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Panama Canal - Patagonia and Yosemite - part 4 of 1 2 3 4 5 6

by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2016


Yosemite - Paul Gallagher

Where did you go and when?
Flew to San Francisco and then drove to Yosemite National Park in both May 2014 and September 2015.

Why did you go and who with?
I needed to follow in the footsteps of Ansel Adams who I studied as a 16-year-old photography student. First visit was in 2014 with Michael Pilkington and 2015 was with an Aspect2i workshop group.

How did you get there?
Flew to San Francisco then drove a hire car for four hours to the National Park.

How long did that take?
The flights and drive took approximately 19 hours door to door!

What does the travel part cost?
£800 for flights and the hire car was £560 for 10 days.

What kit did you take?
Cameras - Nikon D800e and Nikon D700 IR converted
Lenses - 24mm Tilt and Shift, 16-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm
Tripod - Gitzo 3452XLS with Manfrotto and 6-inch spikes, 405 geared head
Filters - Full set of Lee Filters 1,2,3 stop soft grads, 1,2,3,stop hard grads, 2,3 stop NDs, Little and Big Stoppers and Lee Polariser
Image storage - Laptop Mac Book Pro
Laptop - Mac Book Pro
Kit Bag - fStop Satori
Carry-on luggage - as above without the tripod!!
Special clothing - shorts and t-shirts


How long did you go for?
Ten days on both trips.

What is the weather in the area like?
Yosemite has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa), meaning most precipitation falls during the mild winter, and the other seasons are nearly dry (less than 3% of precipitation falls during the long, hot summers). Because of orographic lift, precipitation increases with elevation up to 8,000 feet (2,400m) where it slowly decreases to the crest. Precipitation amounts vary from 36 inches (910mm) at 4,000 feet (1,200m) elevation to 50 inches (1,300mm) at 8,600 feet (2,600m). Snow does not typically persist on the ground until November in the high country. It accumulates all winter and into March or early April.

Mean daily temperatures range from 25 °F (-4°C) to 53 °F (12°C) at Tuolumne Meadows at 8,600 feet (2,600m). At the Wawona Entrance (elevation 5,130 feet or 1,560 metres), mean daily temperature ranges from 36 to 67°F (2 to 19°C). At the lower elevations below 5,000 feet (1,500m), temperatures are hotter; the mean daily high temperature at Yosemite Valley (elevation 3,966 feet or 1,209 metres) varies from 46 to 90°F (8 to 32°C). At elevations above 8,000 feet (2,400m), the hot, dry summer temperatures are moderated by frequent summer thunderstorms, along with snow that can persist into July. The combination of dry vegetation, low relative humidity, and thunderstorms results in frequent lightning-caused fires as well.

At the park headquarters, with an elevation of 3,966 feet (1,209m), January averages 38.2°F (3.4°C), while July averages 73.0°F (22.8°C), though in summer the nights are much cooler than the hot days. Freezing temperatures have been recorded in every month of the year. The record high temperature was 115°F (46°C) on July 20, 1915, while the record low temperature was -6°F (-21°C) on January 2, 1924 and on January 21, 1937. Average annual precipitation is nearly 37 inches (940mm), falling on 65 days. The snowiest year was 1967 with 154.9 inches (3.93m).

What was your weather like?
Hot with clear skies but occasionally passing storm clouds, which made the light amazing!

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1st Published 01/02/2016
last update 30/01/2018 12:09:36

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Updated 30/01/2018 12:09:36 Last Modified: Tuesday, 30 January 2018