Jun 23, 2008 at 8:24 pm #1229778
Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
3 Day Sierra Club Snow Camping Class February 2008
My 2nd time snow camping. 1st time was Jan 2008 with the Sierra Club.
Class is 1 day classroom with two trips. 1 overnighter and 1 3 day/2 night trip.
Map: USGS 7.5 Minute Series Topo
EL Capitan Quadrangle California-Mariposa County
Parking Lot & Trail Head is at the Badger Pass Ski slope in Yosemite
Trail Follows the Glacier Point Road & is a Multi Use Trail
Trail is shared with people snow shoeing & cross country skiers
Groomed Trail to Picnic Area
At this point, the trial turns from heading East to North towards Crocker Point
Victor Sierra Club Assistant Leader & UL Backpacker
Note the Blue Foam Pad, which was his only pad, used in conjunction with a Marmot Helium 15 Degree Down Bag in a Snow Trench with a small Tarp
With a Group of 15 to 20 People of all different ages & skill levels, the pace was a modest 1 mile per hour
Tony & Crocker Point
Tony & El Capitan
1st View of Crocker Point
This site is a long slope heading down to the left
Plenty of room of all of us to dig trenches into the slope
Temperatures were 50 Degrees F in the day and just under 32 Degrees F in the evening
Crocker Point Elevation 7090 Ft.
Half Dome in the Distance
We Traveled down to Crocker Point along the right side of the photo, which is out of view
Kitchen Sunset View with Wide Mouth Nalgene with Wine
Candle Light Dinner
Pagoda Made of Snow with YangFang Snow Saw & Votive Candle
The Sun Sets at 6pm and there is nothing to do but eat
I have never eaten so much and so well while backpacking
The whole place is a refrigerator.
Breakfast burritos, shrimp & pasta, soups, snacks…gotta eat to stay warm
Snow Kitchen Community Center
Simply built by digging a rectangular trench creating a table in the center.
Snow blocks are built up along the outside trim to create a wind break and benches to sit on.
Cooking gear is cleverly stored by digging storage bins in the sides of the table along the trench.
Home Sweet Home
Mountain Laurel Design Poncho Tarp & Soul Side Zip eVent Bivy
MSR Lighting Ascent Snow Shoes
Toddy & Whitney's Morning View
Tony's Morning Breakfast & View
Lunch at Stanford Point
Elevation 6659 Ft.
Tony from Stanford Point
Looking Down on the Valley
Left to Right: El Capitan, Valley Floor, & Half Dome in the Distance
Don Leading our Trek to Dewey Point
Afternoon View of El Capitan
Elevation 7385 Ft.
Late Afternoon at Dewey Point
Tony at Dewey Point
Kitchen Designs by Jamsheed
White Gas is our Savior
My Clothing System: Light Thermal Top & Bottoms, Wicking Long Sleeve Shirt, REI Convertable Pants, OR Wind Shirt w/Hood, Montbell Thermawrap Jacket and Pants, REI Elements Rain Jacket & Pants, Medium Weight Hiking Socks, & 40 Below Synthetic Booties.
Toasty in these mild temps, but I have used this system down to 5 Degrees F while sleeping in a Marmot Helium 15 Degree Down Bag in a Mountain Laurel Designs Soul Side Zip eVent Bivy & MLD Poncho Tarp
Tip: Change your sweaty socks for dry ones after a long day of hiking. I did get chilled on the 2nd night despite all of my clothing. After a quick change to dry socks, I was immediately warm again.
Tip: Heaven on a cold night is hot water in a wide mouth, soft side Nalgene bottle stuffed under your jacket while sitting around in the cold darkness chatting with friends.
Tony's Double Wide Snow Trench
Sleeping System: MLD Soul Side Zip eVent top, Prolite 4 pad, blue foam pad, Marmot Helium EQ 15 Degree down bag.
No Condensation in the Bivy.
Temperatures in the snow trench were warm enough that I removed most of my layers and have the bivy open to read a 300 page book in 2 nights. (I have trouble sleeping).
Packing Up and Getting Ready to Leave
Final View Farewell
View from the Car in the Valley
Looking from the Valley Floor at Where We Were
P.S. If you want to see even more photos of this trip please visit:
IF YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOS FROM TRIPS THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN IN THIS AREA, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST THEM UP ON THIS THREAD…THEY ARE MUCH APPRECIATED!Sep 30, 2008 at 8:30 am #1452765
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
I missed this thread the first time around. These photos are delightful and they do a fantastic job of showing real-world snow trenches and kitchens. I've loved sculpting snow my whole life and what your group put together here is a prime example of winter-time backcountry living at its finest.
To top it off your photos of El Capitan (this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first ascent by the way) from on high are making me swoon in my chair this morning.
Thank you so much,
SamSep 30, 2008 at 6:29 pm #1452810
Jonathan DuckettBPL Member
@thunderheadLocale: Great Smoky Mountains
I enjoy reading your trip reports so much. They make me so jealous of you guys that are out west. Awesome pictures too! I love the one of the coyote.Oct 1, 2008 at 9:40 am #1452872
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Fantastic pictures! Your banquet table is an absolute work of art! Thanks for sharing!Oct 1, 2008 at 11:34 am #1452888
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Nice. I have done that loop a few times. Great pics too!!Oct 2, 2008 at 10:50 am #1453001
Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Glad that everyone liked the pics, I appreciate the feed back…all I want to do is to give people a sense of what the adventures were like and maybe inspire people to take a few trips to the places that I have gone to. (Not that I think that I am some hardcore backpacker/adventurer…far from it!)
Easy to miss the posting because I often post late night and it takes me multiple days to get all the photos uploaded.
If I get off my lazy butt, I have photos of Vernon Lake, which is above Hetch Hetchy Res. in Yosemite, from this past May…there was still snow up there.
I also have a trip that was North of Yosemite in the Immigrant Wilderness that were pretty amazing.
If I could just put down the crack pipe that is researching new gear, I could get those photos cleaned up and uploaded too….ah, the sweet addiction of gear porn!
Let me see if I can get a new post started tonight.
-TonyOct 2, 2008 at 12:08 pm #1453016
Great photos, looks like you ate well there :-)
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