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Every weekend, affordable, interactive and fun-based learning experiences 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) at the start of 2009.
A total of 16 field courses designed to appeal to a range of ages, interests and abilities are outlined in YA’s newly published January-March 2009 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 2009 Outdoor Adventures catalog is free and available online at www.yosemite.org or by calling (209) 379-2321.
YA expects continued growth in custom 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 Coordinator. "This naturalist service is ideal for all types of groups, from friends and family reunions, to wedding parties or company meetings."
For this winter, several new field seminars are introduced as a supplement to programming repeated based on past popular appeal. Notable new offerings include:
Winter Natural History at the Ostrander Hut
This historic hut, located at the base of a glacial cirque, is a day’s snowshoe from Badger Pass Ski Area. The course includes two nights at the cabin with outdoor exploration 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 on certain days.
For the Love of Winter
On Valentine’s Day, bring your special someone for a snowshoe exploration of the romantic landscape of a mountain winter with naturalist Kendra Kurihara.
Flowers after the Fire
In late March, naturalists expect a terrific display of native wildflowers in a low elevation area that burned last summer. Expert interpreter Michael Ross leads this colorful day of discovery.
Later in 2009, YA will also offer:
A May trip to Yosemite’s two sister national parks in China
Backpack trips, including one featured in an upcoming Backpacker magazine
Programs focused on climate change, including visits to observe the pika
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 substantial 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.
For further information contact Pete Devine or Yosemite Association Public Information 209/379-2321