While out on a ski, I met Mike Tollefson, the park superintendent, and Art Baggett, a legendary Sierra skier and State Water Resources Control Board chairman. They were returning from Bridalveil Creek and warned me that the snow had melted enough to make a crossing further ahead impossible. I have really enjoyed working with Superintendent Tollefson. He truly cares about the park and provides strong, positive leadership.
Journeyed up to Badger Pass today to ski with my good friend Dick Ewart. He’s been a ranger in the park for over thirty years and I can’t think of a better person to hike or ski with. His knowledge and enthusiasm are vast. Since we’re both native New Englanders, we also speak the same language. We had a great ski in fresh powder and lightly falling snow. If you visit the park in the winter, don’t miss his daily snowshoe walk; in the summer, you can enjoy his fun sunset talk at Glacier Point.
Let it snow! A viable winter storm has finally enveloped Yosemite, and should continue through this weekend. The current snow level is at 5,000 feet, with a predicted accumulation of seven inches overnight. The past few storms have been fickle, tempting us with overcast skies and light rain, yet dissipating before granting us any satisfying levels of precipitation. At last, a snowfall that might herald the true beginning of the ski season at Badger Pass! Being a cross-country skier, I don’t need much snow to be happy.
Thoreau said that being on the snow is like “walking in the sky upside down.” Winter is a sublime season in the park, and some of the most peaceful memories I have in Yosemite are while gliding along Glacier Point Road, reveling in the quietness of the snowfall. Perhaps a cloud has the same prevalent silence that is almost mystical in nature.
The miles of cross-country ski trails at Glacier Point provide great skiing opportunities for any level of skier. Beginners can refine their skills on the groomed track, while more advanced skiers can take advantage of the more difficult side trails or venture cross-country. I hope to be skiing in the high country this weekend!