December 18, 2009
Yosemite Outdoor Adventures offer interactive and fun-based learning experiences that appeal to all interests in the winter wonderland of Yosemite National Park. Guided naturalist hikes on snowshoes, a winter ecology program at the cozy Ostrander Hut, assisting rangers with a snow survey, two winter photography courses, and a series of moonlight snowshoe programs are just a sampling of the wide range of affordable learning adventures offered by the acclaimed non-profit organization, Yosemite Association (YA) during 2010.
A total of 12 field courses designed to appeal to a range of ages, interests and abilities are outlined in YA’s newly published January-March 2010 Outdoor Adventures catalog. Held in the spectacular setting of Yosemite National Park, the 1- to 3-day programs address a diverse range of subjects including photography, geology, animal tracks, cultural history, outdoor skills, astronomy and botany. The winter 2010 Outdoor Adventures catalog is free and available online at www.yosemite.org or by calling (209) 379-2321, ext. 17.
YA expects continued growth in private guided trips offered to groups and organizations, tailored toward their specific interests. "If the dates for certain courses don’t fit with busy schedules or if a specific topic is appealing, we can customize a course exactly to your needs," said Pete Devine, YA Education Director. "This naturalist guide service is ideal for all types of groups, from friends and family vacations, to wedding parties or company meetings."
For this winter, several significant field seminars are scheduled based on past popular appeal. Notable offerings include:
Winter Natural History at the Ostrander Hut
This historic hut, located at the base of a glacial cirque, is a day’s cross-country ski from Badger Pass Ski Area. The course includes two nights at the cabin with outdoor exploration lead by two top naturalists of how Yosemite’s plants and animals deal with Sierra Nevada winters.
Photographing the "Firefall"
Local pro John Senser leads the pursuit of the rare and remarkable sunset light that appears to set one of Yosemite’s tall waterfalls aflame for a few moments only on certain days of the year.
The Unknown West End
Murders, a historic wagon accident, men trapped by a flood, glacial destruction, and more surprises are to be found in this day’s easy hike around the seldom-visited west end of Yosemite Valley.
Later in 2010, YA will also offer:
- Another October trip to Yosemite’s two sister national parks in China
- Backpack trips, including Backpacker magazine’s North Rim trip
- Two Indian basketry courses taught by the famed Parker women
- An alpine botany backpack in partnership with Jepson Herbarium
- Several Family Camping Jamborees , highly popular all-inclusive camping trips in the high country.
Founded in 1923, the Yosemite Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of Yosemite National Park through its volunteer, publishing, outdoor education and other programs. Revenues from YA programs such as the Outdoor Adventures provide annual funding to supplement the National Park Service’s interpretive services, museum and research programs.
Yosemite Outdoor Adventure participants do not have to be a member of Yosemite Association to attend field courses. However, those who wish to become a steward of Yosemite can join the Yosemite Association with memberships starting at $35 per year. Membership benefits include discounted room rates in and around Yosemite, a 15% discount on all Outdoor Adventures, subscription to Yosemite , the quarterly journal of the association, 15% discount on all books, maps, posters and calendars, and regular email newsletters.