Yosemite Summit 2016 Report

Yosemite Summit 2016 was an amazing week! Like last year, there was rain in the forecast, but seemed to avoid us. We had to change plans, but the hikes we did were incredible, and the one time we hiked in rain, it was actually amazing as we liked through lush greenery along a raging river. We all ended up saying it was the best way to do that particular hike, and as you'll see below we enjoyed blue skies for most of the week. We truly saw God's Hand of provision as we walked with Him!


I marvel every year how God brings together just the perfect group of guys. It is now always a great blend of repeat Summiteers (as I call them) and guys who are experiencing this for the first time. While Yosemite never gets old – it is fun to see the awe in the guys who are seeing it and experiencing it for the first time.

As always on this site, you can click any image to see it larger.


I like to say, “It's hard to feel down, when you are on top of the world.”


If you could see where this rock sits, you might think twice about climbing up on it. But we do anyway. If it hasn't moved in thousands of years, would it really today?

After over a dozen hiking trips here, I have discovered some of the most amazing places. While literally millions of people visit this National Park every year, most of them remain in the Valley looking up. I have discovered the hikes where we can enjoy not only solitude, but spectacular views. This particular location (I won't post the name online) provides a better view than the famous Tunnel View without the buses and crowds – and this rock that appears to be about to roll down the hill to crash in the Valley below.


A selfie on top of this amazing rock!


And here is the picture they took!


Yosemite Summit offers the time, place and atmosphere to just soak in the presence of God – unlike anywhere else.


Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. Psalm 71:3


The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2


Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets… Habakkuk 2:2


The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14


It is like God places cool things to find all over the place. This perfectly round and hollowed out hole was fun to jump into for a picture, but not so easy to get out of!


Of course, hiking is a big part of Yosemite Summit – but the goal is never to finish the hike – it is to enjoy fellowship along the way, to marvel in our Creator, to listen to His still small voice, and to spend time in conversational prayer as we walk.


The variety of landscape, climate and geography is simply incredible. We can be hiking on snow for a bit, and then not much longer be stopping to remove a layer because we are getting warm. You have to dress for a range of temperatures from the 60's to 80's on most days in Yosemite in May.


One of the things you gain in Yosemite is a sense of perspective. Both literally on the heights, as well as about life, ministry, family and our walk with God.


A group picture as we walk among giants.


I was excited after several years of changed plans, to finally get to see the Indian Rock Arch. My creative climb up the back side resulted in a dead-end and back tracking, but I still enjoyed it.


Pat followed the designated path and was able to get all the way into the Arch. Hmmmm…. there is an object lesson there somewhere.


On our rainy day hike, it stopped at lunch time so we could relax and eat. Is that a cool tree or what?


I always knew Doug had multiple personalities – but I finally got photographic proof. When we got to this tree I showed the guys how to do a panorama picture that you are in twice by running behind the photographer after he starts and get into the end. We must have spent 20 minutes taking fun pictures!


The funny thing was, when we got to this tree and wanted to do a group photo, there was a family of four also enjoying it. We kindly asked if they would mind hiding behind the tree for our picture. They were happy to do so, but then we got to doing our panorama pictures and forgot they were behind the tree. Fifteen minutes later the dad politely peeked out and asked if they could move on? We were so embarrassed and apologetic, we had forgotten they had ducked behind the tree for the first picture!


Glacie Point is always amazing. As you approach it you are overcome with awe as Half Dome begins to tower above the skyline – I've been accused of photo-shopping when I have posted pictures from here. It just really is this amazing, in fact, more so when you see it in person.


It's a popular and so crowded spot – it took some patience to get a group photo without others in it.


This was Pat's 4th Summit – you can tell he is pretty excited to be back in Yosemite!


I found a nice place to sit and enjoy the view away from the crowds, since not many are willing to go out on the ledge at Glacier Point. Yea, it's about a mile straight down.


Pat bravely venturing where many have gone before for at least a century. Well, the daring ones anyway…



The final day of Yosemite Summit is bitter sweet. It has been an incredible week – half of you wants to never leave while the other half is eager to take back into daily life the Peace and Resolve that was gained here. Family is missed, but when you leave Yosemite you take a part of it back with you in a deep place where it is never lost. It is why so many have come back to Yosemite Summit more than once.


We always end the Summit at Yosemite Chapel, a still functioning church that has been a part of the Valley since 1879. We enjoying singing hymns about Our Mighty Fortress, Our Help in Ages Past enjoying songs that fit the setting – As the Deer or Higher Ground – as we rejoince that It Is Well With Our Soul.

yosemitechapeloldpicPerhaps one day, you'll be singing with us when you join me at Yosemite Summit.

Enjoy the Highlight Video from 2016:

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