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Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail

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Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 17, 2011 09:00PM
Our favorite time to hike the Four Mile Trail is when the Glacier Point road is closed, so my wife and I decided to do this hike last Sunday. Despite the road being closed, a few dozen people or so took advantage of the mild November day and walked up to GP and back down. Most of the day was clear and sunny with just a slight breeze, although fog-like clouds rolled into the valley in the afternoon. When we didn't have all of Glacier Point to ourselves, there were at most only a handful of people there. Portions of the trail above Union Point were icy, and our Kathoola Micro-Spikes made all the difference--highly recommended.

This trip was my first chance to test a new camera "in the wild". In the past I've lugged around a Hasselblad--great Zeiss optics, but heavy. I later downsized to a Contax G, and eventually a Rollei 35, but when I jumped to digital I left all the Zeiss glass behind. My 3 lb. workhorse Canon rig does a great job, but it's the heaviest single item in my backpacking kit. When I found out that I could use the excellent Contax G lenses on the small Sony NEX cameras I couldn't resist. So far, I like the kit: the manual focus experience reminds me a bit of focusing on the 'Blad with the waist-level finder and pop-up magnifier. I took the chance to play with some of the "fun" features of the camera such as sweep panorama mode and built-in HDR.

Glacier Point Panorama:


In-camera HDR of El Cap:


The old section of the Four Mile Trail below the "traverse" that's west of GP had footprints along its entire length. (Anyone here? Actually, I suspect bear...) I followed the trail westward a bit, but the first steep drop--which could not have been fun for those hiking up the trail--was holding a lot of snow, so I turned back.



Since it's becoming the popular spot, I took the obligatory detour along the old segment of the FMT below Union Point to see Agassiz Column up close (see this thread (Oh, and thanks, Chick-On!):



The beginning and end of this segment are over-grown as advertised, but the middle portion contains well-preserved switchbacks with intricate rockwork. This section of trail is in many ways more interesting that the current one. I also saw signs of an old telegraph (?) line both here and along the old traverse.

Towards the bottom of the trail, the sun was hitting El Cap in a way that created a "firefall"-type effect:



All in all, a wonderful late-season day-hike... we'll be returning for our 23rd Thanksgiving spent in Yosemite Valley in a week or so.

More Pictures
Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 17, 2011 09:09PM
Wow! Beautiful pictures! Love the firefall ....that has to be spectaular to witness in person.
avatar Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 17, 2011 09:56PM
Kewl.

Almost ended up there last weekend too... but the wifey and birdy decided they
wanted to stay in Curry Village Tent Cabin instead of hiking booties up 4 Mile Trail
so we could investigate (once again) those old sections o trail.

A very very small number of our faux toes are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/BigTreesValley

Have a nice Turkey Day... we are stuck in SJ this yr...
Chick-on is looking at you! sez hello
Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 18, 2011 12:43AM
I also saw signs of an old telegraph (?) line both here and along the old traverse.

Would it be possible at some other time to photograph and post images of the wire? I actually suspect telephone over telegraph; I used to encounter coiled galvanized phone wire around the park years ago.
avatar Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 18, 2011 07:46AM
I realize you want photo of the wire itself.... but here is what I saw on old 4 Mile section.


I almost always take a photo of tube stuff. I don't explicitly recall any coiled stuff out there.

Here's one of the best examples I have, wire still intact.


This map was mentioned before (I'm pretty sure basil pointed to these maps originally though!):
http://gisserver.princeton.edu:81/navigatorMapViewer.htm?map=923

It shows old telegraph lines... (and there the line is up OBOF horse trail) (as wherever found)

Basil, (Chick-on is wondering was a basilbop is for one...) and ... were you able to go check out the steps at Moran?
Or next time?

And for Thanksgiving... we are thankful for all your knowledge
avatar Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 18, 2011 09:25AM
I've seen signs of these lines ( which I think are phone, not telegraph ) on JMT and Upper Yosemite Falls trails, and also either phone or power going up the Ledge Trail gully towards Glacier Point..

