|Pine Tree, Lembert Dome - Yosemite 2012|
|Tioga Road from Lembert Dome - Yosemite 2012|
Reaching the dome actually didn't take that long; Mike was at the solid upsloping granite of the dome by 2:15 PM. That's where he made a slight miscalculation, somehow neglecting to totally pinpoint his return location. You emerge from the trees onto the granite: glancing back there’s nothing to definitively mark the spot.
Anyway, Mike knew that he wanted to move over to get photo ops looking towards the west (he wasn't that much interested in attaining the actual summit of the dome.) So he moved way over to the west. While he was up there he took several photos, ranging back and forth across the expanse of the granite surface, taking note of bonsai-like (Jeffrey?) pine trees and the landscape looking east towards highway 120 far below making its way to Tioga Pass.
Interestingly enough, there weren’t even that many people up there. Time went by, and although the sun was still fairly high by then it was after 3 PM: time to start back down. That's where Mike’s earlier failure to mark his return spot started to get him into trouble.