Travel Photo Thursday: Topping Out

July 3, 2014

in Travel Photo Thursday

  • SumoMe
Half Dome

(Bonzo McGrue Flickr Photo)

Moro Rock is one of the most prominent natural features in Sequoia National Park. It’s a bit like Yosemite’s Half Dome: Everyone wants to climb it.

You don’t need technical mountaineer skills to climb Half Dome, just a permit and the willingness to risk your life hanging in a long line with a multitude of your new best friends from cables that dangle down the backside of that most famous piece of granite/

But topping out on Moro Rock is much easier. It merely involves tramping up long flights of stone steps flanked by steel railings.

Well, that’s almost true.

I had ascended Moro Rock on my first visit to Sequoia in September twenty-five years ago. But this time I was there in May, and a late Spring snow storm had dropped the white stuff all over the park.

Moro Rock Trail in Sequoia National Park

My wife and I drove to the base of Moro Rock in the morning, but snow lingering along the lower steps of the rock, and clouds obscuring the top, convinced us to put off a climb until the weather improved.

In the afternoon, a layer of stratus clouds still hung high over the rock. But the sun had dimly light the lower elevations below, and there wasn’t any snow on the steps leading up toward the summit three hundred feet above, so we set out for the top.

View East from Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

But this time around, my latent acrophobia raised its ugly head, and I threw in the towel at a viewpoint about half-way up.

View West from Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

My wife continued upward, finally passing out of my sight.

Climbing Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

After what seemed to be hours, and feeling a chill in my bones from the not-Spring-more-like-Winter air, I gave up waiting for her and went back to our car.

View from Atop Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

She made it all of the way to the top, and captured this photo of the cloudscape being taken in by one of the other hikers who had ventured as far as she did.

(Tales Told From The Road publisher, Dick Jordan, and his wife spent five nights and six days in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in May of 2014. You can read more about their park adventures in last week’s story: Big Spiders, Big Trees, and Mr. Muir’s Big Rock.)

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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