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Winter in Yosemite: Crocker Point/Badger Pass
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Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Winter in Yosemite: Crocker Point/Badger Pass on 06/23/2008 21:24:55 MDT Print View

3 Day Sierra Club Snow Camping Class February 2008
My 2nd time snow camping. 1st time was Jan 2008 with the Sierra Club.
Class is 1 day classroom with two trips. 1 overnighter and 1 3 day/2 night trip.

Map: USGS 7.5 Minute Series Topo
EL Capitan Quadrangle California-Mariposa County

Badger Pass Ski Area

Parking Lot & Trail Head is at the Badger Pass Ski slope in Yosemite

Badger Pass Trail Head

Trail Follows the Glacier Point Road & is a Multi Use Trail
Trail is shared with people snow shoeing & cross country skiers

Groomed Trail to Picnic Area

Groomed Trail to Picnic Area
At this point, the trial turns from heading East to North towards Crocker Point

Assistant Leader Victor

Victor Sierra Club Assistant Leader & UL Backpacker
Note the Blue Foam Pad, which was his only pad, used in conjunction with a Marmot Helium 15 Degree Down Bag in a Snow Trench with a small Tarp

206 Don & Holly on the Trail

With a Group of 15 to 20 People of all different ages & skill levels, the pace was a modest 1 mile per hour

Tony & Crocker Point

Tony & Crocker Point

212 Tony & El Capitan

Tony & El Capitan

216 First View of Crocker Point

1st View of Crocker Point
This site is a long slope heading down to the left
Plenty of room of all of us to dig trenches into the slope
Temperatures were 50 Degrees F in the day and just under 32 Degrees F in the evening

219 Crocker Point 7090 Ft.

103 View of Crocker Point & El Capitan

Crocker Point Elevation 7090 Ft.

220 Half Dome in the Distance

Half Dome in the Distance
We Traveled down to Crocker Point along the right side of the photo, which is out of view

221 Kitchen Sunset

Kitchen Sunset View with Wide Mouth Nalgene with Wine

Candle Light Dinner

Candle Light Dinner
Pagoda Made of Snow with YangFang Snow Saw & Votive Candle

227 Snow Kitchen II

Snow Kitchen
The Sun Sets at 6pm and there is nothing to do but eat
I have never eaten so much and so well while backpacking
The whole place is a refrigerator.
Breakfast burritos, shrimp & pasta, soups, snacks...gotta eat to stay warm

228 Kitchen Community Center

Snow Kitchen Community Center
Simply built by digging a rectangular trench creating a table in the center.
Snow blocks are built up along the outside trim to create a wind break and benches to sit on.
Cooking gear is cleverly stored by digging storage bins in the sides of the table along the trench.

229 Tony's Snow Trench

230 Tony's Trench & Snow Wall

Home Sweet Home
Mountain Laurel Design Poncho Tarp & Soul Side Zip eVent Bivy
MSR Lighting Ascent Snow Shoes

232 Todd & Whitney's Morning View

Toddy & Whitney's Morning View

235 Tony, Oatmeal, & Crocker Point

107 Breakfast at Crocker Point

Tony's Morning Breakfast & View

245 First View of Stanford Point

255 Lunch at Stanford Point

257 Stanford Point 6659 Ft

Lunch at Stanford Point
Elevation 6659 Ft.

250 Tony from Stanford Point

Tony from Stanford Point

111 Down Through the Valley

Looking Down on the Valley
Left to Right: El Capitan, Valley Floor, & Half Dome in the Distance

265 Don Leading our Trek to Dewey Point

Don Leading our Trek to Dewey Point

268 Afternoon View of El Capitan

Afternoon View of El Capitan

269 First View of Dewey Point

270 Dewey Point

Dewey Point
Elevation 7385 Ft.

