Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday 'Firefall,' Monday Snowfall
We had a marvelous show at Horsetail Fall last evening, with a cloud layer to the west shading the East Buttress of El Capitan until just the right moment. Red sun suddenly came through and turned a gray cliff into a highway flare for the last 5 minutes before sunset. Some folks left early, thinking that the 'firefall' effect was altogether obscured by the clouds. Whoops of excitement arose from the dozens of hopeful fans along Northside Drive - it was like a bottom of the 9th grand slam that takes a losing team into victory; it ain't over til the sun has actually set beyond the Coast Range (around 5:40 now). As with our other waterfalls Horsetail Fall has had above average flow in it lately (it's keeping Woski Pond full); last night the wind made it look like less water, but it carried the red mist well aloft of the wall.
Much of this week looks less promising for observing Horsetail aflame, but we're excited to have another potential 2 feet of snow on the way to soften the mature hardpack that's tough to ski on. Stormy weather has made an initial appearance in Yosemite today and should taper off toward next weekend. We have good reason to hope that our photography course on Friday/Saturday stands a fair chance to get good Horsetail light. If high water persists, there's even a chance for a rare February moonbow next weekend.