YOSEMITE GAZETTE Yosemite, California Summer 2013 Complimentary YOSEMITE GAZE a 10,000 circul TTE ation quarterly jou rnal features the past, present and future of Yosemite reg ion and the Mothe r Lode every three mo nths! EXTRA! EXTRA! 8 READ ALL ABOUT IT! She’s on Top of Ultramarathon World Page Six 8 “Ask a Climber” A New Park Program Page Seven 8 New Park Plan Counterpoints Page Eight and Nine 8 Watercraft for Fly Fishing? Page Ten 8 Yosemite’s Best Kept Summertime Secret Page Twelve 8 Featured Yosemite Photographer Page Sixteen Rim Fire Lays Waste to Record Acreage Photograph courtesy of National Park Service Getting the historic Rim Fire (five weeks and counting) to 100% containment will have decades of environmental and economic repercussions in the greater YosemiteSierra region. The fire, allegedly started by a hunter’s campfire, is the third largest fire historically in the State of California and the largest ever in the Sierra Nevada. It has ravaged over a quarter of a million acres, most of them in the Stanislaus National Forest. The Rim Fire began Aug. 17 at Jawbone Ridge in the Stanislaus National Forest and spread into Yosemite National Park. The area scorched inside Yosemite National Park doubled to about 64 square miles of backcountry. Most of the park, including its main tourist areas, has remained open. Over 255,000 acres have burned including 40 miles along the Tuolumne River, which flows from Yosemite through the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and into the greater Bay Area. Over 100 structures have been lost including 11 residences and three commercial buildings. A popular summer camp, the Berkeley run Tuolumne Family Camp, established in 1922 on Harden Flat near Yosemite was destroyed. By R. Brian Kermeen and John Swanson plan was unfortunately ignored and suppressed. How did this wise and multitalented man, who is now revered as the Father of Landscape Architec- ture in America, get involved in this controversy to begin with? In 1858, Olmstead and a partner designed and spearheaded early construction of Central Park in New York City. When he arrived in California in 1863, Olmstead had just resigned as director of what would later become the Red Cross during the first years of the American Civil War. He had been offered a lucrative position as manager of the Mariposa Empire mines, headquartered in Bear Valley (near Mariposa, CA). Explorer, military officer and politician John C. Fremont who sold all his land, fort and mines to speculators back East a year earlier, and his wife Jessie, left the Mother Lode for San Francisco. Jessie Fremont was the brilliant, wellconnected and influential daughter of US Senator Thomas Hart Benton (Continued on Page Three) Tangled Web of Personalities, Power and Politics The last issue covered the discovery of Yosemite by Euro-Americans and the protection offered by Congress under the 1864 Yosemite Grant when it granted the State of California the land and protection responsibility for Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees. This article will focus on the next 40 years with an emphasis on people and actions of the government. The State of California created a commission to oversee the park. Longtime resident Galen Clark was named to this commission and later made the park’s guardian. This made him the very first park ranger in America. Frederick Law Olmstead headed the commission and prepared a detailed report on how the park should be managed but this Frederick Law Olmstead Early proponent of forest management (Continued on Page Fifteen)
YOSEMITE GAZETTE Yosemite, California  Summer 2013  Complimentary  YOSEMITE GAZE a 10,000 circul TTE ation quarterly jou r...
Page Two YOSEMITE GAZETTE Summer in the Yosemite Region Photograph courtesy of Delaware North Corporation Each quarter we feature a photograph that represents a retrospective seasonal theme. The photo above is of the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp which is timely since the article, “The High Sierra Camps are Yosemite Park’s Best Kept Summertime Secret,” by David Hubbard (see pps. 12-13) mentions a number of camps open only during the summer season. Vogelsang High Sierra Camp (12 tent cabins) was established in 1924. Charles Vogelsan was the executive officer of the California State Board of Fish and Game during the turn of the century Courtesy of USDA Forest Service, Stanislaus National Forest Photograph courtesy of Alice van Ommeren “Sonora” Sonorans had a variety of swimming holes to cool off during hot summer months —one at Sullivans Creek below the old bridge and another up the road called Hess Pool. Mae Bromley McMahon wrote “we used to go swimming walking past the old Sardella home and down to Moss’ swimming hole. By the bridge we could see the boys skinny dipping. But as soon as they saw girls coming those naked figures disappeared behind the rocks. We spoiled their fun!” Local Histories Feature Vintage Photographs What do Michael Gahagan, Columbia (Sonora) and Alice van Ommeren, Stockton (Yosemite’s Historic Hotels and Camps) have in common? The two have each written and compiled area histories, part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series which celebrate the history of neighborhoods, towns and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape and define the character of the community or region today. The Yosemite Gazette will publish seasonal photos. In the Winter issue those from Hetch Hetchy and Mono Lake Basin used in these books, (See above) along with a seasonal featured photograph. (See top of this page.) Yosemite’s Historic Hotels and Camps is the most recent title to be published covering the Yosemite region area. We are encouraging submissions with a fall theme for our next issue. Photographs can be black and white or color and those we don’t publish will be posted on our website and Facebook albums. Send high resolution (300 dpi) photos to Editor@YosemiteGazette.com. “Yosemite’s Historic Hotels and Camps” The success of Camp Curry and the increasing interest in Yosemite as a tourist destination in the early 1900s led to the establishment of other commercial camps in the park. Camp Ahwahnee was created in 1908 near the base of the famous Four-Mile Trail to Glacier Point. It became the first camp that stagecoaches reached when driving from El Portal to Yosemite Valley. “HIDDEN GEM” – Sunset Magazine Combining a timeless feel with modern comforts, Evergreen Lodge is Yosemite’s premier mountain resort. Come see why Frommer’s Guide calls the Evergreen “the Classic Yosemite Experience”. Cabins • Restaurant • Tavern • Recreation www.evergreenlodge.com (800) 93-LODGE Located off Hwy 120 on Yosemite’s western border
Page Two  YOSEMITE GAZETTE  Summer in the Yosemite Region Photograph courtesy of Delaware North Corporation  Each quarter ...
