Why You Need to Visit Yosemite in Winter

The park is open for enterprise – and few vacationers are right here — providing snowboarding, snowboarding, ice skating and extra.

Yesterday at dawn, I backflipped out of a airplane throughout a tandem skydive over Yosemite Valley. The loud roar of wind stuffed my ears as we dropped quick, and when the chute opened all the things grew to become silent and we floated by means of the air. The morning sky was thick with reds and blues mixing with white clouds that prolonged out over the foothills.

Although we jumped over the park, we landed – as per protocol — on the Mariposa-Yosemite Airport, dwelling to Skydive Yosemite. Co-owner Paul Wignall is an outdated pal and with him I deliberate our epic let’s-do-everything-in-one-day-in-Yosemite outing. From Mariposa, we drove to the park for snowboarding, mountain climbing, rock climbing and ice skating. On the way in which in we stopped on the city of Midpines and the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort for enormous breakfast burritos and to decide up our pal Isaiah Foulks. Foulks, whose dad is a former member of Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR), grew up in the park. Lower than an hour of winding roads later we entered Yosemite, the place we might see snow on the highest of Half Dome, however the place a lot of the Valley ground was dry and snow-free. A half-hour extra of driving introduced us up to the Badger Pass Ski Resort.

Like many points of interest in Yosemite, Badger is family-friendly. That is the place Wignall teaches his youngsters to ski on the mild, rolling slopes. However the resort can be steep sufficient to actually decide up velocity, particularly when the snow is packed and groomed prefer it was yesterday. We rode for hours with out ever standing in a raise line, our boards carving over corduroy slopes and alongside the facet trails. The solar was shining, it was heat and we rode quick.

snowboarding at Badger Pass
Quick raise strains and ideal Corduroy slopes make using Badger Cross enjoyable and peaceable. Chris Van Leuven

From Badger we dropped again down the Valley ground and tucked into Curry Village, or as some name it Little Siberia as a result of it’s at all times so chilly. Regardless of solely receiving an hour of solar per day throughout winter, the realm was nonetheless heat sufficient for rock climbing, so we hiked up towards Staircase Falls and took in the grandeur of the park whereas jamming an all-time finger crack. From the perch up by Staircase there are unobstructed views of lots of the park’s most iconic formations: Half Dome, Washington Column, Mount Watkins and Yosemite Falls. The falls run throughout winter, however like most issues in the park, they’re slowed down. Listening to the calmly flowing trickle of Staircase Falls is mesmerizing and it’s such a mild fall you could stroll proper up and put your hand proper in it.

From the falls we dropped again down to Curry Village for ice skating. Right here, in the shadow of Half Dome that captured a vivid ray of alpenglow, we laced up subsequent to a scorching hearth. Mother and father helped their youngsters on and off the ice, whereas the three of us chased one another across the rink. Because the sky darkened and rink lights went on, we discovered our means again to the hearth and shared a spherical of s’mores.

Staircase Falls, Yosemite
Listening to the mushy trickle of Staircase Falls is mesmerizing. Paul Wignall/Skydive Yosemite

Penning this now, with legs battered from crashing on the ice and fingers pinched from jamming them in tight cracks, I can’t assist however smile pondering again by means of all of the highlights. I’ll take a quiet ski resort over a busy one any day. Similar with the granite rocks right here, which throughout winter see few climbers. And eventually the ice skating, the place that little rink in Curry Village packs enjoyable and problem for everybody. Like many year-round residents, together with Isaiah, I just like the solitude that’s obtainable right here. Throughout winter it’s uncommon to see one other customer on the partitions and trails.

Although Yosemite is unimaginable all yr, the winter season is one thing particular.

ice skating in Yosemite
Paul Wignall, proprietor of Skydive Yosemite, ice skating below Half Dome. Chris Van Leuven

Lodging may be booked in the park by means of Aramark and there are many Airbnb choices in Foresta (throughout the park) the encircling cities of Midpines, together with AutoCamp, and Mariposa. Bookings for Skydive Yosemite may be made here.


For entry to unique gear movies, celeb interviews, and extra, subscribe on YouTube!

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *