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(Spanish for The Captain
, The Chief
) is a vertical rock formation
in Yosemite National Park
, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley
, near its western end. The granite monolith
extends about 3,000 feet (900 m) from base to summit along its tallest face and is one of the world's favorite challenges for rock climbers
and BASE jumpers
The formation was named "El Capitan" by the Mariposa Battalion
when they explored the valley in 1851. El Capitan
("the captain", "the chief") was taken to be a loose Spanish translation of the local Native American
name for the cliff, variously transcribed as "To-to-kon oo-lah" or "To-tock-ah-noo-lah" (Miwok language
It is unclear if the Native American name referred to a specific tribal chief
or simply meant "the chief" or "rock chief".
In modern times, the formation's name is often contracted to "El Cap", especially among rock climbers and BASE jumpers
The top of El Capitan can be reached by hiking out of Yosemite Valley
on the trail next to Yosemite Falls
, then proceeding west. For climbers, the challenge is to climb up the sheer granite face. There are many named climbing routes
, all of them arduous, including Iron Hawk
and Sea of Dreams
, for example.
The model is created at a scale of 1:10,000 with NO vertical exaggeration. It features a built-in base, so it sits perfectly on a desk or in a frame.
Model Data Sources:USDA and This material is based on [data, processing] services provided by the OpenTopography Facility with support from the National Science Foundation under NSF Award Numbers 1226353 & 1225810