Page Three Yosemite, California, Summer 2013 Photograph courtesy of Corey Stone Rim Fire Causes Giant Pirocumulus Clouds Photograph by Rebecca Harvey A Kaman K-Max type 1 heavy lift helicopter in bound for a water drop on Ferreti Road fire break. Also called an Air Tractor, the helicopter, capable of ferrying 700 gallons of water was part of a large fleet of fire fighting aircraft used during the Rim Fire which included the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane, the mammoth DC-10 12,000 gallon capacity air tanker and even a MQ-1 drone providing real time photographs. MARIPOSA Charming blend of the past and present on the way to Yosemite We are just around the corner between Sonora Pass Hwy. 108 and Tuolumne Road To advertise in this space email: Meredy@Yosemite Gazette.com minutes from downtown Sonora Sheri Collins Senior Loan Officer DRE #01440064 NMLS #28786 We featured this photo on our Facebook pages when the Rim Fire had only burned 4,000 acres. The photograph, looking east from Groveland’s, Hwy. 120, was taken by Corey Stone. One of our frequent contributors to the Yosemite Gazette, Tom Gardner, commented on the photograph when it appeared on Facebook on August 22. “I spotted the smoke plume about 3 p. m. on Saturday. Since the incident began on the Lower Tuolumne at the Clavey River Confluence, I’m pretty certain its cause was human carelessness. It’s sad to see so much destruction, but the forest was ready, as lots of new fuels had grown up in the past 26 years. I won’t be fishing down there for a few years.” Rim Fire Largest Ever in the Sierra Nevada (Continued from Page One) The massive Rim Fire Closure Area begins at the southeastern corner of the Stanislaus National Forest boundary at its intersection with Yosemite National Park and the Merced River then continues northeast along Highway 108 all the way up to Dodge Ridge before going west along Kibble Ridge to the Yosemite border and wrapping back around to the starting point. Nearly 4,000 personnel fought the Mountain Home Gifts The best selection of Yosemite Art, Gifts and Cabin Accessories 285 W. Bullard Ave. Suite 103 Fresno, Ca 93704 Office 559.822.1299 Fax 559.822.2311 shericollins@comcast.net ASSURED MORTGAGE COMPANY NMLS #261948 If you visit just one shop in Sonora, this is it! Casto Oaks Fine Wine & Art 5022 Hwy 140, Mariposa CA 209-742-2000 CastoOaksWine@aol.com www.CastoOaksWine.com 5038 Highway 140, Mariposa, CA 95338 209-742-7793 www.sugarpinecafe.com 87 S. Washington Street at the corner of Linoberg 209-533-5319 fire including a fleet of aircrafts and even a drone plane the size of a small Cessna taking real time photos. Over a 100 million has been spent on suppression efforts since the fire began. Yosemite National Park has closed Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds both located along Tioga Road. White Wolf Campground and White Wolf Lodge remain closed as well. The major northern artery to Yosemite, Highway 120 was closed for several weeks past Groveland but is now open. Additional information is available from the Stanislaus Forest Supervisor’s Office 209-532-3671; Mi-Wok Ranger Station 209-5863234; Summit Ranger Station 209965-3434; and Groveland Ranger Station 209-962-7825. The Yosemite Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Yosemite National Park, has established a fund to help restore the park’s trails, facilities and habitat in the wake of the Rim Fire. Donations to the Yosemite Fire Restoration Fund can be made online or by mail to Yosemite Conservancy, Yosemite Fire Restoration Fund, 101 Montgomery, Suite 1700, San Francisco, CA 94104.
Page Three  Yosemite, California, Summer 2013  Photograph courtesy of Corey Stone  Rim Fire Causes Giant Pirocumulus Cloud...
Page Four Summer in Yosemite Region Disappears in Smoke As we ended our summer quarter officially on September 21, this issue reflects some popular summer time activities—climbing, running, camping and Alpine Lake fishing— presented in particularly interesting articles. If I do say so myself. Unfortunately, the long hot summer in the Sierras was climaxed by the tragic and devastating Rim Fire. The ravaging conflagration, as of our publication deadline, is still not fully contained. But, even though the fire is not officially out, a massive effort is underway to address the environmental and economic ramifications which will affect the greater Yosemite region for years to come. As a publication which relies on the support of a healthy and vibrant local and regional economy we will be doing everything we can to support our advertisers in programs designed to respond to what may be dire economic prospects over the next year. A recent report by American Business Media shows that despite the ongoing economic downturn, 39 percent of businesses plan to increase their advertising budget and 48 percent plan to maintain their budget at its current level. YOSEMITE GAZETTE Two of our long-time and loyal advertisers, Yosemite Gateway Lodge and Evergreen Lodge, were “saved” and all our supporters face recovering from the long standstill of Michael Gahagan The Editor and Publisher writes,“Let me say this about that. In our last issue the photograph above was converted to what was supposed to be a woodcut look. Close family members said never to use it again.” commerce and summer ending Labor Day tourism influx. There are several organizations that are mobilizing efforts to help. The Tuolumne River Trust will work with local businesses to help them weather the storm by promoting tourism, organizing TRT events and activities in the area such as our annual Paddle to the Sea, and working to secure economic stimulus in the recovery plan. The Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority (TCEDA) is working with the California Office of Emergency Services to acquire federal assistance for Tuolumne County businesses. If your business has been affected by the Rim Fire call 209-989-4058 or go to www. rimfirerecovery.com for more information and obtaining “Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet” forms. These forms will help TCEDA amass the data needed to apply for federal assistance. Most federal assistance, if Tuolumne County qualifies, will be in the form of low interest loans. As for the Yosemite Gazette, our stimulus package could come from all of you who are enjoying one of the 10,000 complimentary copies we distribute for the benefit of our advertisers and supporters. Guarantee direct mail delivery of every issue for a year by subscribing for only $30. Save $10 by subscribing Advertising Director Likes to Promote “Good Things” Hailing from Mariposa California, Meredy Wells is an enthusiastic addition to the Yosemite Gazette. As Advertising, Marketing and Social Media Director, you’ll see her smiling face around Mariposa and Madera Counties increasing Yosemite Gazette’s circulation and local involvement. Become a loyal subscriber today! We invite you to share Yosemite Gazette on Facebook. Enjoy Meredy’s posts of local events and advertiser’s specials from the counties all around Yosemite National Park including Mariposa, Madera, Tuolumne and Calaveras-Amador Counties, the Eastern Slope of the Sierras and the Bay Area. A writer and artist with a background in advertising and computers, Meredy’s straightforward approach to business and love of Yosemite benefit our community in many ways. She likes to promote good things. Meredy is author and distributor of the Mariposa County Information Resource card, a Meredy Wells wallet-sized folded business card of the most important phone numbers and descriptions of helpful services available within Mariposa County. Sponsored by the Health Department, cards are available free at Mariposa’s Library and Pioneer Market. Find this area contact information online at the Mariposa County Official Website. On the card’s Facebook page, you can watch an interview by the video icon Double Rainbow Yosemite Bear, whose video of a double rainbow filmed on his doorstep in Mariposa is viral with more than 177,000 “Likes.” Another interesting center of information about Yosemite for both locals and visitors is the Yosemite Travel Tips and Insider Information for Mariposa County on Facebook. “Like” this page and Meredy will share current local stories, pictures, videos and more from people who live here. This community service to bring people together is sponsored by the Yosemite Gazette and Comfort Inn Yosemite Valley Gateway in Mariposa, California. Editor’s Note: To contact Meredy by email: Meredy@ YosemiteGazette.com for two years at $50 or save $50 with a $100 five year subscription. Subscribe the old fashioned way—fill out the subscription blank on page sixteen and mail it in. Thank you very much and while you are at it double down with a gift subscription and you’ll be glad you did. Michael Gahagan Published quarterly by the Yosemite Publishing Company P. O. Box 5227 Sonora, California 95370 209-536-1143 Editor@YosemiteGazette.com Editor and Publisher Michael Gahagan Assistant to the Editor Valerie Seimas Sierra Nevada Fishing Editor Renny Avey Correspondents-Contributors Marc Fossum, Rick Deutsch, Tom Gardner, Debbie Adams, Renny Avey, David Lukas, John Carroll O’Neill, Peter Hoss, Elizabeth Stone O’Neill, Leroy Radanovich, David Hubbard, Sharon Giacomazzi, Peter Fimrite Michael Elsohn Ross, Tom Stienstra R. Brian Kermeen, John Swanson, Advertising-Marketing Social Media Meredy Wells 209.742.2003 Meredy@YosemiteGazette.com Circulation Northern, Michael Gahagan Southern, Meredy Wells Printing Foothill Printing & Graphics Angeles Camp LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
Page Four  Summer in Yosemite Region Disappears in Smoke    As we ended our summer quarter officially on September 21, thi...
