We felt accomplished to have made it to the top of Vernal Falls. On the last, arduous stretch of that climb, both Cam and I remembered there there was another path that would take us back down to the footbridge.
Since we expected this different way would be dry and hoped it would be less crowded, we proposed this idea to Jim and Liz who agreed those characteristics would be good.
After resting and refueling, Cam took Jim up to a nearby bridge for a better look at Nevada Falls while Sam, Liz and I relaxed by the silver apron.
(I just read that the Silver Apron is at 5100 feet and the starting elevation for this hike is 4200 feet. At this point, we'd already climbed 900 feet.)
When they came back for us, we were ready to head down but we ended up climbing quite a bit more before we were able to go down via the John Muir trail.
Cam's blog says we climbed 1500 feet. In truth, there were a few dis-
couraging moments on the last few hundred feet of climbing when we wondered what we'd led our guests into and were putting them through but; eventually, we made it to the top of and really did start our descent.
I hadn't expected to come across snow blocking the trail but on a few occasions, we did. This made things interesting and again, more strenuous than anticipated.
We were all relieved when we returned to the footbridge and forged the rest of the way down to the bus that took us back to our vehicle, our lovely rooms and a delicious dinner at Tenaya Lodge.
As much as I love camping, I was happy to be able to shower, enjoy a meal by candlelight (rather than firelight) and rest in a bed that evening. Thanks again, Jim and Liz.
This Flickr set has more photos of our hike "down" from the top of Vernal Falls