117 Late Afternoon at Dewy Point

Late Afternoon at Dewey Point

280 Tony's View From Dewey Point

Tony at Dewey Point

286 Kitchen Designs by Jamsheed Inc

Kitchen Designs by Jamsheed

291 White Gas is our Savior

White Gas is our Savior

My Clothing System: Light Thermal Top & Bottoms, Wicking Long Sleeve Shirt, REI Convertable Pants, OR Wind Shirt w/Hood, Montbell Thermawrap Jacket and Pants, REI Elements Rain Jacket & Pants, Medium Weight Hiking Socks, & 40 Below Synthetic Booties.

Toasty in these mild temps, but I have used this system down to 5 Degrees F while sleeping in a Marmot Helium 15 Degree Down Bag in a Mountain Laurel Designs Soul Side Zip eVent Bivy & MLD Poncho Tarp

Tip: Change your sweaty socks for dry ones after a long day of hiking. I did get chilled on the 2nd night despite all of my clothing. After a quick change to dry socks, I was immediately warm again.

Tip: Heaven on a cold night is hot water in a wide mouth, soft side Nalgene bottle stuffed under your jacket while sitting around in the cold darkness chatting with friends.

293 Tony's Double Wide

Tony's Double Wide Snow Trench
Sleeping System: MLD Soul Side Zip eVent top, Prolite 4 pad, blue foam pad, Marmot Helium EQ 15 Degree down bag.
No Condensation in the Bivy.
Temperatures in the snow trench were warm enough that I removed most of my layers and have the bivy open to read a 300 page book in 2 nights. (I have trouble sleeping).

Ready to Leave

Packing Up and Getting Ready to Leave

299 Final View Farewell

Final View Farewell

309 View from the Car

View from the Car in the Valley

310 Last Look Back at Where We Were

Looking from the Valley Floor at Where We Were

P.S. If you want to see even more photos of this trip please visit:

Sierra Club Snow Camping


Edited by Valshar on 11/16/2008 18:48:10 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Winter in Yosemite: Crocker Point/Badger Pass on 09/30/2008 09:30:50 MDT Print View


I missed this thread the first time around. These photos are delightful and they do a fantastic job of showing real-world snow trenches and kitchens. I've loved sculpting snow my whole life and what your group put together here is a prime example of winter-time backcountry living at its finest.

To top it off your photos of El Capitan (this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first ascent by the way) from on high are making me swoon in my chair this morning.

Thank you so much,

Jonathan Duckett
(Thunderhead) - F

Locale: Great Smoky Mountains
Wow! on 09/30/2008 19:29:00 MDT Print View

I enjoy reading your trip reports so much. They make me so jealous of you guys that are out west. Awesome pictures too! I love the one of the coyote.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Winter in Yosemite: Crocker Point/Badger Pass on 10/01/2008 10:40:33 MDT Print View


Fantastic pictures! Your banquet table is an absolute work of art! Thanks for sharing!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Winter in Yosemite: Crocker Point/Badger Pass on 10/01/2008 12:34:46 MDT Print View

Nice. I have done that loop a few times. Great pics too!!

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Gear Porn Addiction and More Photos to Come on 10/02/2008 11:50:05 MDT Print View

Glad that everyone liked the pics, I appreciate the feed back...all I want to do is to give people a sense of what the adventures were like and maybe inspire people to take a few trips to the places that I have gone to. (Not that I think that I am some hardcore backpacker/adventurer...far from it!)

Easy to miss the posting because I often post late night and it takes me multiple days to get all the photos uploaded.

If I get off my lazy butt, I have photos of Vernon Lake, which is above Hetch Hetchy Res. in Yosemite, from this past May...there was still snow up there.

I also have a trip that was North of Yosemite in the Immigrant Wilderness that were pretty amazing.

If I could just put down the crack pipe that is researching new gear, I could get those photos cleaned up and uploaded too....ah, the sweet addiction of gear porn!

Let me see if I can get a new post started tonight.


Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Europe
Re: Gear Porn Addiction and More Photos to Come on 10/02/2008 13:08:41 MDT Print View

Great photos, looks like you ate well there :-)