YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — Afternoon gave way to evening, and the parade of restless clouds and the occasional bursts of rain had moved on from Yosemite Valley. In their wake was the empty quiet of Taft Point, 3,000 feet above a famous green valley going gray in late-day shadow.
There were no tourists, only a raven, black and unhurried, circling at the edge of the cliff. It spiraled upward, a silent signal of rising air. A good sign for BASE jumping and wing-suit flying.
Dean Potter, a 43-year-old professional climber and jumper, considered one of the world’s best in a wing suit, stood a few feet from Graham Hunt, 29, his apprentice and flying partner.
About 20 feet to their right was Jen Rapp, Potter’s longtime girlfriend, and the couple’s dog, Whisper. Rapp held a camera. She framed the photos so that El Capitan, across the valley toward the setting sun, was in the background.