Base of Wapama Falls, Hetch Hetchy Valley 1987, by Galen Rowell


Base of Wapama Falls, Hetch Hetchy Valley, 1987, copyright Galen Rowell, www.mountainlight.com

"I don't share the common view of Hetch Hetchy as merely a flooded, ruined Yosemite. This image purposely emphasizes Hetch Hetchy's natural splendor and diminishes perception of the unnatural reservoir in the distance. I see Hetch Hetchy this way because of something that happened one morning about twenty years ago when I awoke there in the middle of a sheer cliff during a first ascent. Below me was the valley floor, but with no roads, buildings, campfires, or smoke. I heard no horns, motors, or voices. I found myself actually preferring Hetch Hetchy's flood of water over Yosemite Valley's flood of people."

Photo and Text copyright by Galen Rowell, http://www.mountainlight.com. We gratefully acknowledge Galen Rowell's donation of this image and text, reprinted here by permission from the book The Yosemitetext by John Muir and illustrated with photographs by Galen Rowell (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1990).