Posted by: GeekHiker | March 3, 2008

Yosemite In Winter Trip Day 5: Skiing!

Today was the day, the pass was open and, at long last, we would don skis and glide across the white stuff.

No, really! We actually got to ski on the third full day!

After a breakfast in the ‘ol kitchenette, the caravan once again headed into the park, chained up (JaG and I were becoming real pros at it by this point) and finally made the left turn off Highway 41 onto the Glacier Point Road.

Day 05 - Road to Badger Pass

Along the snowy Glacier Point Road to Badger Pass

A short distance later, we parked at the Badger Pass Ski Area and headed for the nearest building, where all the skiers where tramping in and out. We quickly discovered, based on the blank look of the guy behind the desk, that we were in the wrong building, and headed across the parking lot to the Yosemite Ski School.

Day 05 - Badger Pass

Badger Pass Ski Resort

There we paid our monies, signed our respective lives away, and about an hour or so later, we had been given skis, boots and poles. We slathered on the sunscreen and met our instructor (who had the typical “outdoor tan” I might add (i.e. the “I get to work outdoors for a living, ha ha!” tan)) and headed over to the relatively flat learning and practice area.

After an hour or so of learning how to get into the skis, fall over, stand back up, attempt to cruise down hill, walk uphill, ski uphill, etc., we headed over to the Old Glacier Point Road.

After a small climb uphill, we spent more time practicing in another area, learning (sort-of) how to start, stop, crash, etc.

The lesson over, our ski instructor headed back down hill (at what I can only describe as “insane speed” in my amateur mind) after recommending that we continue along the road to an overlook that would give us a view south over the Clark Range.

Day 05 - Trees Along The Ski Trail

Snowy forest along the Old Glacier Point Road

Thus encouraged, we headed off into the wilderness along the groomed tracks, gliding through the woods and around a bend until we headed up a long hill to the overlook.

Day 05 - Along Old Glacier Point Road

Along the Old Glacier Point Road

At the Old Glacier Point Road overlook, we stopped, took off our skis, pulled out the trail mix & various snacks and, of course, the cameras. We tried to ignore the group of teenagers who were milling about the same spot, instead concentrating on the stupendous view:

Day 05 - Looking out over Clark Range

View of the Clark Range

Eventually, the teen group departed, heading back downhill to screams of laughter & fear, which built up our confidence in our abilities immensely (oh, so very much not). When we decided to leave, JaG, having skied before, headed down the hill, braking like an expert and not crashing once.

The rest of us followed, crashing multiple times. It was a mite bit frustrating, especially as I looked up to see JaG, cackling manically at our keystone cops form of skiing. Don’t let her say otherwise; she was doubled-over when I saw her. 🙂

(In our defense, we would later find out that this section of hill was rated as medium, not easy. So there.)

Finally down the hill on more level ground, we headed back down to the ski area, got an extremely overpriced lunch, and then spent the remainder of the afternoon practicing on the bunny slope.

Finally, sore and tired, we returned our equipment, donned our regular shoes, and drove down from Badger Pass, stopping at Tunnel View to see if the park would reward us, finally, with a good sunset.

Day 05 - El Capitan Sunset

El Capitan at Sunset

Day 05 - Cathedral Rocks at Dusk

Cathedral Rocks, Bridalveil Falls & valley mist at dusk

The day ended with a dinner back at the Yosemite Falls Lodge, then heading back to the hotel.

Muscles sore from the day on the slopes, JaG and I donned our swimwear and headed to the (blissfully indoor) pool & hot tub. Of course, glass isn’t allowed by the pool, so we had taken the advance step of pouring our hard cider into Nalgene bottles first.

One must be prepared, after all.

Relaxing in the tub, the rest of our group showed up and we relaxed, talked, swam in the surprisingly warm pool and lounged in the hot tub.

[Side note: I would so love to say that I’m the type of guy for whom this turned into a Penthouse letter. I mean, c’mon, one guy and four girls in a hot tub? Can you imagine? “Dear Penthouse, you’ll never believe what happened on my cross country ski trip…”

Sadly, I’m not that guy, nor is this that type of blog…

Still, on retelling the story to The Best Friend last night, who described it to her boyfriend while on the phone, I was rewarded with a thumbs up from him. So, at least I’ve got bragging rights with one other dude…]

Tired, we all returned to our respective rooms and crashed, wanting to be well rested for our last day in the park.



  1. You didn’t even mention the underwear! How disappointing…

    Cackling? I don’t cackle. 😛

  2. Darn … I was so looking forward to the underwear.

    Great pictures though.

  3. Now you are obligated to tell the “underwear” story now, lest you leave it up to our imaginations. Geekhiker wore underwear on his head in the hottub?! or You were “gliding” through the woods and saw some underwear strewn about the snow and looked over and saw a bunch of nudists?! or… oh just tell us the story!

  4. That’s freakin’ awesome. I’ve never been to Yosemite (was supposed to go this past summer/fall). 😦 Right now, I’m living vicariously through your stories, so keep’em coming!

    (I bet there wasn’t a soul climbing El Capitan that day…)

  5. The first pic along the road to Badger Pass is just magical. And that one of El Cap at sunset…took my breath away. So jealous that you were there and have etched in your memory now. Lucky lucky you!

  6. just a girl – I figured I would leave that part on your blog. I’m a gentleman. 😉 And, yes, I saw you at the bottom of the hill, and you do…

    Homer-Dog – I think JaG covered it nicely.

    charlotte – Go check JaG’s blog, she describes the scene. Beyond that, I think I will leave it to your imagination (it’s probably more exciting than my reality anyway!).

    Aaron – I’ll try, but only a day left. Check out the backpack from last summer.

    Backpackermomma – You always say the nicest things. It’s appreciated. 🙂

  7. Great photos, but what about the crash pictures? JaG didn’t get any of those? Come on…

    Keep up the good work.

  8. congrats on successful skiing 🙂

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