to photograph fall colors remain in Yosemite Valley. #optoutside #exploreyourworld #yosemitenationalpark

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Yosemite November 2016 Instagram

We must search for ways to find the light, even in our darkest hours. #yosemite #nevadafall #chasingthelight

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Yosemite November 2016 Instagram

Go to the places that inspire self discovery. #yosemite #upperyosemitefall

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

A late afternoon treat from Glacier Point.

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Yosemite November 2016 Instagram

Return of Lower Yosemite Fall

A video posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Mistbows have returned to Yosemite Falls. Come see one right now. #yosemite #yosemitefalls #yosemiterightnow #yexplore #findyourpark

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

All photos taken for Yosemite November 2016 Instagram on an iPhone 6s by John P. DeGrazio

Yosemite November 2016 Instagram Photos & Videos Courtesy of  http://instagram.com/yexplore

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 6s with a 12 megapixel camera and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone. – John P. DeGrazio

Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday Gifts

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks sorting through hundreds of fall photos and am very pleased with my images representing the fall colors displayed around Yosemite Valley. Several of my most noteworthy shots in the last three weeks were captured while leading groups on walks that highlighted Yosemite Falls. My updated portfolio includes several of these images. I am also sharing my Yosemite National Park image gallery as a suggestion for those who are looking for holiday gift ideas because Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday Gifts.

Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday Gifts

Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday Gifts

One’s perspective can change dramatically while photographing in Yosemite. I view every adventure with excitement as an opportunity to tell a new story. I created this first scene while walking along the banks of the Merced River. We found this reflection and decided to stay to make a composition. I was able to hold my camera steady because getting low to the ground is important.

Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday GiftsScattered October storms signaled an escape from the dry summer. Leaves changed quickly and many fell before they could produce any vibrant colors.

Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday GiftsThere are several photographic challenges during the changing seasons. Lighting conditions swiftly transform each scene and luck sometimes outweighs other factors when trying to photograph landscapes. Being at the right place at the right time is essential. Having your camera at the ready for that moment is most important.

Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday GiftsI captured this falling leaf as I set up a composition of Yosemite Falls. The wind gusted as I prepared my camera, and I noticed several leaves began to fall from the trees above us. I held my camera and waited for the right moment. Snap.

Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday GiftsKnowing the lay of the land is also important. This is an image that followed a clearing storm. I spend a lot of time in this area waiting for guests to join me for Yosemite adventures. I knew exactly where I wanted to be when the sunlight shone through the last of the parting clouds. Consequently, this photo gave new meaning to the phrase golden hour.

Professional Yosemite Prints Make Great Holiday Gifts

I would also like to share the galleries of our professional photography instructors for more great gift ideas.

Robb Hirsch

Al Golub

James McGrew

Jay Sousa

 

 

 

Walking with the Ghost of El Capitan

The other day I was hiking along the North Rim of Yosemite Valley when an apparition appeared. In prior revenant encounters, the elusive spirit always avoided contact, but this one was different indeed. As I stood on the summit of El Capitan on a rain soaked afternoon, I was approached by this shadowy figure. It was I who became dodgy, but all my best efforts were thwarted. My hurried hiking pace became a light jog then an all out sprint. My mortal efforts were no match for this persistent poltergeist. After nearly a quarter mile sprint, I stopped to see his outstretched hand offering a gesture of greeting. “Why do you run?” asked the Ghost of El Capitan.

Ghost of El CapitanThe Ghost of El Capitan

“Are you ashamed?”, he continued. I did not answer at first. My stunned silence quickly morphed into an ocean of words as we discussed many topics. He asked me “How could this happen?” and the silence returned. He aired his grievances. I tried to assure him that we will eventually learn valuable lessons from this grave mistake. He followed with “Will it be her?’ Again, I had no idea. He began to rattle off quote after quote from one of the most dangerously uninformed potential “future protectors” of his home.

I’m not a denier. I don’t doubt that climate change exists. No one has proven that these changes are caused by anything done by human beings via greenhouse gases. There’s no convincing scientific evidence for man-made climate change. The climate has always been changing. Climate change is to this century what eugenics was to the last century. It’s hysteria and a lot of it’s junk science. And when it’s as discredited as eugenics, you know a lot of people are going to look very foolish and heartless.

One of the markers that they use to measure the glacier that he was talking about, they started measuring … back in the early 1800s. And then they started showing from there how it shrunk. You know, it’s receded. Well, man’s footprint, the first Mukluk was not even near that glacier in the early 1800s when it started melting. That was before the Industrial Revolution. So, you know, these blames on man’s activity, some of that I know is bogus.

The chant is “drill, baby, drill.” That’s what we hear across this country in our rallies because people are hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into.

