I absolutely love visiting Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park. Ansel Adams made it famous and in recent years the National Park has trimmed back some of the trees, restoring the view that Ansel saw when he first visited here (which had become overgrown). But there's only so many times that one can visit the same overcrowded place before you start to look for variations on it. I had seen a spot nearby photographed by Jeff Lewis and Krystal Leonard, which showed a similar scene, but added a nice cliff, pointing its way into the valley, while the Merced River snaked below. I wanted to find it.
Willie, Zack, and I started off at the bottom of Tunnel View and hiked up the Pohono Trail for a bit. The trail was snow covered and we debated using snow shoes, but a few fellow hikers were coming down and told us not to bother. We hiked through the snow, often thigh deep in snow, as we trudged along trying to find the trail. We walked up, we walked down, we walked off trail, we went back to the trail, until eventually, after some wandering in circles, we found the spot!
It was a bit hairy getting to, involved making our way across and up some slippery icy spots and over to a very precarious snow covered ledge. We used a fallen branch to clear away some of the snow and upgrade the safety factor. Then we waited. The skies seemed poised for an epic sunset, though it never came. Instead, El Capitan and Half Dome glowed bright orange (in amazing beauty) and the sky hinted at some color, then died. Still, it was a beautiful scene!
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8:
28mm, f/11, 1/25 sec, ISO 100