- Expedition: Apr 1-6, 2007
- Contra Costa Middle College and Vista High Schools
- Yosemite National Park: Snow Creek to Yosemite Falls
Contra Costa Middle College High School and Vista High School came together for a week-long expedition this April. The group, known as the "Yosemineers", met each other on Monday and headed out Tuesday morning for three nights in the wilderness.
Tuesday dawned bright and sunny, and the Yosemineers hoisted their full packs and headed for Mirror Lake and the Snowcreek switchbacks. With five miles and 2,700 feet of elevation gain in front of them, the group powered upwards, led by Kevin and Barbara, and steered by Salomon, the trip's first navigator. This was definitely the hardest day physically, and everyone showed incredible endurance and willpower. We arrived at our campsite, which looked straight across at the face of Half Dome at 6:30pm. Food never tasted so good as we ate our burrito dinner under the gathering stars before crawling into our sleeping bags for the night.
We awoke Wednesday morning to the morning light illuminating Half Dome, snowy Cloud's Rest, and the Valley below us. After a leisurely breakfast and some stretching out on the stone slabs just beyond our campsite, we returned to our packs to find that ravens had attacked during our absence! They feasted on our salami, fig newtons, and our leftover tortillas, leaving plastic bags strewn around to show us what they'd stolen. After shaking our fists at the ravens, Rocio and Brian led us out of camp, with Joaquin navigating, and through our first snow! We had a quick snowball fight, then continued trudging up the 1,100 feet of elevation we had to cover that day. After another five miles, we arrived at our campsite in the woods and the boys promptly began building snowforts and hurdling snowballs at each other. Their energy did not wane until we gathered for dinner around the campfire, and we stayed their far into the night, eating smores and telling stories.
On Thursday morning, we were able to relax through breakfast and camp tear-down, knowing we had an easier day ahead of us. Jhoanne and Miguel set a pretty quick pace as our hiking leaders, and we all felt a little extra spark of power that day. We took advantage of some teamwork and leadership to cross Indian Creek early on in our hike, and it felt like we cruised up the 600 feet of elevation we had to gain in order to reach a spectacular view at Yosemite Point. We journaled for a half hour, did some drawing of our view of Half Dome and the high country beyond, some reflecting on the challenges and accomplishments of the expedition so far! We made it to the top of Yosemite Falls and tiptoed our way down to the scary overlook where we had to lean over to see down the nearly 2,500 feet to the Valley floor. Yikes! After lunch we hiked our last uphill of the trip, a half mile to our final campsite, finishing the days mileage at 4 total miles. Our fantastic campsite was perched on the flat top of a ridge overlooking Yosemite's Creek's gorge. Our only taste of rain on the trip began as we were setting up the tents; perfect timing! The guys made an impressive fire in the rain, and once the half hour rainshower was over, we played in the snow patches, journaled around the fire, and ate dinner. Our final evening together was really special, as we shared how challenging and powerful the trip had been for each of us. It was beautiful and inspiring to hear one another's thoughts and feelings. We went to bed early in order to have a...
5:15 am wake-up on Friday morning. We packed up camp before eating a quick breakfast, and were hiking by 6:30-impressive! Everybody hiked like a horse heading for the barn, dreaming of families and home, and we reached Yosemite Valley via the Yosemite Falls Trail by 10am. Patrick and Christian kept the group together, but moving efficiently on the four miles of downhill. After the final mile and a half of flat terrain back to Curry Village, we were finally able to unpack our gear and eat lunch.