There used to be a phone booth where you could plug in a phone near the JMT/Panorama trail junction just west of Nevada Fall. Think of how people communicated before radios and cell phones!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2011 09:26AM by qumqats.
avatar Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 20, 2011 08:08AM
The Ledge Trail wire is the same type of wire as in the picture above.
(I lookied at my photo) wink So... I presume it's telegraph wire...
avatar Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 18, 2011 11:40AM
Quote
bill-e-g
I realize you want photo of the wire itself.... but here is what I saw on old 4 Mile section.


I almost always take a photo of tube stuff. I don't explicitly recall any coiled stuff out there.

Here's one of the best examples I have, wire still intact.


This map was mentioned before (I'm pretty sure basil pointed to these maps originally though!):
http://gisserver.princeton.edu:81/navigatorMapViewer.htm?map=923


How accurate to you feel this Princeton map is in depicting the old Four Mile Trail and the telegraph line the crosses the Four Mile Trail?

Where the telegraph line crosses the Four Mile Trail near the bottom of the trail is approximately where the current telephone (or power) lines cross the current Four Mile Trail.

But the alignment of the Four Mile Trail between Union Point and the traverse doesn't seem to match other alignments of the trail I've seen for this time period, so I'm thinking it's just a rough approximation of the old trail.
Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 18, 2011 11:40AM
Quote
bill-e-g
Here's one of the best examples I have, wire still intact.


This map was mentioned before (I'm pretty sure basil pointed to these maps originally though!):
http://gisserver.princeton.edu:81/navigatorMapViewer.htm?map=923

It shows old telegraph lines... (and there the line is up OBOF horse trail) (as wherever found)

Thanks for reminding us about the map showing the telegraph lines.

By the way, most of the wire on the old horse trail is underfoot, tripping you up. So when Chick-on finally decides to go up there, and camp along the way, here are some tips for him from "The Book Of Camp-Lore And Woodcraft" link

Telegraph Wire Cooking Implements

Many campers are fond of making for themselves cooking utensils improvised from ordinary telegraph wire. In the old time open fireplaces of our grandsires' kitchen there were trammels consisting of chains hanging down the chimney on which things were hooked by short pot-hooks to hang over the fire; there were also rakens made of bands of iron with holes punched in them for the attachment of short iron pothooks (Fig. 76). With these ancient implements in their minds, some ingenious campers manufacture themselves rakens and short pot-hooks from telegraph wire (Fig. 77). By twisting the wire in a series of short loops, each loop can be made to serve as a place for attaching the pot-hooks as did the holes in the old-fashioned rakens. The advantages they claim for the telegraph wire raken are lightness and its possibility of being readily packed.




On one of these rakens one may hook the pail as high or as low as one chooses (Fig. 78); not only that but one may (Fig. 79) put a small pail inside the larger one, where later it is full of water, for the purpose of cooking cereal without danger of scorching it.

Of course, Chick-on's camp may not be as well organized as the one shown...
avatar Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 18, 2011 03:53PM
Bird on a Wire?

(we got outvoted 500-2 on going up that horse trail last wkend) (in due time... )
avatar Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 20, 2011 08:09AM
Quote
bill-e-g
Basil, (Chick-on is wondering was a basilbop is for one...) and ... were you able to go check out the steps at Moran?
Or next time?
Ok... I guess either I offended or it's an "obviously no since I didn't put a Moran photo in the set"
Re: Fire and Zeiss on the Four Mile Trail
November 20, 2011 10:22AM
Quote
bill-e-g
Basil, (Chick-on is wondering was a basilbop is for one...) and ... were you able to go check out the steps at Moran?
Or next time?

Ok... I guess either I offended or it's an "obviously no since I didn't put a Moran photo in the set"

Sorry, missed that question... No, we didn't go to Moran Pt. this time... But, I think I may have turned around just above the stairs when I was there in Sept. (I lost too much time in the brush below Union Pt.) Hopefully next time!
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