We continued our discussion while walking through some of the most pristine wilderness Yosemite National Park had to offer. He shared so much valuable information along with strategies to combat the ignorance behind what is sure to be the biggest fight to protect our national parks in the 21st Century. He was my guide. I was his student. This was the most horrifying of all the statements he shared:

I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby; oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind’s use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations, for us to import their resources. … If I were head of that, I’d get rid of it. And I’d let the states start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries and the people who are affected by the developments within their states. So, you know, if I were in charge of that, it would be a short-term job … it would be really great to have someone who knows energy and is pro-responsible development to be in charge.

“Reckless” was all I could utter. I mentioned this agenda has already been initiated in Utah. It’s sure to be the law now. “I know, word travels quickly in my realm” he responded. We are in for a pitched battle no matter who becomes the next custodian of the forests. I pledged to fight the good fight and will convince others to join me for this most worthy cause. Again, he was not surprised by my expressions of vigilance. He promised to have the ravens look after me and advised me to “look to them for guidance.” I turned to see one flying overhead. At that moment, the Ghost of El Capitan left me alone with my thoughts. I caught one last glimpse of him before he disappeared into a thicket of tall trees.

The Ghost of El Capitan

Ghost of El Capitan

I continued my journey as the rain subsided. The clouds gave way to sunshine so I decided to visit North Dome and was greeted by a friend.

Ghost of El Capitan

The Ghost of El Capitan had left me, but I strangely felt his presence nearby. It’s a feeling that has stayed with me since that day and one I don’t suspect will leave me any time soon.

Ghost of El Capitan

The day’s adventure was coming to  a close, but I had a sense that I had a much longer walk ahead of me. A walk I hope many will join. As I hiked down the Snow Creek Trail, this Tegan and Sara song was stuck in my head. “Out of my mind, out of my mind. I was walking with a ghost…”

October 2016 Yosemite Instagram Monthly Review

This is the October 2016 Yosemite Instagram Monthly Review. Autumn arrived in Yosemite with brilliant displays of fall colors in October. The temperatures remained warm, and the hiking trails were crowded. From Valley View to Half Dome with Yosemite Falls in the middle, we had ample opportunities to share images from Yosemite in fall. We appreciate the increased social interactions of likes and comments on our Instagram page. Thank you all for also using the #yexplore hashtag and tagging us in your photos. Here are some of the most liked photos from the YExplore September 2016 Yosemite Instagram page with over 200 likes. There are many more daily images from Yosemite on our feed. We have reached 2458 followers. Please follow and share with other IGers to help us build our Instagram audience @yexplore.

October 2016 Yosemite Instagram

October 2016 Yosemite Instagram

This is what Tenaya Creek at the Mirror Lake outlet sounds like right now.

A video posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

The next journey begins. See you in a few days. #yosemite #backpacking #bringontherain

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

October 2016 Yosemite Instagram

Half Dome from Sentinel Bridge on a fall day #yosemite #findyourpark #halfdome #yexplore #fallcolors

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Upper @ Lower #yosemitefalls

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Lower Yosemite Fall a little earlier in the week. #yosemite #yosemitefalls #waterfallphotography #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

October 2016 Yosemite Instagram

Half Dome and the Lion Head #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #halfdome #lion #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Half Dome, Merced River

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

If you had one day to visit Yosemite after a huge rainstorm, where would you go? #upperyosemitefall #yosemitefalls #yosemite #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

October 2016 Yosemite Instagram

Welcome back Bridalveil Fall! #fallintoyosemite #yosemitenationalpark #yosemiterebirth #bridalveil #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Be driven by your love of beauty. #yosemite #fallcolors #fallintoyosemite #dashcam #beautiful #elcapitan #yexplore

A video posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

The incomparable El Capitan.

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

All photos taken on an iPhone 6s for October 2016 Yosemite Instagram

October 2016 Yosemite Instagram Photos & Videos Courtesy of  http://instagram.com/yexplore

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 6s with an 12 megapixel camera and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone. – John P. DeGrazio

September 2016 Yosemite Instagram Monthly Review

This is the September 2016 Yosemite Instagram Monthly Review. I know it’s been like forever since I posted to my blog, but there have been a lot new developments since then, including an impending launch of the new Can O Peaches radio show. More to come about that, but I will be spending the next couple of days trying to add more updates to the blog. This one is long overdue. Here are some of the most liked photos from the YExplore September 2016 Yosemite Instagram page with over 200 likes. There are many more on our feed where we have reached over 2400 followers. Please follow and share with other IGers to help us build our Instagram audience @yexplore.

