"Each step forward has a sacred meaning of its own" Sri Chinmoy
Glacier Point & 4 Mile Trail - Hike/Run - Yosemite - September 2019
The morning after our waterfall trail run, when I had been briefly missing in action, we set off for the main event - a hike/run to the heights of Glacier Point, renowned for its views of the Yosemite Valley and the Sierras. The faster 3 (Granantan, Sadanand and Vajin) headed straight up the 4 Mile Trail at running pace while Pavaka and I opted to hike, setting out the best part of an hour later. We were in running shoes and travelling pretty light so throwing in a few stretches of running was always an option.
Like the Yosemite Falls Trail we'd run the day before, it was a well marked route and easy to follow - clearly popular too as there were plenty of other hikers out there (though runners were a rare sight). There were teams fixing the trail too, with all kinds of hardware for breaking up the rocks and sealing them in place. They told us it all gets carried up from the valley floor, not down from Glacier Point, which is pretty impressive. Some of their hand trucks were motorised but it must be quite a task steering them up the zig zags. As trails go it was mostly smooth and runnable, but we soon worked out that we were drained from the day before (a long run by our standards, especially with the effects of the height gain and the altitude) so we decided to save our running for the way down.
Slowly we gained height, overtaking a few other hikers and meeting plenty coming down who must have started at Glacier Point - they included a bride and groom, she in wedding gown and he still carrying the bouquets of flowers. Interesting honeymoon! As we reached the lip of the valley wall in a forest of tall sugar pines and red pines we got amazing vistas of the valley and finally, at Glacier Point itself, the ultimate shot of Half Dome from a rock pinnacle (pictured above). It had taken about 2 hours of hard hiking.
On the way down we tried running a few sections as the going was mostly smooth and even, but Pavaka was aggravating an old injury and I was happy to stick to hiking pace anyway. We soon reverted to a fast walk! Our three faster comrades soon came belting past at the speed you'd expect and we followed at our own speed, reaching the valley floor in time to join them for an icy dip in the clear waters of the Yosemite River.
Above - with Pavaka at Union Point on the way down. Below - the fast guys descending from Glacier Point.
The sun was warm enough to all but dry us off and our clothes too which we'd also washed out in the river ready for the drive back to San Francisco. We aimed to call in a Mariposa Grove on the way back to see the giant redwoods but the road was closed and the traffic on the detour pretty heavy - in the end we had time for a mex meal in Modesto and arrived back in SF quite late. I had to be up at 3.30 to fly out. No rest for the virtuous....
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