Thursday, January 28, 2016

Yosemite: Snowshoe To Dewey Point

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
View From Dewey Point

Trailhead Badger Pass, Beginning altitude about 7,200’, 750’ ascent, distance about 8 miles round trip, 5-6 hours

This trip can be done faster on c.c. Skis but it is not a trip I would recommend for a novice skier. The last 1.5 miles to Dewey Point has some steep ups and downs. Dewey Point was named after Admiral George Dewey the only person ever named “Admiral of the Navy”.

We did this as a day trip from Fresno, which made for a long 10-hour day. The first mile is on the groomed snow of Glacier Point Road. Dewey Point can be done as a loop hike combining the more difficult trail #14 and trail #18. We chose to hike trail #18 as an out and back. Trail #14 begins near the top of the first climb before Summit Meadow. Trail #18 begins just past the potties on the other side of Summit Meadow. The initial part of the route is through beautiful meadows and crosses an unnamed creek.

The temperature was moderate but the light was flat, which made for poor photographs of even the view from the point. It was fortunate for us that several pilgrims had preceded us. The trail was packed and evident. This is not an official mapped trail on topographical maps but the route is marked with yellow metal flags and triangles on the trees.

The #18 trail eventually joins the #14 trail before reaching Dewey Point. The trail actually crosses the mapped Pohono Trail (14 miles), which runs along the south rim of the canyon from the Wawona Tunnel to Glacier Point. As we were about to leave the flat meadow area, Josh Helling came flying by on backcountry skis. He is a Yosemite guide, adventurer and cinematographer. I usually see him at the beginning of the annual Nordic Holiday race. I introduced him to my wife and friends. He is the usual winner of the 17K classic on Saturday. Here is a little more about him.

When we arrived, the vista was as wonderful as I remembered it on two previous visits. I used a Sony A7R2 with Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f4 and 16-35mm f4 lenses. The 16-35 lens was probably a bad choice because I was not close enough to the features. Perhaps a 70-200mm lens would have been a better choice. The light was poor and flat but the lunch break had a world-class view. Since this was during the week, we only had a few other folks there.

On the trip back, once we got back to the flatter part of the return trail, we lashed our snowshoes to the back of our daypacks and walked the trail using our trekking poles. It was easier on tired legs with less weight on our boots.
Of course, we had to stop at the Wawona Store for treats on the way back to Fresno, after a 3,500-calorie effort!


 The Ladies By The Beginning Of Trail #14
 It Is So Good To See This Amount Of Snow Again
 Leaving Glacier Point Road

 Half Dome And Cloud's Rest Top And Left Of Center

 El Capitan
 Merced River And Road

 Lunch Break

Map Of Route From Suunto Ambit 2
There is a YouTube version here:   

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