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Half dome is NOT visible from the valley. You can use google earth and "plane" down to prove it.
You might want to try adjusting your render settings then, because I did just that after reading the story and sure enough, Half Dome is clearly visible from the town mentioned in the story. Its hard to get a good idea of exactly how visible it is because GE doesn't render well at long distances due to memory constraints, but of you zoom to Half Dome and allow the terrain to load, then zoom to Turlock or Denair and squeeze the ground, its pretty obvious where it lies.
phil hawkins wrote:
It's beyond my comprehension that anybody could, even for one second, seriously entertain the idea that this image on Flicker is real. C;mon, guys, use common sense.
(Jesus, I can't believe I even have to spell this out)
The San Joaquin Valley sits at an average of 300 feet above sea level. Yosemite Valley is at the 4,000 foot elevation. The TOP of Half Dome is at about 8,000 feet. At the west end of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome is obscured by THE MOUNTAINS!! As you go down highway 140 you descend in elevation gradually until you reach 300 foot...Show more →
Phil, you just disproved your argument with the very same argument. The fact that Half Dome is twice as tall as the mountains between the valley and itself is exactly the reason why it should be visible from the valley (on a clear day, of course). Crack open Google Earth if you have it installed and use the Ruler tool to draw a straight line from the summit of Half Dome to Highway 99 in Turlock. Measuring from the W. Main St. exit on 99, its 75.19 miles (397,003 feet) to the summit of Half Dome as the crow flies.
The summit of Half Dome is at 8836 feet. So if you remember your Trig from school, we'd look up at an angle of 1.28 degrees from Turlock. The next highest point that line of sight would cross is the shoulder of Sentinel Dome somewhere around the Four Mile Trail, at an elevation of about 6350 feet and a distance from Turlock of 382,060 feet, which gives us a viewing angle of .95 degrees, but being only 3 miles from Half Dome, compression will impact that particular spot severely, so we'd need to find the highest percieved spot between the valley and HD.
Lets start with the foothills just east of Lake McLure. The line of sight crosses a high point near Williams Peak of right around 2900 feet about 38.3 miles from Turlock. That gives us an angle of 0.82 degrees, well below the angle needed to view Half Dome, so no obstruction there. Next, lets examine the Turnbull Peak area which sits at about 4900 feet and is more or less directly in line. Its about 56.9 miles from Turlock, which gives us an angle of 0.93 degrees. Still well below the obstruction line.
Looking at the picture again, Sentinel Dome and El Cap are obvious and neither Turtleback Dome or the north side of Sentinel Dome where the Four Mile Trail climbs out of the valley are visible, so I think we can surmise that Turnbull Peak is the tallest obstructor in the photo on Flickr and then the area around Williams Peak would be in front of that. Do the math yourself, Half Dome should be plainly visible from the valley. Just because you've never seen it yourself doesn't make it untrue.