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013 Letters to the Editor Wonderful Job on the Articles Editor, Really enjoy the Gazette! Keep ‘em coming (two-year subscription check was enclosed) and keep up the wonderful job on the articles. I don’t live there but my parents live at Pine Mountain Lake in Groveland, but I grew up camping almost every summer at the Carlon Campground before they ruined it making it a “day use” area and “cleaning up” the steam. Thanks again, Stan Smith Livermore, California Page Five Letters to the Editor Looking for More Bridges in High Country Editor : August 26th-August 31st I had the privilege of sharing in the new Yosemite Conservancy ART program offered for the first year in Wawona at the Thomas Hill Studio. During the week I also enjoyed a book signing each day for my Yosemite Bridges book available at the Hill Studio. I have a little challenge for your Yosemite Gazette readers. Now that my book has been published it's onward to the next phase­ "Bridges — of Mariposa County" and "Boarders' Bridges" (Yosemite's neighboring counties). They’re still many bridges in the high county as well as along hidden roads that deserve recognition. But I need help from people who know about these bridges. Help with Yosemite Gold Rush Movie? Please, if anyone has pictures, or history, or can share an experience, anything will help me in my quest to bridge each new book to the last one. Editor, Anyone with information can contact me: Yosemitepam@sbcglobal.     A friend just gave me the first copy of the Yosemite Gazette I’ve seen.  net or Pam Pederson, 173 S. Lind Av. Fresno, CA 93727. Great reading. I’m really enjoying it. Thanks so much,     I’m a writer and film producer living in the Oakhurst area, formerly from Pam Pederson L.A. and 27 years at Universal Studios.  I was wondering if you have any connections or interest in helping me make my movie of the Gold Rush in P. S. Great photo on the cover of the Spring 2013 Yosemite Gazette - a Yosemite and it’s discovery.  Script is all written.  Just looking for investors child holding the top rail of a BRIDGE while enjoying a wilderness experience. and interested people to work with.     I currently am in pre-production on a Western about a couple of boys on Naming Peak for Legendary Yosemite Ranger the Pony Express, which I would like to film in the foothill area, but might Editor, end up going to New Mexico because of the financial incentives they give Dr. Carl Sharsmith (1903-1994) extolled the wonders of Yosemite to production companies.   National Park’s famous valley and its High Sierra for 64 summers while      Check out my new website on the movie at www.ponyexpressmovie.com educating and entertaining tens of thousands of park visitors—adults and and see what you think.  You can also check me out at www.yosemitefilms. children alike. He remains a national icon in the field of park interpretation. com and read about the book I wrote and the horror movie we did up here As a Professor of Botany at San Jose State University, he founded in the Yosemite area. the Carl W. Sharsmith Herbarium. Many were inspired by him to follow     Keep up the great work on the publication..... careers in emulation of his work while others became motivated as con Bob Bradford servationists. All who came in contact with him had their lives enriched Yosemite Films by this unassuming and dedicated enthusiast for nature. Those who were Editor’s Note: touched by Carl always knew that Sounds like an interesting project. And a premise that fits our mission somehow one day a mountain peak of presenting the historical legacy of the Yosemite region. There have would be named in honor of him. been many movies made in national parks around the country but very A movement to do just that few in Yosemite. Some notables: “The Last of the Mohicans” Daniel Day was begun by a principal of the YoLewis, 1991; “The Eiger Sanction,” Clint Eastwood, 1970; “Forever semite Association (now known as Darling,” Lucille Ball, 1955 and “Cupid Angling,” Ruth Roland, 1918. the Yosemite Conservancy) in 1976. This effort was reactivated in 2006 The Lesson of the Seven Wave Riffle by the Name4Carl/Sharsmith Peak Editor: Commitees, with a renewed vigor. Thanks for the feature (Yosemite Gazette Winter 2013) by retired Their intent was to have the U.S. professor Renny Avey. I learned to fly fish using only dry flies, on High Congress establish a “Sharsmith Sierra lakes and creeks, in the 1960s, mostly in Kings Canyon and Sequoia Peak” above Yosemite’s Tuolumne National Park. It took a very long time to finally learn how to fish the nymph Meadows. Please visit their website properly—the mid 1980s—and it took a special spot on the Lower Tuolumne at www.sharsmithpeak.org to learn Dr. Carl Sharsmith River to learn the technique. more. I called it “The Seven Wave Riffle.” It was perfect, about 15-20 yards How a week-long Yosemite hike resulted in a quest: readers of this long, with seven very well defined peaks in the low flows after Labor Day. issue of Yosemite Gazette have the opportunity to read David Hubbard’s acToss the nymph, weight, and strike indicator about 10 feet above the first count of his week-long High Sierra Loop hike which was led by Carl. David peak, let the line straighten out and keep your eye on the indicator. It was was so fortunate to have had this experience. Not only was Dr. Sharsmith like a sluice box for trout - they lined up on both sides watching what flowed leading the group, but David’s father Douglass, who was Yosemite’s chief by. If the first nymph didn’t work after 4-5 casts, take five, then try a different park naturalist at the time, was also along. (I spent many years as a Yosemite colored nymph. It was perfect. park naturalist working under and being trained by David’s father—as well This riffle was about a mile above the Clavey River Confluence. Sadly, as by Carl Sharsmith. It had to have been amazing.) (See article pps.12-13) it was wiped out in the New Year’s Day Flood of 1997, but then so were most Having been born and raised in Yosemite Valley seems to have inspired of the rest of the pools, as was the trail down the south side of the canyon. a life-long interest in nature and parks for David. Yosemite has a way of New fishing spots emerged eventually, and since I learned my lesson at The “getting into ones blood,” but it was implanted in David’s genes. And he Seven Wave Riffle, I can fish the nymph with great confidence, which is expresses his enthusiasm for Yosemite at his website: www.undiscoveredabout two-thirds of the time these days. yosemite.com. Bill Jones, former Yosemite Chief Park Naturalist Tom Gardner Lead member Sharsmith Peak Committee Groveland, California
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013  Letters to the Editor  Wonderful Job on the Articles  Editor,   Really enjoy the Gazett...
