• Expedition: Sep 25-30, 2011
  • Turlock and Pitman High Schools
  • Yosemite National Park

Twelve students from Turlock and Pitman High Schools ventured into the wilderness to enjoy stunning views, glorious weather, and a taste of autumn in the Yosemite Wilderness. They hiked a challenging route in the Sierra high country and were rewarded with refreshing solitude, breathtaking vistas, and newly forged friendships.


Today after breakfast our group met with instructors that showed us how to properly pack our clothes after we all had acquired the proper gear. This was a new experience for me and I enjoyed getting to know and work with our new instructors. After eating dinner, we walked to the meadow to watch the sunset on Half Dome. As the night crept in, we heard the night life begin to come out. Bats flew overhead, crickets chirped a symphony, and the river flowed harmoniously. We wrapped up the night by walking to the theater to watch a presentation about bears in Yosemite. For the most part, today was a calm instructional day to prep us for tomorrow. Hopefully all goes smoothly. Shelby


Today was an awesome day. First, we got up at 6 am and got ready for breakfast. After breakfast, we got ready for our backpacking trip. At about 9 am, we got on the bus and headed for our backpacking area. We all had some bad experience in the bus because we needed to pee real bad. Once we got to our backpacking area, we talked and assigned jobs. Then we headed for our backpacking trip that was going to be 3 ½ to 4 miles. We were headed to Cathedral Lake. Then, on the way there we all thought it was going to be easy, but it was pretty hard and some people had difficulties hiking. At the end, we all ended up making it to Cathedral Lake, all tired but with an awesome view. Then we got ready to stay here and have dinner when it was dark. Johan

Camped by Cathedral Lakes

Stretching out by Cathedral Lake


The "Turlocos" woke up with the sun at 6 AM to a brisk morning in the mountains. After warming up with a hot breakfast of oatmeal, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider, we broke camp and began our six-mile hike to our next destination at Sunrise Lakes. As the sun rose high in the sky, we had to shed layer after layer with the warming temperature. Our sore legs and hips more used to the heavy packs, we moved our home to yet another beautiful campsite, made a campfire, and told scary stories before going to bed under the stars.

Group breakfast

Breakfast is served!

group backpacking by cathedral peak

Turlock and Pitman students hike by Cathedral Peak


On Thursday morning, the group geared up for their summit attempt of Cloud's Rest. Knowing that they would not have to move their camp and carry fully loaded packs was a welcome respite for the twelve travelers. Wilderness Ranger Lissie Gretsch joined the group for the day. We all watched with fascination as she did her job patrolling the backcountry, checking permits, and educating us on the intricacies of federally designated Wilderness. The group celebrated reaching the summit by opening their "high/low kit", a mystery package filled with treats. Thanks Andy, Elspie, and Katie!

high/low kit on Cloud's Rest

Opening the high/low kit on Cloud's Rest

Cloud's Rest Summit

Reaching the summit!

Silly group photo

Thanks for a great week Turlock and Pitman HS!

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