• Expedition: Jun 9-14, 2013
  • Coleville and Lee Vining High Schools
  • Yosemite National Park: Poly Dome Lakes

Coleville and Lee Vining High Schools joined forces to come on their first WildLink expedition! The hearty crew of eastern Sierra Nevada residents spent three nights base camped at the Poly Dome Lakes. This group enjoyed a combination of adventure (peak ascent, snow glissading) and relaxing (journaling, spending time in the lake, "spa day," yoga, guitar time). They were thrilled to see the "other side" of the Sawtooth Range in northeastern Yosemite, as they are accustomed to seeing its other side in Bridgeport.


Team Consensus in all its glory.


We woke up and packed our things. I was very nervous because I have never been camping. But I knew I would be fine. The view we had on the drive to the trail was amazing. We hiked to camp and said hey to our new home for three days. We learned to set up our tents and got every thing ready. We also learned to fill our water bottles in the lake. Learning how to cook our food out here was very helpful. Making the fire was awesome and very warm. I am really looking forward to coming back.

Group Spread Out

Acting like glacial erratics.


Today was our first day in the back-countrie, and it started with wide eyes and open ears from my group and I. We started by eating breakfast, wich was better than expected, then moved close to the park ranger that would direct us in the cleaning, or removal of fire pits. I could give you all of the little detales but the short version is that we shoveled ash and moved stone. But we loved it. We worked as a team and got nearly 10 done in the corce of half a day, wich left us with the rest of the day so we went on a hike to a small hill, just above the tree line so we could see for miles in all directions so we could see Fairview Dome, Tuolumne Peak, and even Half Dome in the distance giving us a breathtaking wash of sights, smells, and sounds that make anything I have ever seen, seem almost tainted or polluted, but human sounds, sights, and smells. After an inspiring and heartfelt story told by Deeps, our male instructor, we all gained concensis on laying on the warm granite, and symotaniously fell asleep. We slept for 15min or so then started packing up to go and it was time to pick the group leader down the mountain. I made it clear that I was a bad choice because of how fast I run down and the crazy routes I like to take. So why wouldn’t they make me a leader? As I push down the mountain making my poor friends go through “heck” I realize that this experience was not a form of crule and unusual punishment but something ment to teach me how to be a better leader. With a new state of mind I pulled my group through the woods and back to camp. Then we swam to an island in the lake for a nice yoga session and spa treatment from our good friends Deeps and Elspie. After drying off we sang, played games, ate, and told storys. After today I hope this turns out to be just another day in the back-countrie. – Lance

Group Fire Ring Removal Ranger Brandi

The group learned how to destroy and minimize illegal fire rings with National Park Service Wilderness Ranger Brandi.

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Our day started off with nothing but laughter, songs, and smiles. We ate our breakfast that consisted of oatmeal a granola bar and hot drinks. Of course my choice was Apple Cider. Our Journey of the day began with packing for our hike. We started our hike and tried to experience and remember it. We stopped in all of the junctions. We were tired but we pushed because we knew there was a mountain Just waiting to be climbed/hiked. Every last one of us pushed along Huffing and Puffing up these trails. Conquering the twists and turns on a tiring uphill slope. It took forever to even get to where we had to split up. The road up was exhausting but we couldn’t stop we had to carry on. Our groups were split and we worked with that. Once we got to the top we felt and looked like we climbed a mountain. We ate lunch on this group of boulders and had tuna in a tortilla. A lot of us didn’t like it but we knew we had to eat it. We decide to hike the false peak and the drop off was scary. We spent a lot of time taking pictures and then we hiked down this steep trail a lot of us were falling on our butts and eating it but we still pushed on,, when we got to the hill there was snow and we slid down it like a slide that was the best part. I became the leader for the way back it didn’t take us long. But we got to our camp made a late dinner and Enjoyed our last night like a family together. Not wanting to go to bed we stayed up. Some of us watched the stars and Ended our last night Peacefully in the backcountry of Yosemite. – O’Laire

Group Looks at View

Checking out the view from Tuolumne Peak.


Today is Friday and the last day that we were going to be in Yosemite. This morning we woke up at 6:30am. This was half an hour earlier than when we usually woke up. I woke up and woke my friends up. We then began to put all our clothes in our plastic scak. Then we began to put and stuff our sleeping bag in our sleeping sack. This went on for a couple of minutes. The next thing we hear is Deeps telling us that the hot water was ready. None of us wanted to wake up because we knew our journey would end as soon as we saw cars. We then got our bags packed and put all our tents away. We then did a grid like search making sure no trash was there. Then the last of our journey was when we started walking back. We took pictures of the rocks and met up with Katie. Then all of a sudden we were at the road. I am very glad I was able to experience this journey with friends. - Lauren

WildLink is a proud partner of the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Nature Bridge.