September 2016 Yosemite Instagram

September 2016 Yosemite Instagram

All photos taken on an iPhone 6s for September 2016 Yosemite Instagram

Unofficial Yosemite Facelift cleanup is not about the glory or the cup. I have led a Half Dome hike during Facelift for the last few years. This year I contacted @yosemitefacelift early to see if I could preregister. Our groups always keep the Half Dome trail, among many others in Yosemite, clean by removing trash. The organizers of the event wanted us to participate but @yosemitenps said no. They specifically stated that we needed to register for archaeological site training and had to wait until 8 am to register. I tried to explain the hike begins at 5:30 am. Despite my lack of training, I decided I would still help the ranger at the cables by hauling down this 20 pound bag of used gloves. I am certain I did not disturb any archaeological site. It was another unofficial and possibly illegal Facelift act, but the ranger didn’t seem to mind and appreciated the help. Maybe next year we can officially participate & I can finally get a cup. #unvolunteering #nocup #nocupnoglory #notabouttherecognition #facelift #yosemitefacelift #trashyourtrash #yosemite #halfdome #halfdomecables #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

September 2016 Yosemite Instagram Photos & Videos Courtesy of  http://instagram.com/yexplore

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 6s with an 12 megapixel camera and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone. – John P. DeGrazio

August 2016 Yosemite Instagram Monthly Review

This is the August 2016 Yosemite Instagram Monthly Review. We celebrated the National Park Service 100 year Anniversary on August 25. A group of park service employees and partners gathered for a ceremony. Superintendent Don Neubacher addressed the crowd. He was also joined by Ranger Gabriel who stole the show. Author Terry Tempest Williams also shared an address about protecting nature that was poignantly moving.

Yosemite NPS Centennial CelebrationYosemite also celebrated a major event at Glacier Point in August. The Mariposa Symphony brilliantly performed an historic concert to commemorate the centennial. Les Marsden composed “Our Nation’s Nature”.

2016 has been a special year for me in Yosemite because I was named a Yosemite Centennial Ambassador. My role has been to share photos through social media. I have helped share many of the park’s messages since the program began. Therefore, I have relished my role as a Yosemite steward. Here are some of the most important photos from the YExplore August 2016 Yosemite Instagram page. There are many more on our feed where we have reached 2327 followers. Please follow and share with other IGers to help us build our Instagram audience @yexplore.

August 2016 Yosemite Instagram

All photos taken on an iPhone 6s for July 2016 Yosemite Instagram

I never got this guy’s name but he was happy to pose on the summit of Half Dome for this photo as I stood on the Visor. I was pleased to take one for him moments later as we switched positions. We never shared names or contact info. Instead, we both were sharing a special moment in peaceful predawn solitude on the most famous peak in Yosemite National Park. I first saw him gaining ground on me as I ascended the Sub Dome before sunrise. His light inspired me to move faster. The competitor in me scaled the cables in full stealth mode with no headlamp so he had no idea where I was. Actually, I wanted to enjoy the first light experience without any artificial interferences. I was able to enjoy about 15 minutes on the summit alone before we shared the silence. I departed once the next group arrived. Having achieved my mission, I was content to exit before the sun made its arrival.

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

 

August 2016 Yosemite Instagram

There’s always Half Dome. #yosemite #halfdome #bw #bwphotography #bwlandscape #landscapephotography #landscapes #yosemitenationalpark

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Still glowing | Privileged doesn’t always have a positive connotation but it’s hard not to feel privileged this morning. Calling Yosemite National Park my office for the past decade is enough to make anyone feel privileged. After spending thousands of hours here, I am still amazed with how unique every experience truly is. Yesterday I woke at 2:30 am to lead another Half Dome hike. Yes, I led this hike more than 100 times, and no it never gets old. We had an amazing group of explorers. Once we arrived at Sub Dome it began to rain. Undeterred, we waited out the light drizzle and ascended the cables when the skies cleared. Our window was temporary but long enough to enjoy some dramatic photos on the summit. I returned to the Valley floor only to rush up to Glacier Point for a once in a lifetime event. My good friend Les Marsden is the conductor for the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra & he composed “Our Nation’s Nature” as a gift to the National Park Service to celebrate 4 anniversaries including this year’s #nps100. It was a performance for the ages. Occasionally, I am able to spend the night in Yosemite Valley. Before work this morning, I passed through Cook’s Meadow & this was the scene. Wildflowers weaved the landscape between Half Dome and Glacier Point as the early sun kissed the Sierra Nevada. It was a truly symbolic composition I felt compelled to capture that also left me feeling privileged. And the day has only just begun. #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #yosemiteambassador #findyourpark #yexplore

A photo posted by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

 

August 2016 Yosemite Instagram

 

August 2016 Yosemite Instagram

August 2016 Yosemite Instagram Photos & Videos Courtesy of  http://instagram.com/yexplore

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 6s with an 12 megapixel camera and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone. – John P. DeGrazio