Page Six YOSEMITE GAZETTE Yosemite is Favorite Place for Ultra Long Distance Runner Catra Corbet is an ultramarathon runner. That means running in events much longer than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. This Fremont, CA resident loves Yosemite as a training ground for her events and is often seen on the park’s trails. We briefly introduced you to her in the last issue. She doesn’t hike the John Muir Trail in 3-4 weeks; no, she RUNS it. Both ways. In less than two weeks. Enjoy this insight into this world class athlete and Yosemite lover. Yosemite Gazette: Cat, you are a seasoned ultramarathon runner. For our readers, can you tell us what that means?  Cat: As an ultramarathon runner, it means I run distances greater than the traditional 26 mile marathon. I run 50 kilometers, 50 miles, 100 kilometers, 100 miles and beyond. My favorite distance to compete in: 100 mile races. Yosemite Gazette: How long have you been a runner and have you suffered any injuries in all those years?  Cat: I started running in 1996 after I got clean and sober. It helped me have a outlet to replace the drugs and alcohol. Running gave me something positive to do every day. The body is still healthy and I’ve luckily had no injuries. My knees are good.   Yosemite Gazette: How many miles do you think you run per year?   Cat: I keep a log, so I know I usually run about 4,000-5,000 miles a year. I have run over 70,500 miles since I started running in 1996.  Yosemite Gazette: To jump right into our main interest, can you describe your Yosemite running? We hear you have run the John Muir Trail (JMT).   Cat: Yes I love training in Yosemite, Hetch Hetchy and in Tuolumne up in the high country. I have completed the JMT nine times and have “fastpacked” (Editor’s Note: Running/hiking fast with a pack.) at least 100 miles of it another four more times. I have finished as fast as five days and my longest is eight days for the 224 miles from Whitney Portal to Yosemite. I also have the out and back record 424 miles in 12 days.  Yosemite Gazette: What do you do about sleep and eating on the JMT? Cat: I usually fastpack on the JMT. I carry what I need in a pack weighing under 19 pounds with food. I usually am moving 12 to-17 hours a day depending how fast I want to finish. I catch sleep as I can.   Yosemite Gazette: Is it true you run up and down the Half Dome Trail from Happy Isles to the cables? Is this your training routine?  Cat: I have run up and down 56 times. There are parts that are a fast hike and not a run. When I get to the granite steps (Editor’s Note: Sub Dome) it’s more of a hike. It’s also hard to run around all the people on that trail during high season. Before the permit process I used to go up a lot more. Now it’s more like three times a year. I once did the whole up and back three times in one day. You don’t need a permit for all the other beautiful places like Clouds Rest. I love running up that.  Yosemite Gazette: Have you run any other Yosemite Trails?   Cat: I have run almost every single trail out of Yosemite Valley. I have organized my own 100-mile runs there with friends helping by providing aid. I have done that five times. One time at mile 57 I did a rock climb and climbed the Nutcracker route, a classic rock climb in the valley. (Editors Note: Near the Lower Brother formation.)    Yosemite Gazette: You are a colorful lady­­ —literally. Can you tell us about your tattoos and body piercings?  Cat: Not much to tell other than I like them. I say why hang your art on a wall at home where no one can see it? I wear mine on my body so all can see and enjoy.  Yosemite Gazette: What diet do you follow to keep your energy up?  Cat: I have been a vegan for 19 years. I am actually following a Fruitarian diet where I am eating a 90% raw fruit diet and the other 10% is raw veggies and raw nuts. It works for me and my times are faster during my races since I have been a Fruitarian.   Yosemite Gazette: You are known to bring your little Dachshund to many running events. Tell us about your dog, Truman.   Cat: Truman rocks. He’s seven years old. I adopted him after he was being fostered by my roommate. He Photograph courtesy of Cat Corbett Catra and Truman on the Trail Truman, a seven-year-old Dachshund, is training with Cat to “run” a 30 kilometer race and summit 14,000 foot White Mountain and 13,000 foot Mt. Dana this year. couldn’t even walk around the block. He has since run up to 16-miles with me. He has run a few trail races and will run a 30K. He has paced me at the end of two of my hundreds. He’s training to do 14,000 foot White Mountain, hopefully this year. I will take him up Mt. Dana’s 13,000 feet as part of his training soon.  Yosemite Gazette: Do you have any parting words for our readers?   Cat: Yes I do! Get out and do what you love! Being a woman shouldn’t stop you from running or hiking alone in the wilderness. Just be smart and prepared. It is very important to respect the wild and her beauty.  Editor’s Note: To learn even more about Cat, watch the YouTube video called “REI Member Stories: Ultra-runner.” Yosemite Gazette correspondent, Rick Deutsch conducted this interview and plans on continuing a series of interviews in future issues. He has written “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome” and blogs at: HikeHalfDome.com. His email address: Ricky.Deutsch@gmail.com Winter Adventures Cross Country Skiing Snowshoeing Sledding Snow Skiing Snowmobiling 209.677.3183 or 888.963.6253 www.sierra-adventure.com tours@sierra-adventure.com
Page Six  YOSEMITE GAZETTE  Yosemite is Favorite Place for Ultra Long Distance Runner Catra Corbet is an ultramarathon run...
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013 Page Seven Ask a Climber—One of a Kind Interpretative Program in Park Editor’s Note: Thanks for this reprint of San Francisco Chronicle writer Peter Fimrite’s article published June 7, 2013. What are They Doing Up There? Erik Sloan, (left adjusting telescope) is part of a new interpretive program in Yosemite. Sloan has scaled El Capitan 80 times, and his job is to answer questions curious visitors have about rock climbers, the culture and heritage of rock climbing. The curious tourists crowded around Erik Sloan one recent sunny day here as if he were an alien come down to Earth. The 38-year-old rock climber is certainly an unusual addition to the landscape. Sloan has scaled El Capitan 80 times, and his job is to clue in earthlings about the wonders ­—and potentially lethal dangers—of hanging in space thousands of feet up towering cliffs. The native of Boulder, Colo., is part of Ask a Climber, a oneof-a-kind interpretive program in Yosemite that promotes the park’s rock-climbing culture and heritage. It wasn’t long ago that the National Park Service would have regarded such a program as counterproductive. Rangers long thought of climbers as pot-smoking vagabonds, and climbers didn’t think highly of the rangers either. But the suspi- $ .95/mo. www.Conifercom.Net cion has subsided in recent years as climbing gyms have gone up around the country. “It’s taken a long time,” said Ken Yager, founder of the Yosemite Climbing Association, which started Ask a Climber in 2009. “But we’ve changed how climbers are viewed by the park and vice versa.” The venture, paid for by the nonprofit Yosemite Conservancy, offers visitors an opportunity to look through telescopes and learn what it’s like to climb the vertical walls surrounding the valley. “A lot of park visitors don’t realize there is climbing happening on all of the cliffs around them, and when they see it, they are fascinated,” Yager said. “This program is a chance for people to ask questions and get accurate answers.” Assisting in rescues The telescopes have paid unexpected dividends. Yosemite search and rescue crews have used them to locate injured climbers, rescue people and investigate accidents, including the recent deaths of climbers Felix Joseph Kiernan, 28, of England, and Mason Robison, 38, of Montana. Rescue crews have also looked at photographs taken by Tom Evans, another climbing interpreter, to determine what could have been done to prevent the death of Kiernan, who was hit Sunday by a rock that his partner dislodged while climbing the East Buttress route on El Capitan. Magnified pictures are also being used to reconstruct the May 20 death of Robison, who was killed when a chunk of rock cracked loose on El Capitan and cut his rope, causing him to plummet 230 feet to a snapping halt at the end of his haul line. “That’s the first time we’ve had anything that tragic. All of the other ones had happier endings,” Yager said. “But we are an available resource for the (search and rescue) team. We’ll always drop everything if they need us.” A lone climber For most people, though, it is the spectacle of life on the big wall that is revelatory. Sloan, who is technically a Park (Continued on Page Fourteen)
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013  Page Seven  Ask a Climber   One of a Kind Interpretative Program in Park   Editor   s N...
