Yosemite – Camp 4

by | Jan 17, 2016

The plan for this trip was to get to Badger Pass Ski Area and snowshoe to Glacier Point. Spend a night and snowshoe about 6 miles back and spend Saturday night cooking with some new recipes. Didn’t happen that way. I get to Badger Pass at around 9. Spend an hour trying to find the ranger station only to find it pretty much in front just not well marked. Walked to the front door to find some wilderness permits and alas…nada! Completely out. Only car passes.

Good time to check the chains/cables. This will be a first for me. Taking a car up in the snow. I was surprised it did as well as it did. There was a couple of sections where I just had to keep forward momentum otherwise I was going to get stuck for sure. I sloshed all about. I think I bottomed out a few times but all was good.

I have a good idea of going to another wilderness permit spot to just grab one and drive back to Badger Pass. I grab another wilderness permit but the ones in Badger Pass are specific to Badger Pass (as seen from the ‘how to fill out’ poster on the ranger station wall). Can’t just use another wilderness permit. At this point, its 11:30 at night. I’m looking at 5 hours of snowshoeing to Glacier Point and the ability to do so is dwindling quickly. I make the decision to head to Camp 4 and stay the night there for the night.

Camp 4 is pretty famous. It’s the birthplace of rock climbing. From Wikipedia:

Physically unimpressive, Camp 4 was nevertheless a center of rock climbing development during the middle of the 20th century. Dozens of the most famous climbers in the world would congregate at Camp 4, learning from each other and trying out new ideas on Yosemite’s walls. Some, such as Yvon Chouinard, made and sold climbing equipment in the camp’s parking lot, laying the foundation for successful businesses later.

Camp 4 was the site of ongoing friction between climbers and the National Park Service. The conflict came to a head in 1997, when flooding in Yosemite Valley destroyed many employee housing units. The Park Service proposed to build a three story dormitory complex at Camp 4. Tom Frost played a critical role in the fight to save Camp 4. He filed a lawsuit against the National Park Service to save the historic rockclimber’s campsite, and convinced the American Alpine Club to support the suit. The effort was successful. On February 21, 2003, Camp 4 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for “its significant association with the growth and development of rock climbing in the Yosemite Valley during the ‘golden years’ of pioneer mountaineering”.

Had a good nights sleep. Woke up to rain. Which was relaxing but became the next issue for the trip. I brought up my Mountain Hardware Direkt2 tent. It’s the tent I used on the John Muir Trail in September. It’s super light and listed as a 4 season tent. I was warm yes, but didn’t stay dry. I find out by talking to a few people that this tent is super light and they love it but the drawback is the material is not water resistant. Like, at all. My sleeping bag becomes wet. No good.

It’s hard to tell but the bottom is all wet.

Well time to try out the new stove and new recipes! First recipe is Bannock Bread. Mountain Bread. You ‘bake’ it in a skillet on low flame. Turned out very good! I have to work on my skillet flip

While I was in Yosemite I still wanted to hike around! So that’s what I did for a few hours before returning home.