Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snowboarding at Mt. Gibbs, Yosemite

Last week it rained in the SF bay area, and snow fell in the mountains. Find myself checking the Yosemite Webcams page and wonder what it would be like to travel to one of the large snow patches that appear on Mt. Gibbs. And then, highway 120 reopens within the park. And soon after that, all the way. Score! I decide to explore the picture...

Here is a snapshot copied from the Tioga Pass Webcam for October 18 2009, the day of my trip:

My destination: the second mountain from the left, Mt. Gibbs. Fast forward to a lovely Sunday afternoon, imagine a bit of sweat, and here we are, having left most of the trees behind us on the ridge. Dana is the prominent Mountain to the left, which we also saw to the left in the webcam shot. Gibbs is straight ahead.

Following the snowpatch further, on skins. Looking back, Mammoth Peak to the left, Dana Peak to the right.

Looking up towards Gibbs.

There is another, larger patch further up that would make for a steeper, longer run. However, having started only around noon with weather in store for the evening, I decide to leave it at that.

It would be difficult to not make a happy face here: about to ride!

Wearing my little compact camera around my neck, so the resulting video is crappy - apologies. Still, might give a sense of the experience and the fantastic scenery. I didn't expect the run to last this long - almost 4 minutes, and it could have been longer if I had stayed away from the canyon between Gibbs and Dana...

On my way to the parking lot, looking back at Mt. Gibbs, thankful for the sweet first ride of the season.

Not much later, while driving back on 120, clouds roll in.

Outside the park, fall colors on display for sunset.

What a joy to begin the 2009/2010 snowboarding season in October with a run in Yosemite National Park!