After my morning stop at Tenaya Lake I continued to the May Lake trailhead to hike Mount Hoffmann. I had picked this particular hike because it is relatively short (around 3 miles one way from the May Lake trailhead; 1 gentle mile to May Lake, then 2 miles steep up to Mount Hoffmann) but would take me up to almost 11000 feet (3300 meters) with great views all around, since Mount Hoffmann stands relatively solitary at this elevation in the north/eastern part of Yosemite National Park.
Both the hike and the views did not disappoint. I began the hike really slow, taking my time. While hiking with company is nice, one of the luxuries of hiking alone is not having to catch up with anyone and only taking care of oneself. It’s meditative and relaxing – even though I was huffing and puffing on the steep uphill section, but except for some knee pain that I countered by putting on my bandage, I felt great.
Mount Hoffmann’s peak itself requires some mild scrambling over larger granite boulders (they are weathered and offer a lot of grip) so I left my backpack and the trekking poles behind, and only brought the camera, and some chocolate to reward myself for the peak. ;-) I spent around an hour up at the peak – a hiker from Great Britain briefly joined me but he soon went back down and I had the peak all to myself. Amazing. The views were quite excellent, compared to the extremely smoky hike to Clouds Rest on the previous day, and I really took my time to take it all in.
It was around noon when I was at the peak, and when I searched for a consistent look to present the photos, I ended up with these very high contrast black & whites that transport the feeling of this astonishing landscape nicely. I hope you agree.
On the way back down I followed a use-trail and some cairns, and while watching marmots with amusement (they way they move is just too funny) I must have gotten distracted and took the wrong trail down. It was marked with cairns and I really couldn’t remember what the trail up exactly looked like – by the time I realized my mistake I didn’t want to hike back up to follow the official trail and found my way down thanks to the map I had with me and the tracklog that I recorded with GaiaGPS. You can view that tracklog online: May Lake & Mount Hoffmann.
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