• Expedition: Mar 28 - Apr 2, 2010
  • Crenshaw and Dorsey HS
  • Yosemite National Park

Our first WildLink expedition of the Spring semester felt much more like a winter expedition! Eco Club students from Crenshaw and Dorsey High Schools in Los Angeles came together for our DORSHAW expedition week in Yosemite.


Undeterred by the threat of a huge winter storm bringing two new feet of snow, our DORSHAW team of fifteen headed out from the Merced Grove trailhead with heavy packs, snowshoes, and even a sled filled with firewood. Our destination for our first night was the historic cabin located deep in the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias. Originally a wilderness ranger cabin, it is now closed to all but a few select students a year. We felt very lucky to have a cozy shelter from the storm that night. We all squeezed like sardines into our sleeping bags, some of us spilling over into the cold gear room and the kitchen before falling asleep warm and protected from the storm continuing to rage outside.

The next morning we awoke to the spectacular scene of nearly a foot of new snow encasing our surroundings. Recognizing that hiking with heavy backpacks through this fresh powder would be difficult or maybe even impossible, we decided to remain at the cabin for another night rather than pack up and attempt a further campsite. Instead we packed small daypacks, put on our snowshoes, and headed out for a dayhike adventure to lay fresh tracks in the winter wonderland. We could barely follow the imperceptible trail under all that snow, but thankfully accomplished it with keen observation and even a little scouting adventure to keep from getting lost. It wasn't long before we reached the end of the trail for us, where the creek that would keep us from crossing and hiking any further. Only one thing left to do: Snowball fun! After we were all wet, cold and exhausted from quality snowball fun, we began our walk back towards the cabin. Along the way we stopped for lunch in the snow, longing for the chance to spend a little more time outside. By the time lunch was done, though, we were all frozen through to our bones, and we quickly headed back to the warmth and comfort of our ranger cabin. We spent the rest of the afternoon learning about the giant sequoias through our own sequoia theater skits, discussed wilderness protection and the Wilderness Act of 1964, played the family fun game ("H-e-l-l-o Bear!"), and enjoyed our last evening together bonding with M&M stories.

We were all in high spirits for our final hike out of the wilderness the next morning, despite knowing that we would be walking entirely uphill to the trailhead. Our packs lighter, our sled no longer full of wood, we had an easy and fun walk and even got the opportunity to reflect on life and our wilderness experience with a spirit walk. There was no shortage of snowball fun either! That night, we headed back to Yosemite Valley and ended our expedition experience by powerfully solidifying our trust and friendship in the Spider Caves. Dorshaw, thank you for an AMAZING week, for your ability to stay positive and upbeat even in difficult conditions, and for all the laughter!

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