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Firefall 2019

Updated: Mar 20, 2019

The Best F*cking Sunset We've Ever Seen


THE PLAN

Each year in late February, hundreds of spectators flock to Yosemite National Park to witness this amazing event... but the Firefall is fickle. So many things have to be just right for the event to take place and for the falls to be visible to those in the Valley below.


Taylor and I had planned to view the fall during President's Day weekend but with rain in the forecast for Yosemite, we decided to have a staycation in Santa Barbara and visit the Tunnel Trail waterfall instead.


That following Tuesday, Taylor messaged me a link to Aaron Meyer's blog where he was predicting that the best time to see the fall was actually that coming weekend. Without hesitation we immediately requested that Friday, February 22nd off of work hoping we might be lucky enough to see it.


THE GEAR

  • Crampons

  • Headlamp

  • Trekking Poles

  • Gaia GPS App

  • Thermarest Lite Sleeping Pad

  • Handwarmers

  • Osprey Day Pack


THE ADVENTURE

After a wondrous day of playing in Yosemite National Park — including but not limited to the classic Tunnel View, Yosemite Falls, and too much coffee by a just right fire, Taylor and I hiked our way over to 4 Mile Trail across the valley from El Capitan.


Tay is a master of topo maps. One could say he's a topo-map-ster. Using his Gaia GPS app, we hiked up and around 4 Mile Traill to what he believed would be our best viewing point of the falls away from the crowds. He wasn't wrong.


By 4 pm, I was comfortably situated in a snow seat lined with my Thermarest - made by yours truly. To my right was snowy wooded forest. To the left, a cliffside - I like to tell myself was not that steep or dangerous - overlooking Sentinel Creek. And in front of me, a man and his 3 cameras patiently waiting and wondering if we'd be lucky enough to witness what we'd come for.


At 5:35, after over a half hour of worrying if the cameras would get too cold or the valley too hazy, it began. The sun slowly slipped behind the mountains illuminating the clouds making their way out of the Valley behind El Cap. Horsetail falls beamed with golden light.


As the sun continued to set, the clouds and waterfall turned a fiery red. It was moving. Tay and I watched in silence for the first few minutes. In awe and in wonder. Near the end of the too-brief event, cheers sprang up from spectators in the Valley below, filled with energy. We joined in celebrating the best f*cking sunset either of us had ever seen.

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