View Full Version : A.A.: Monolith Half Dome 1927

10-Aug-2009, 10:13
I have in enquiry on behalf of a friend.

Approximately where did Ansel Adams set up his camera for that photo? Can the spot be reached by a trail? Do you just follow all the other photographers? :D


Darin Boville
10-Aug-2009, 10:16
He describes getting to the location in "Examples." It is, I believe, at a ledge called the "Diving Board."


10-Aug-2009, 10:17
Thanks Darin. I do remember the Diving Board.

Eric James
10-Aug-2009, 10:22
This thread may help your friend:


10-Aug-2009, 11:27
i thought the diving board was ON half dome......

Eric James
10-Aug-2009, 12:09
I think you're referring to "The Visor".

10-Aug-2009, 17:50
I just read the other thread with a great deal of interest.

I seem to recall AA mentioning, in his FilmAmerica biopic, that the trail he took leading to that spot had been destroyed by an earthquake. Anyone else remember that, or am I thinking of a different place? I also remember that they had been on a hike to the Diving Board, but were not necessarily AT the Diving lBoard when he made the picture. But lots of you guys have been there, and I've only seen it from the vast distance of Glacier Point.

I recently scanned this negative (4x5 FP4) and saw it in the positive for the first time since developing the negative in the early 90's. I studied this image very closely for a long time, comparing it with my big poster of Monolith, and was unable to see the stuff that was in the foreground of his photograph. I gave up, thinking that maybe the precise location where they were was no longer there. The other thread pointed to where AA was standing, but I can't quite make that work, either, though I'm going to try again when I get home.


Rick "realizing that the trees must have changed radically in the 65 years between his image and mine" Denney

10-Aug-2009, 18:20
i thought the diving board was ON half dome......

It is...although you can see it clearly in the image from Glacier Point. Its not "the visor" either.

Its in the foreground of the first image in this thread.

Its a somewhat difficult route from the base of Half Dome. not for the faint of heart.

Keith S. Walklet
10-Aug-2009, 20:34
rdenney, that's helpful information.

The trail that was wiped out by an earthquake is a trail to Sierra Point. It has since been officially abandoned, but sections of it still exist. The abandoned trail takes off up a talus slope to the left a couple hundred yards up the Mist Trail at Happy Isles. There are sometimes "ducks" to indicate the path through the talus, above which portions of the actual trail (steps) appear intermittently. But, eventually one comes to a wide swath where there is nothing, the slope having been carried away in one of many avalanches in that area. It can be sketchy crossing that, but once the trail is regained, it leads to a railing that is a couple hundred feet above the Mist Trail, with simultaneous views of Nevada, Vernal and Illilouette Fall, and to the northwest, one can see Yosemite Falls. An awesome spot, especially in spring.

On my visits to Sierra Point, I had considered climbing higher to Grizzly Peak, but never ventured up there.

The "visor" is the projection of overlapping slabs of rock at the top of Half Dome.

The "diving board" is a much larger piece of rock about half way up the face of Half Dome where the arc of the sheer face of Half Dome meets the wooded slope in your photo. It extends upward at a sixty degree angle to the left, though Ansel actually made his image near the crook, close to where the arc and wooded slope meet. The other thread that Eric has pointed out has numerous views and maps that should help clarify things..

George Stewart
10-Aug-2009, 21:38
I've been in the area, but never made it to the Diving Board - still a goal.

Probably the best way to photograph (with LF) from the diving board, is to camp in Little Yosemite Valley and make the approach from there. There is a climbers' trail that is marked with cairns that leads from Little Yosemite Valley toward the "Snake Dike." This is an easy climbers' route up Half Dome which is described in some mountaineering books and is often accompanied with a description of the trail to get to its base. From there, it is another 10 minutes to the Diving Board.

The mountain shop at Curry Village should have a book that describes the Snake Dike and the trail to get to it.