Page Eight YOSEMITE GAZETTE Nature and Purpose of Yosemite Being Changed Editor’s Note: The following remarks were read into the Congressional Record, August 1, 2013, by Republican District 4 Congressman Tom McClintock. Mister Speaker: Yosemite Valley is a national treasure that was set aside in 1864 with the promise it would be preserved for the express purpose of “Public Use, Resort and Recreation.” Ever since, Americans have enjoyed a host of recreational opportunities and amenities as they have come to celebrate the splendor of the Valley. Now, the National Parks Service, at the urging of leftist environmental groups, is proposing eliminating many of those amenities, including bicycle and raft rentals, horseback riding rentals, gift shops, snack facilities, swimming pools, and iconic facilities including the Ice Skating Rink at Curry Village, the art center and historic stone bridges that date back to the 1920s. For generations, these facilities have enhanced the enjoyment of the park for millions of visitors, adding a rich variety of recreational activities amidst the breathtaking backdrop of Yosemite. But today, the very nature and purpose of Yosemite is being changed from its original promise of “Public Use, Resort, and Recreation,” to an exclusionary agenda that can best be described as, “Look, but don’t touch.” As public outrage has mounted, these leftist groups have found willing mouthpieces in the editorial boards of the left-leaning San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee. It is obvious their writers have either not read the report or are deliberately misrepresenting it to their readers. They say the plan is designed to relieve overcrowding at the park. In fact, this plan compounds the overcrowding. In 1997, flooding wiped out almost half the campsites at Yosemite Va l l e y ; Congress appropriated $17 million to replace those campsites. The money was spent. The campsites were never replaced. That’s causing the overcrowding — half the campsites for the same number of visitors. This plan would lock in a 30% reduction in campsites — and a 50% reduction in lodging — compared to the preflood era. Three swimming pools in the Valley give visitors a safe place with lifeguards for their children to cool off in the summer. The Park Service wants to close two of them. That means packed overcrowding at the remaining pool, pushing families seeking water recreation into the Merced River. They assure us they’re not eliminating all of the shops at Yosemite, but only reducing the number of them. Understand the practical impact on tourists: it means they must walk much greater distances to access these services and then endure long lines when they get there. Another of their falsehoods is that the plan doesn’t ban services like bike rentals, but just moves them to better locations. The government’s own report puts the lie to this claim. It specifically speaks to “eliminating” and “removing” these services. It goes on to specifically state: “Over time, visitors would become accustomed to the absence of these facilities and would no longer expect them as a part of their experience in Yosemite.” Their intent could not possibly be any clearer. Mr. Speaker, every lover of Yosemite needs to read this report. It proposes breaking of the compact between the American people and their government that promised “public use, resort and recreation … for all time” when the park was established. My district includes the Yosemite National Park and I represent the gateway communities that depend on park tourism to support their We are assured that although bicycle rentals will be — and I am using the government’s word — “eliminated”— from the Valley in the interest of environmental protection, visitors will still be free to bring their own bikes. That invites an obvious question: what exactly is the environmental difference between a rented bicycle and a privately-owned bicycle? We are assured, in the smarmy words of the Sacramento Bee, that the plan merely contemplates “relocating raft rentals, so they meet visitors at the river.” In truth, the plan specifically states that it will “Allow only private boating in this river segment,” and will limit total permits to 100 per day. economies. The affected counties and communities are unanimous in their vigorous opposition to this plan and in a recent phone survey, the people of these communities — who are jealous guardians of Yosemite — expressed opposition to it in numbers well exceeding 80%. Many things need to be done to improve gate access and traffic flow through the park. But destroying the amenities that provide enjoyment for millions of Yosemite visitors each year is not among them. Tom McClintock, Congressman Fourth District, California Granite Bay, CA mcclintock.house.gov/contact/ Phone: (916) 786-5560
Page Eight  YOSEMITE GAZETTE  Nature and Purpose of Yosemite Being Changed  Editor   s Note  The following remarks were re...
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013 Page Nine Law Requires Park Service to “Protect and Enhance” On Thursday, August 1st, Congressman Tom McClintock delivered highly misleading remarks on the House floor regarding Yosemite National Park’s Wild and Scenic River Plan for the Merced River. It is ironic that the Union Democrat in Sonora ran those remarks as an opinion piece under a headline: “The truth about the plan to cut amenities at Yosemite.” The Congressman is fully entitled to his opinions, but truth is based on facts. First the Congressman misled by claiming that the Park Service was deviating from the purpose that Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Park were established, which he stated as being solely public use and recreation. In real truth, the National Park system was established with a mandated purpose to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” In addition, Yosemite Park has a legally binding 1980 General Management Plan that calls for markedly reducing traffic congestion, reducing crowding, allowing natural processes to prevail, and reclaiming priceless natural beauty. Those are legal mandates that shape the Merced River plan. Not only did the Congressman completely ignore those legal requirements for Yosemite, but he completely failed to mention that the Wild and Scenic River Act that affects Yosemite Valley is a law that requires the Park Service to “protect and enhance” the Merced River’s outstandingly remarkable river values. But the single biggest omission made by the Congressman is that he failed to acknowledge that the Wild and Scenic River Act mandates that the Park Service must remove public use facilities that are not necessary to be in the river corridor. That is the law for which the Merced River plan was written. The real “truth” is that due to intense political pressure (such as from the Congressman), the Park Service’s preferred Merced River Plan alternative fails to fully follow the law, and only proposes to remove some scattered small facilities. It would leave commercially profitable lodges, campgrounds, stores, and many other facilities such as parking areas and non-essential bridges in the river corridor. Another key omission by the Congressman is his failure to admit that the Park plan not only retains unnecessary facilities, it actually allows the construction of 56 new structures in the river corridor, even though many of those structures could feasibly be located elsewhere. The Congressman wildly claims that the new Park agenda is exclusionary, and that “leftist groups” and the “left-leaning San Francisco Chronicle and The Sacramento Bee are putting out “falsehoods” by saying the Park plan is attempting to relieve overcrowding. He claims that crowding comes from having inadequate campsites, when the Park’s planning documents make it clear that it is the traffic gridlock Gateway Partners businesses have applauded the Park for putting out a plan that would begin to reduce traffic gridlock and seasonal overcrowding. As a representative of laws in our country, the Congressman when more than 20,000 people a day crowd into tiny Yosemite Valley that causes significant crowding impacts to occur, not a demand for campsites. McClintock’s remarks make it appear that large numbers of shops and facilities would be eliminated from Yosemite Valley, forcing visitors to suffer, which is a great exaggeration. He focuses on bike rentals and scorns the Park for proposing to remove the bike rental facility, while still allowing bikes to be brought in by visitors. What he fails to comprehend is that the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act mandates that non-essential facilities must be removed. No Park official claims that bike riding is harmful, but the rental facility is not essential in the river corridor. One of his worst misleading claims is to state that the affected counties and communities are unanimous in opposition to the Park plan. In reality many Yosemite should be pressing the Park Service to strengthen the plan, to follow the law, and to fully comply with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Yosemite General Management Plan. Instead, McClintock uses harsh name-calling of opponents and exaggerations to make it appear Yosemite Valley will be unavailable to visitors and that few amenities will remain. In actual truth, the current Park plan for the Merced River strongly favors the existing commercial interests in the Park and actually plans for crowding more people into all the lodges, campsites, stores, restaurants, and other facilities that will be retained or constructed in the river corridor. People who care about the issue should READ THE PLAN and not be misled. John Buckley, Executive Director Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, Twain Harte, CA www.cserc.org 
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013  Page Nine  Law Requires Park Service to    Protect and Enhance       On Thursday, Augus...
