Trip Report
Yosemite Valley Pictorial - Winter Eye Candy
Saturday December 19, 2009 11:01pm
I spent 5 days in Yosemite with 150 8th graders at Yos Institute during the 3rd week of December. We arrived a day after a week of snow storms filled the Valley, but was greeted with blue skies, familiar faces, and it brought back a lot of good memories on and off the rock. Here are some shots that I hope warm your soul. Happy Holidays - Tom

Tunnel View Panorama in December.
Tunnel View Panorama in December.
Credit: Slater
It is hard to beat the first view out of the tunnel. No matter how many times you go, you still probably still pull over (or at least slow down).

A view from down by the river.
A view from down by the river.
Credit: Slater
And then when you're leaving, it's hard not to stop one more time before saying good-bye.

Steaming Cold Cathedral.
Steaming Cold Cathedral.
Credit: Slater
The temps in the Valley were in the 20s-30s, and it reminded me of what winter in Middle Earth would be like. Frodo solos you know... just watch the movie.

Ice Climbing Anyone?
Ice Climbing Anyone?
Credit: Slater
But I doubt Frodo ice climbs.

Two to travel for, one hot, one cold.
Two to travel for, one hot, one cold.
Credit: Slater
Two great faces I was fortunate enough to climb, two of my favorites.

Washington Column Profile.
Washington Column Profile.
Credit: Slater
The little nose of Washington.

A coyote's eye view of Washington Column.
A coyote's eye view of Washington Column.
Credit: Slater
This was the view from the parking lot. Not a bad view to see every morning on your icy walk to Curry Village cafeteria. Standard breakfast... eggs, hash brown, 5 pieces of bacon, orange juice, coffee, and yogurt. Then a nice 5 mile walk to burn it all up. Ahhhhh...

Cold aid, and one hell of a girlfriend.
Cold aid, and one hell of a girlfriend.
Credit: Slater
This guy was practicing some aid on the Aid Route on Swan Slab. His girlfriend deserves a medal. Or breakfast in Curry Village.

The "central" Valley.
The "central" Valley.
Credit: Slater
On the walk up the Yosemite Falls Trail, the views just keep getting better and better after the 20 or so switchbacks. Nice hike in the winter. We were stripping down to shirts and sweating. I also ran into an old student who was proposing at Observation Point. Small world. She said yes! Congrats Brain and Leann!

There IS no other half.
There IS no other half.
Credit: Slater
This was my first and only Grade VI. On our last pitch we were greeted by two teenage girls with wands and hundreds of bubbles floating on a summit wind. I thought I was halucinating. I decided that hauling sucked and my big wall days were over. But never day never...

A river runs through it.
A river runs through it.
Credit: Slater
The merced was so clear you could read the date on a quarter in 2 feet of water.

The middle fall of Yosemite.
The middle fall of Yosemite.
Credit: Slater
The middle falls is my favorite. It gets the least amount of attention, but is the most inviting.

The Lost Arrow.
The Lost Arrow.
Credit: Slater
Probably the most famous tyrolean traverse in the world? The first step off the top was the hardest. I brought a pulley to hook into my harness while I jugged across and it made the journey a lot more enjoyable.

The mysterious Third Tier.
The mysterious Third Tier.
Credit: Slater
I pass below this wall a lot and I always wonder if I'm missing something classic. Looks rad, and I think it is even featured on "Soaring over California" at Disneyland California Adventure.

The Falls and Lost Arrow.
The Falls and Lost Arrow.
Credit: Slater
I've often thought the Arrowhead Arete looked pretty rad. But the approach is unfamiliar to me and looks brutal. Anyone?

Probably the most famous chalk drawing in the world- Midnight Lightnin...
Probably the most famous chalk drawing in the world- Midnight Lightning.
Credit: Slater
My friend Doug Englekirk is trying to tick this one off. He's a towering 5' 6" but I think he's gonna pull it off. Not bad for a guy who doesn't even own a crashpad.

Name that Crack.
Name that Crack.
Credit: Slater
OK, time to play name that crack. A hint... a testpiece 5.8.

It was a great week, despite 3 trips the med clinic with ailing students. Eric at the Mtn Shop - thanks for the rad boots. Enjoy "California Road Trip" ! and I'll talk to ya when you're in SLO. Jordan, great job on the evening program with Cinderella! YI - you did a bang up job as usual.

Hope you enjoyed the show. If you've never been to the Valley in the winter, it's uncrowded and can still be great for climbing. I did the Nutcracker once on Dec. 23 with snow on the floor, but it was awesome once we left the ground. Didn't see another soul the whole day.

Happy Holidays!


  Trip Report Views: 3,005
Slater
About the Author
Slater is a trad climber from Central Coast and co-author of "California Road Trip - Climber's Guide to Northern California"

Comments
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karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Dec 19, 2009 - 11:07pm PT
Bishops terrace?
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Dec 20, 2009 - 12:19am PT
Love those shots! Thanks for the winter pics.
tonesfrommars

Trad climber
California
  Dec 20, 2009 - 03:49am PT
Yeah man! excellent. Thanks.
Grahm Doe

Sport climber
Just South Of Heaven
  Dec 20, 2009 - 09:33pm PT
Great pics as usual Tom! Like the lightning shot a lot.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Dec 20, 2009 - 10:33pm PT
Soon....


thanks Slater!

Rob
cleaning up the parking lot
miss.julienne

climber
Grand Junction, Colorado
  Jan 29, 2010 - 05:50pm PT
Bishops terrace for sure.
crossman04

Trad climber
Ventura, CA
  Jan 30, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
that double crack there is unmistakable.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Feb 1, 2010 - 11:58pm PT
I'll have to get to the Valley one of these days and not do any rock climbing but just wander around and take it all in. I get so amped when I'm there. A chair, a book, some coffee and then Scotch, sit in one place all day and watch the weather interact with the scenery... Dang! beautiful and calming.
It sure is a beautiful and inspirational place. Nice shots, Thanks.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 31, 2011 - 01:00pm PT
Cool report.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 31, 2011 - 05:57pm PT
Beautiful photos!
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