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El Capitan I
Photograph - Digital Photography
El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park, stands in stark grandeur above the snow-covered the valley floor.
Yosemite National Park is a United States national park located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, ultimately leading to President Abraham Lincoln signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Later, John Muir led a successful movement to establish a larger national park encompassing not just the valley, but surrounding mountains and forests as well - paving the way for the United States national park system. The park has an elevation range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet (648 to 3,997 meters) and contains five major vegetation zones: chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone, and alpine. The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic rocks and remnants of older rock. About 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and then tilted to form its relatively gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes. The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in formation of deep, narrow canyons. About 1 million years ago, snow and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet (1,200 m) during the early glacial episode. The downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today. Tunnel View is the first view of the Valley for many visitors and is extensively photographed. El Capitan, a prominent granite cliff that looms over Yosemite Valley, is one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the world because of its diverse range of climbing routes in addition to its year-round accessibility. Granite domes such as Sentinel Dome and Half Dome rise 3,000 and 4,800 feet (910 and 1,500 m), respectively, above the valley floor.
This work has been featured in:
* Photographic Excellence
* Winter Wonderland
* Everything Winter
* Black and White
* Yosemite National Park
* Out West
* Artists California
* California Dreamin'
September 2nd, 2013
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