Page Ten YOSEMITE GAZETTE Using Watercraft for Fly Fishing? By Renny J. Avey Editor’s Note: In the Winter 2013 issue of the Yosemite Gazette, Renny Avey provided us with a detailed story of the expansion of his horizons from dry fly fishing to nymph fly fishing. He continues here with the use of a still water watercraft for fly fishing Yosemite’s alpine lakes. In my opinion, wild trout, is to do a horse/mule pack trip up defined as those born in a river into the Eastern Sierra through the or lake, have more vigor and are Hoover Wilderness and west into more “game” than hatchery-raised Yosemite NP. and stocked “planters.” This stems When I arranged for one such from the fact that the wild ones have trip with Virginia Lakes Pack Station had to fend for themselves all their (near Bridgeport, CA) for four days lives as far as learning to survive at Hook Lake, I wasn’t going to be on their natural foods, mainly the satisfied with just packing my fly four principle aquatic insects they rod. The weight limit per person eat (see Yosemite Gazette “Aquatic for personal effects was 40 pounds. Insects and Trout,” July 2011). The head wrangler said “you have When fly fishing, I prefer to catch got about 80 pounds here!” Such wild trout. Wild Rainbow, Brown, is the life of an obsessive seeker and Brook of trout. I had Trout, present to take waders, in most Sierra vest, and lanwaters, are not yard, as well as native to those my float tube waters. They watercraft, air were introduced pump, neoprene into those waders, swim waters long ago. fins, and so on Brook Trout, and so forth. for example, My attitude Renny J. Avey are native to the at the time Our Sierra Nevada Fishing Editor Eastern United was that if he States and have spread or been wanted me to leave something spread west. The ultimate experience behind to lighten the load it would for me is to catch native trout in their have been my tent and sleeping bag! native waters. An example of this Well, you get the idea. I’m not taking would be catching Golden Trout in a fourteen mile journey on a horse the Kern River near Mount Whitney to just toss fly line from the shore of or catching Yellowstone Cutthroat a gorgeous alpine lake. I’ve got to Trout in the Yellowstone River, have unlimited access to the whole which I have done. lake. All the better to enjoy the It is possible to catch wild trout solitude of such a lake. What weight even where the public’s access to limit…right? Obviously, I wasn’t the stream or lake is quite easy. thinking about the poor pack critters However, you are more likely to just that had to carry all this stuff for six catch some planters, if stocked, in hours into the Sierras. No doubt that those locales. Due to fishing pressure wrangler is still shaking his head. created by increased population Of course, the main culprit in all growth, these easy access fishing this, although not the most weighty venues can get “fished out” where item, was the personal float tube some rely upon following the Fish watercraft. It’s the weight of all the & Game Department planter’s tank items associated with the tube. You truck. I have witnessed such silly have probably seen fishermen and human behavior. Not exactly what fly fishermen sitting in float tubes, I choose to do; I am into the greater paddling about while fishing in challenge of finding wild trout. lakes. Float tube watercraft have an Even though there has been some inflatable air bladder or tire innerstocking of planters in high alpine tube surrounded by a heavy clothlakes of the Sierra Nevada, you are like material cover which has a seat more likely to find wild trout in those sewn into the cloth, some zipper lakes and streams the further you get accessed pockets for fly boxes, off the beaten path and into the back plus a place to attach one’s fish country. One way to get off that path net. Visualize a four foot diameter inflatable donut with a seat in the donut hole with enough space for your lower legs and feet to dangle in the water below the tube. I wear neoprene chest-high stocking foot waders to insulate me against the cold water. Over the stocking feet part of the waders, I strap on a pair of Force fins (swim fins) for propulsion. My choice of fly fishing rig for float tube fly fishing is my Sage #5 weight nine foot fast rod (casts further than a slow action rod). It is fitted with a Loop reel with some Dacron backing and tungsten weighted sinking fly line wound onto the reel spool. I have done some dry fly fishing in lakes, but prefer to do nymphing and use “streamers” in lakes so sinking fly line is in order here. Streamers are the fly fishing equivalent of the conventional fishing lure. They are patterns tied on hooks to represent critters like damsel or dragon fly nymphs, leeches, minnows, sculpins, and sticklebacks. Streamer patterns are cast out and retrieved through the water by stripping-in the line by hand as opposed to being deaddrifted like a dry fly. To the end of the sinking fly line, I attach a 4X (5 pound test at tip) machine tapered monofilament leader. Depending upon the lake, and the suspected size of fish I will catch, I may taper down even further, for smaller fish, by attaching three feet of 5X (4 pound test at tip) uniform tippet material to the tippet end of the leader with a double surgeon’s knot. Having a strike indicator on the leader is not necessary. The sinking fly line and leader are underwater and can’t be seen. Strikes will be felt. Right above the knot where the extra tippet material is added to the tippet end of the tapered leader, I attach split shot lead for weight, how much depending upon at what water depth I get strikes. Trout will choose different water depths to cruise in a lake. About 18 inches above the extreme end of the leader, I tie into the line with a double overhand knot, a black Woolly Bugger streamer in hook size 10. Then I attach with a clinch knot to the extreme end of the leader, one of possibly five other patterns. 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Page Ten  YOSEMITE GAZETTE  Using Watercraft for Fly Fishing  By Renny J. Avey  Editor   s Note  In the Winter 2013 issue ...
