North Dome

Morgan Brown

Canadian Rockies
Sequoia/Kings Canyon
1998 Trips
Helen Lake
North Dome
1999 trips
2000 trips
2001 Trips
2002 Trips

Books that Morgan

The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails - by R.J. Secor. Unquestionably the bible of California backcountry adventure. Reliable and exhaustive, which is no small feat, given the scale of the "Range of Light".

Hiking Yosemite National Park (FalconGuide) - The crowd pleaser. A cheap, "safe" general-interest text. Hey, that's a compliment!

Summary Image Gallery Trip Map
  • Date: November 25-26, 1998.
  • Route: North Dome via Upper Yosemite Falls trail. Return to valley via Basket Dome trail.
  • Total distance: 22 miles.
Click Here

Other Trip Reports...

Day 1

We began our trek at 9:00 on Thanksgiving morning, 1998, from the Upper Yosemite Falls trail. The route is fairly strenuous, especially with a pack, as it climbs 2600 feet in 3.5 miles. Since I was traveling with two Frenchmen (Antoine Guitton and Olivier Meynier), it should come as no suprise that I carried two bottles of wine in my pack's side pocket. Although the extra load became quite burdensome by the time we reached the seemingly endless section of switchbacks near the top, having the wine was nice. Although for winter trips, I recommend white over red, unless you like the latter chilled! By noon, we took our lunch on the bank of Yosemite Creek.

Only a short portion of the eastward hike is on the valley rim, and it is mostly an unspectacular hump through the alpine forest. An average amount of snow coated the northern slopes, but not enough to make me long for my snowshoes, which lay unused in the bed of my truck. Near the close of day we arrived at our campspot on North Dome, but we scarcely had enough time to properly set up camp and photograph the fantastic surroundings.

A storm (some snow, mostly wind) ravaged our unprotected camp that night, making it tough to sleep, and very nearly blew my tent down at one point.

Day 2

We awoke to a pervasive grayness, with snow flurries to boot. The trail became snow-covered on the ascent to Indian Rock, and we struggled for the next five miles or so to keep it in our sights. On the previous day's hike, Antoine and Olivier laughed at the Forest Service's practice of simply cutting notches in trees that fall across the trail. As we struggled through thick, snow-covered forests, however, these artifacts proved indispensible as trail markers. The snow was deep and fairly thick in Snow Creek Valley, and I began to rethink my decision to leave the snowshoes behind.

As the trail turned southward and descended, the snow eventually thinned, and we descended into the valley via the Snow Creek trail. On the drive back, I encountered some of the heaviest precipitation I've seen in California. Made me feel sorry for the guys we met going up Snow Creek trail without proper snow gear. Ouch!

© 2005 , Stanford Exploration Project
Department of Geophysics
Stanford University

Modified: 11/18/05, 13:53:03 PST , by morgan
Page Maintainer: webmaster `AT'