Living in Yosemite as a climber is not overly straight forward. Firstly you are limited to the amount of time you can stay in the valley (2 weeks) and especially Camp 4. To stay at Camp 4 when it is busy requires you to que up at the site enterence at 5am to try and get a camping spot.It is not unsuprising that some people who want to stay for longer tend to spend their time sleeping in caves or just somewhere in the woods with the bears.
The only problem with this is that, if caught, you get Ranger bum-raped and shipped out with a $500 fine; meaning the people who do sleep rough need to have a co-ordinated back story at all times just in case; ‘We arrived in the valley today’ – ‘Tonight we are staying on El Cap’ – ‘Last night we were on the Captain’ – ‘Tonight we are leaving the valley’ might be a choice set of explanations. It’s a bit of added stress for people who stay in what is unofficially coined as ‘Camp 5’ – but being able to stay for longer and do amazing routes is worth the hassle (for the people who might do this).
Other than that you are free to enjoy the scenery (so long as you do not collect fire wood, recycle bottles from bins, have a piss in the woods, park in the wrong place, leave food in your car, leave food in a locker for too long, sleep in a car, sleep at the bottom of a route, sleep anywhere outside a designated camp etc..).
Rules aside it is an awesome place to hang out! With clear cool stoney bottomed rivers, beautiful waterfalls, awesome woodland, bears strolling around, fantastic weather and great cragging there are few better places to spend time. We used the river by Pat & Jack’s for a good hang-out – that and the El Cap lay back – both great places to chill.
Vegas road trip
After the Nose we decided to get out the valley and give our hands a chance to shrink back to normal size and see something different. We drove to Vegas – spending a night in the desert – another in Vegas – and back home the next day.
The desert is pretty cool – abandoned houses to have a look – a big dune – some offroad rallying and a look around Death Valley. We found rattle snakes and campfires abandoned 50 years ago still with many items un-decayed.
Vegas was Vegas – tacky – interesting to see for a day but I wouldn’t go again. Probably more interesting if you are a gambler but otherwise the casinos and all that jazz is actually pretty boring.
Later in the trip we went down to Satna Cruz as the valley weather was coming in bad – and as we had no tent it was best to get out. Again – you can’t sleep on beaches, or in cars near beaches without paying over the odds.. it was a pain! America has awesome places but really over-the-top rules . If the rules are to hide away bums – perhaps they should sort out thier social care and look after the mentally ill and unfortunates instead of leaving them to rot on the streets.