Page Eleven Yosemite, California, Summer 2013 Yosemite Gazette Author Picked Frequent contributor Tom The working title of the story Gardner received news that not book is “Inspiring Generations: 150 one but two of his articles which Years, 150 Stories in Yosemite.” were first published in the Yosemite We should expect to see our Gazette have been selected to be commemorative story book on included in a 150th the shelves by commemorative December 2013. book honoring the To stay involYosemite Grant Act. ved with the anniversaries “Greetings please visit www. from Yosemite! nps.gov/yose/ On behalf of anniversary.” t h e Yo s e m i t e Conservancy I Sincerely, am are pleased to Todd King inform you that — your submissions Tom Gardner­ aka Tuolumne Tom Pine Mountain Lake resident fax: (209) 379has been accept2486, or mail: Yosemite Coned to be printed as a part of the c o m m e m o r a t i v e s t o r y b o o k servancy, 150 Stories Book, Box honoring the 150th anniversary of 230, El Portal, CA 95318. Email: tking@yosemiteconservancy.org, the Yosemite Grant Act. Float Tube Fishing in Alpine Lakes (Continued from Page Ten) size 10, an olive green Scud pattern in size 14, a standard Prince nymph in size 14, an olive green Mini-Leach in size 12 or an olive green Damsel fly nymph in size 12. At Hook Lake in Yosemite I let out about forty feet of the sinking fly line and leader while using my fins to slowly troll around the lake. The menu item of choice for the wild Brook Trout at Hook Lake was the Woolly Bugger and Matuka combo. Most of the fish were in the 13 to 15inch size range and took the Matuka. A few were caught near the banks of the lake, but most were found in deeper water in the center of the lake. As an added surprise, while trolling the lake’s edges, I witnessed a mayfly dun hatch. I hadn’t brought another interchangeable spool of floating fly line, to the joy of the pack wrangler, or I could have enjoyed some productive dry fly fishing. Most of the “Brookies” caught at Hook Lake were released, but we did reserve four of them for the frying pan one evening. They were prepared by being coated with a mixture of white flour, corn meal and garlic salt with lemon slices in the body cavity. They were a tasty entrée. I have had two other peak experiences with float tube fly fishing within my CA/NV home waters. One was while float tubing at Trumball Lake of the Virginia Lakes system, just east of Yosemite NP. The significant thing that happened to me there was that I learned how to find the depth where the trout were located by experimenting with several amounts of split shot lead weights. Once I found the correct depth where the fish were, I tied into a gorgeous 18-inch silvery Rainbow Trout and several other 14-inch fish. The other experience was at Heenan Lake near Markleville, CA. The regulations at Heenan are catch and release only with barbless hooks (pinch the barb flat and no bait allowed). I trolled in my float tube and caught an approximate 21-inch Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and another 18 inch “Cut.” My float tube has a handy half yard measurement rule painted on the stripping basket of the tube. These fish are absolutely beautiful with an orange colored tinge. They are valuable brood stock and you want to follow the regulations carefully during the short approximate twomonth season annually. You can only fish there Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during that season. For those of you who aren’t excited about riding a horse fourteen miles into the wilderness, there are a number of alpine lakes in the Sierras within a one to three mile hike from parking. One example is Shell Lake near Bennettville Ghost Town just east of the Yosemite NP eastern gate and off Hwy 120. You can fly fish from the shore of some of these lakes or pack in your float tube, waders, and fins. My tube has a strap system so I can wear it like a backpack. As in any water sport, there are risks. Minimize the risks by following three rules. Float tube watercraft are not to be used in moving water (creeks and rivers). Wear a life vest. It is also suggested that fishermen float tube at least in pairs, much like the buddy system in scuba diving. Editor ’s Note: Renny J. Avey, Ph.D. & Cal Poly emeritus professor of Agricultural Finance, spent a part of his childhood growing up at Long Gulch Ranch in Groveland, CA, near Yosemite NP. He and his wife Sharon reside with their cat Mindy Lou in Nevada. Email him at: ravey@ calpoly.edu
Page Eleven  Yosemite, California, Summer 2013  Yosemite Gazette Author Picked    Frequent contributor Tom   The working t...
Page Twelve YOSEMITE GAZETTE The High Sierra Camps are Yosemite Park’s Best Kept Summertime Secret by David Hubbard Camping Yosemite’s wilderness Company, would provide for our ranks as the experience of many needs at the camp, a toothbrush people’s lifetimes. But spend all of and extra socks would be about all your time on the floor of Yosemite that we needed to pack. Each of the Valley and you’ll miss some of the camps that would be our overnight most magnificent scenery to be stops were a comfortable hiking found anywhere. Gem-like lakes, distance from one another along the crystal streams and grotesque granite trails loop. Warm showers, good domes tell of their glacial ancestry. food and soft beds would be awaiting Late-blooming wildflower gardens us there at the end of each day. hang on the sides of the mountain Long time Park Naturalist and peaks. This is Yosemite’s High botanist Carl Sharsmith would be Country! leading us, and he briefed us on It may come as a surprise to learn some things that we needed to know. that of the over 1180 square miles He warned everyone that shoes that that make up Yosemite National were not well broken in would pose Park, more than 1100 of them exist serious problems for that hiker along as wilderness in the vast High Sierra the trail. He also pointed out that region west of the crest of the Sierra we would start our journey slowly Nevada range. to allow us to get used to the high In 1965 my Dad, Yosemite’s elevations and all hikers should wear Chief Park Naturalist Doug Hubbard, lots of sunscreen to protect us from and I hiked the High Sierra Loop the much more intense sun of the Trail. I earned my Boy Scout “Fifty high elevations. Miler” patch on the 60 mile hike, We got an early start the next and he had the opportunity to spend morning following the Tuolumne a week observing the magic of Dr. River as it moved with increasing Carl Sharsmith, perhaps the most speed toward the beautiful fall at our legendary ranger naturalists in the first stop at Glen Aulin. We would history of the park service. discover that the camp was situated The stars seemed to scrape right beside the fall. the High Sierra peaks as we sat The trail was never the same for around the campfire that night before very long as we moved onward. It starting the hike. Dad was realizing went up and down mountains and a lifelong ambition of his in making across flower filled meadows. Dr. the week long “Yosemite High Sierra Sharsmith set a comfortable pace Loop.” As for myself, I had been and we paused frequently on the born in Yosemite and Yosemite was tougher climbs. the only home I had ever known, but He seemed to always be able to even I felt some excitement about find an excuse to talk about a tree or the trip that we had ahead of us. something related to the geology of Our trip began with a “get the Sierra while we took a moment. acquainted” campfire at Tuolumne It was like an open book before us, Meadow, the largest alpine meadow a book that we would learn to read in the Sierra, roughly 45 miles from before the week was over. the normally crowded Yosemite The National Park Service Valley. At the campfire we discussed had recently dropped the word the hike and the things that we would “education” as a description for need to take along with us. the job of the ranger-naturalist and Since the concessionaire at the substituted the word “interpreter.” time, the Yosemite Park and Curry Our ranger-naturalist guide was one Photograph courtesy of D. H. Hubbard Inspiring All Those Around Him Yosemite Park Naturalist Carl Sharsmith conducted children’s hikes around Tuolumne Meadow for more than 30 summers which “were fun for everyone involved.” of the best interpreters that ever wore the uniform. At the time of our hike Dr. Sharsmith had already served for more than 30 summers in the high country of Yosemite National Park. A botanist by profession, he was a natural teacher and his children’s hikes around Tuolumne Meadow were fun for everyone involved. His enthusiasm for his job seemed to inspire everyone around him. Along the trail that first day I spotted in front of me something that seemed out of place: a .50 caliber machine gun bullet. Had someone else dropped it? More likely it had been fired by a fighter pilot clearing his guns overhead but there was no way to know. It certainly brought about a jarring, but (Continued on Page Thirteen)
Page Twelve  YOSEMITE GAZETTE  The High Sierra Camps are Yosemite Park   s Best Kept Summertime Secret  by David Hubbard  ...
