Cross Country Skiing in Yosemite - Jan 9, 2011

I invited Chris Kitting to join me for a day of skiing in Yosemite. These 1-day trips are always a bit tiring, but worth it. I woke up at 5am, ate an oatmeal breakfast and packed the last gear, and was on the road by 5:30am. Heading north on the 880 freeway, I went into autopilot, unfortunately, and got off on Mission Blvd, transferred to 680, and headed off towards Livermore (what, was I going to swim the del Valle Aqua Challenge again??) I realized my mistake a few miles too late, tried to do a short cut through the mountains (failed!) and ended up on Mission Blvd for the rest of the drive to CSU Hayward and onward to Chris'. More packing, and on the road to Yosemite by 7am. Soon we were in dark fog and stayed in fog all the way past the Yosemite entrance station, where we had to put on my chains. The girl in the entrance station said she thought it was pretty sketchy to try and ski in the Valley, and indeed snow amounts at 4200' on the drive up looked very patchy. Too little time to drive all the way to Badger Pass, so we stuck with Plan B, which was to ski up Tioga Road from Crane Flat, starting at the Yosemite Institute, and explore any other trails in the area that we could.

Lumix balanced on my spare tire, we get a self-portrait. Appreciate my circa 1980 Fischer Touring Crowns with classic 75mm 3-pin bindings

I'll always be popular with photographers, as long as I wear my red Patagonia parka

Chris pauses for a picture of a snowy meadow

Long arm shot. The trail up Tioga Road had decent conditions as it had been in shade.

Chris was nattily attired in modern skis and outdoor wear

I'm classic in my 1979 Early Winters GoreTex pants (which are still in excellent shape)

Lunch, near Gin Flat

Chris's tripod version

There were some beautiful scenes of the sun on virgin snow

The ridge route back down from Gin Flat was rough; lots of ice and rock hard snow-shoe tracks. On one particularly twisting fall I suffered...Boot Failure! Ohhnooo! And I'd just barge cemented it back together a week ago!

It's always a good day, solving the world's ecological troubles and discussing science with Chris, even if the skiing isn't perfect. A fine photo closes a fine day.

At sunset, near the end of the road

After arriving back at Chris', we transferred some video footage from our Hayabusa mission to my equipment so I can do some photometry in preparation for our paper.