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Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley

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avatar Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 20, 2008 02:51PM
What are your favorite places in the Valley during winter?

I'm going to be camping in Yosemite for a few days the second week of January. I plan on mosey-ing around w/ snowshoes, maybe hiking up as far as I can on the Yosemite Falls trail, etc.

But, with all the Yosemite regulars on this forum I thought maybe I could get some new ideas ("favorite" places to see/trails to take in the VAlley).

I can't wait - it's been 2 months since my last Yosemite fix.

avatar Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 20, 2008 08:01PM
The Upper Yosemite Fall Trail is great. I took the following.

The only thing I didn't bring that I wish I had was gaiters to seal out the snow. I went on a good day with temps in the low 40s. I ended up wearing just two layers and pulled my sleeves up when I started overheating. I took these photos:





avatar Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 20, 2008 08:28PM
Nice shots YPW! How did you get that middle shot...did you take it between the steps on the bridge?

avatar Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 21, 2008 12:29PM
sierranomad wrote:

> Nice shots YPW! How did you get that middle shot...did you take
> it between the steps on the bridge?

You can see the beam right at the top of the photo.

I will say I did slip a few times - usually on the way down. I tried using some traction devices called "Get A Grips" although I managed to lose one which was found by a group that I passed by and returned to me. Regular crampon effectiveness may vary. Sometimes there's only a thin layer of snow and ice, and regular crampons might even slip because some spots are pretty much bare granite. If you bring crampons, you probably need to judge when the conditions warrant them, because there might be conditions where they hurt more than they help.

Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 20, 2008 08:52PM
The upper falls trail is nice, but it can get slippery near the top; crampons or other traction devices are a good thing to have handy. Also, if there's fresh snow at the top you may not be able to be able to see the trail. Unless you really know where you're going, don't be reluctant to turn back.

The winter route up the John Muir trail to Clark point is nice, and really a sight if it's snowing in the hills around Nevada Fall. You can continue down some switchbacks to the mist trail from there and go on up to Nevada Fall if it's not icy.

The Tenaya Canyon Mirror Lake loop to Snow Creek is always a nice walk. I haven't been on the Old Big Oak Flat road or Old Wawona Road trails in winter, but plan to showshoe up the old Wawona this winter if possible.

Also, not in the valley, but the road to Mariposa grove is a really nice snowshoe walk when there's lots of snow. There's usually a ski trail, but snowshoes allow you more freedom.

With fresh snow, most any valley trail is great; the valley loop that goes from Bridalveil up toward the four mile trail and on is nice in the snow.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 20, 2008 09:05PM
>it can get slippery near the top

Even in the summer winking smiley

avatar Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 20, 2008 10:38PM
Thanks SierraFan; sounds like some great suggestions. The one I'm most excited about is Clarks Point. That's a really nice view in Spring, winter ought to be really nice, too.

I don't have crampons. Does anyone know if they can be rented in the Mountaineering Shop?

Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 21, 2008 09:58PM
They do sell a couple of stretch on traction devices in the Yosemite gift shops and the mountaineering shop. Crampons may be overkill for most of the trails we discussed, but again it depends on conditions. I'm not sure about the rental, but those shoe devices should at least help.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 21, 2008 11:39PM
Sierrafan wrote:

> I'm not sure about the rental

Perhaps REI?

avatar Re: Winter Hiking in Yosemite Valley
December 21, 2008 10:09PM
Thanks for the good advice!

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