• Expedition: Oct 22-26, 2011
  • Kingsburg High School
  • Yosemite National Park

Four students from Kingsburg High School experienced an immersion in the Yosemite Wilderness for five days. Late October was unseasonably warm and sunny, making for spectacular views of the Valley from the northern rim. Alex, Yahaira, Cyrus, and Sean spent their first day at Crane Flat getting ready for the expedition by doing a blind trust walk to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias and packing critical food and gear. The next day, they began their journey at Porcupine Creek, eventually arriving in Yosemite Valley via North Dome, Yosemite Point, El Cap, and the Yosemite Falls trail. Here are some excerpts from the group journal describing their fantastic expedition:

Day 2, October 23rd, 2011

Today we started our backpacking expedition by being dropped off by a bus. We started by hiking down Tioga. After that, we hiked up a long tiring route to the Arch where we ate a lunch of tortillas with sunflower seed butter and jam. Then we hiked quite a distance until we neared North Dome. At North Dome we set up camp just below the Dome. We then set up for a dinner of tortellini while observing a spectacular view of Half Dome. After dinner we sat for a while under the stars.
Mileage: 6.5 miles
Activities: Lunch at the arch, spoke with ranger, stars at North Dome

group on north dome

The autobots.

Day 3, October 24th, 2011

Well today we woke up from our tent and got ready for breakfast. Then after break fast we started packing our packs and got ready for our next hiking trial. After we got done packing our packs we got ready for our [hike]. When everyone was ready they choosed me as being the head leader of our group. We got on with the trial, we passed Yosemite greek and heading of for lunch. We stopped by a river to have lunch there. A [ranger] named [Naomi] when with us in the camp area. After lunch we continued with our hiking. We ended up staying in a beautiful place for us to sleep in. When it was night time we started a camp fire and had dinner near it, also after that we were playing games and telling scary story.

firering removal

The Kingsburg students join Ranger Naomi Chakrin on a campsite restoration project. They removed illegal fire rings and restored over-built rings to a reasonable and functional size.

fire ring removal at north dome

Can you imagine a nicer site for a service project?

Finished fire ring project

The site of a previous fire ring. Impressive!

finished fire ring

What a fire ring should look like in the backcountry.

Day 4, October 25th, 2011

Today after breakfast we started our hike to El Capitan. The hike was a little over four miles. Once there we ate some lunch and then journaled. On the way there we had our first spirit walk. While eating on El Capitan we met a guy from Poland. After journal time we headed back home. All the way back to camp we played games and sang old songs, which was really fun. On this trail we didn’t need to bring our bags which was amazing. At the campfire at the end we finally got some smores. During lunch we opened the high low bag. Inside were gummy worm. Then at dinner we cooked the left over salami, from lunch. I made an amazing fully seasoned piece. Andy and Cyrus both agreed. At the end we played a couple more games, read a poem, and finally finished up the day.

Day 5 October 26th, 2011

On day [five] we already had our tents up and despite the cold we all got up fairly quickly. All of our packs were lighter than normal because we had already ate a lot of the food. The cold did slow us down at first, but we pulled through and began to warm up. Cyrus was the leader today and since all we were doing was going down 3,000 feet in 3 miles on trail we had no need for a navi-guesser. The mood of all the hikers we met who were climbing up were very positive and many of the hikers weren’t from America so the diversity and friendliness keep us all in high spirits. After, we visited camp four we went by the river before being pick upped by the bus.

group by the merced

The autobots journaling by the Merced.

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