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013 Yosemite’s Best Kept Summertime Secret Page Thirteen (Continued from Page Twelve) luckily only temporary, return to the cares of the outside world that we were escaping for a few days. At each of the High Sierra camps our hosts were comprised of a husband and wife with a support staff of college students on summer vacation. As we arrived, they met us with cool and welcome refreshments. The water in the pool at the base of the waterfall at Glen Aulin felt good, but the warm shower afterward felt even better. After a hot meal, the campfire program and a good night’s sleep, we were ready to get going again the next morning. We left the Tuolumne River behind us as we hiked south to May Lake at the base of Mt. Hoffman. May Lake was one of the most popular of the High Sierra camps since it is only a few miles from the Tioga road and is easily accessible. People drive from Yosemite Valley in the afternoon, hike to the lake and have a leisurely dinner and enjoy a campfire program. They then hike back out by flashlight. Even in 1965, every camp that we visited was filled to its limit, and Dr. Sharsmith told us the stories of how the sites for the camps had been selected by Carl Russell. He had been Yosemite’s second Chief Park Naturalist, way back in the 1920’s. Each of the camps lie in a different setting. Sunrise Camp overlooks Long Meadow, with high peaks at each of its ends. Lake Merced Camp is near the large lake for which it is named. Vogelsang perches in a high mountain pass from which we could actually see the distant lights of cities in the San Joaquin Valley. Considering that these tent cabins must be put up as soon as trails are free from snow and then taken down and stored away at the end of each summer, and all food and supplies must be packed in by mule, the cost was very reasonable. With a growing demand for their limited human resources, it had been a soul-searching experience for the National Park service to commit to putting a ranger-naturalist out on the loop trail duty every week during each summer to lead only 15 hikers. But the Park Service soon learned that the assignment involved more than just leading the group. Open Daily (except Sunday) Full Breakfast Lunch (from eleven) Full Traditional Bakery Apples, Strawberries, Pears, Produce (in season) Sonora by Columbia author Michael Gahagan G & O Enterprises P. O. Box 444 Columbia, CA 95310 Inqui ries : Gazetteer@hub3 . ne t Train Rides (weather permitting) 21 1 Ch erokee R o ad $22.50 plus shipping Cider (100% natural unfiltered) 19 Arcadia Publishing’s Expresso, Frappé, Smoothie Bar Apple & Pear Sauce, Jams, Jelly, (no preservatives) Tuolumne 209 -9 468 9 2 8cov ersapp anch.com ler The Outside World Melts Away The High Sierra Loop Trail, some 60 miles long, meanders along “gem-like lakes, crystal streams and grotesque granite domes tell of their glacial ancestry,” writes author David Hubbard, who made the trek nearly 50 years ago with Dr. Sharsmith. Dr. Sharsmith visited, counseled to within a few feet of us on the and answered the questions of the Sierra ice fields spend their entire dozens of other hikers we met every lives in the high country happily day. He also conducted the campfire feeding on the frozen insects and programs to which everyone was seeds that they find on the ice. always invited whether backpacking At the end of the hike when on their own, horseback on a saddle we arrived back at Tuolumne trip or in a group Meadow, we felt like ours. But more refreshed above all, he saw than tired after to it that every day our week in the was a learning mountains. We experience, had been renewed a continuing by the beautiful education in the surroundings in lore of the high which we had been country. immersed. It had We learned lots been a profound of things about the and inescapable wildlife in these cleansing ex“highest parts of perience…like a Marmot the Sierra” close “melting away” of Whistling away in High Sierra to 10,000 feet in everything in the altitude. Dr. Sharsmith told us that outside world. the small gray rabbit-like animals Demand for reservations at who were scolding us from the the permanent High Sierra camps safety of their rocky homes were has now become so intense for the called conys. few weeks from mid-June to mid I n t e r e s t i n g l y t h e s e l i t t l e September when they are open, that mammals don’t hibernate during requests are pulled and awarded the winter like many of the other during an annual lottery. animals living at this elevation. The lottery link: http://www. They are wide awake in their comfy yosemitepark.com/high-sierrahomes buried under heavy snows, camp-how-to-apply.aspx while munching on the piles of grasses and other plants which they Editor’s Note: Our feature writer had carefully dried and stored away David Hubbard was born in Yosemite National Park where he the summer before. Golden-brown marmots sun lived with his family for 13 years. bathed on the rocks, and we learned He now lives in Oregon, and is building a Yosemite themed website that they are sometimes called at: www.undiscovered-yosemite. “whistlers” because of their shrill com. David’s blog at the National warning to everyone if any threats Park Foundation: http://www. are near. nationalparks.org/connect/blog/ We learned that the bold and my-father’s-story-wwii-veterancolorful rosy finches that approached who-dreamed-working-nps
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013  Yosemite   s Best Kept Summertime Secret  Page Thirteen   Continued from Page Twelve   ...
Page Fourteen YOSEMITE GAZETTE Most visitors to Yosemite Park in the summer see climbers as mere specks on the granite faces, sometimes several thousand feet above the valley floor. The Ask a Climber Interpretative Program offers visitors both an up close look at climbers and answers questions about the popular lure of mountain climbers to Yosemite. Ask a Climber—Interpretive Program (Continued from Page Seven) Service volunteer employed by the Yosemite Climbing Association told an elderly couple peeping through his telescope that the climber in their sights was Kate Robertson, who was on the eighth day of a solo climb on a route called Never Neverland. “Is she crazy?” squealed Irene Larrimore of San Diego, who had come to Yosemite with her family to celebrate her 80th birthday. “She’s alone up there?” It was a teaching moment for Sloan, who explained how Robertson had faced down two storms and endured other hardships. “Climbing alone is way harder than climbing with a partner,” he said. “She’ll climb up one section and then she has to rappel back down and haul everything up, so she climbs the mountain twice.” Visitors gaze at the climbers on El Capitan—and often get many misconceptions dispelled. Sloan cheerfully explained to children, couples and passers-by how climbing ropes are anchored, how they stretch to ease the impact of a fall, the use of harnesses and what it’s like to sleep on a platform 2,000 feet up a granite wall. Climbing tools He informed one questioner that pitons—metal spikes driven into rock by hammer —are no longer used and holes are no longer drilled in the rock. Instead, he said, different-sized climbing tools, called cams, are inserted into cracks, where they expand and can withstand thousands of pounds of pressure. “You need 30 of them to climb El Capitan,” Sloan said. It’s not the cheapest pursuit—all the equipment needed to make the climb, not including food and a gallon of water a day, runs a climber $3,000 to $5,000, he said. Sloan explained that there are 90 routes on El Capitan and that the various sections, like Coronary Bypass, were mostly named by the first person who scaled the route, usually as a result of something that happened or a feeling that the first climb elicited. Not quite true Debunking myths is a large part of the climbing interpreter’s job, Evans said. A surprising number of people believe, for instance, that the Park Service drops ropes from the top of El Capitan every day for people to climb on, he said. Many others seem to think that the climbers all rappel back down to the ground at night. “A guy came up with his son one day and I heard him point to a yellow hydration pack on one of the climbers and tell his son, ‘That’s where they keep the oxygen tanks,’ ” Evans said. “I had to step in.” What most people want to know is why anybody in his or her right mind would want to scale a 3,000foot cliff. That one’s easy: “It’s fun,” said Sloan. And everybody asks how the climbers go to the bathroom. (Answer: solids in a double resealable plastic bag, and liquids off the ledge.) Peter Fimrite is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: pfimrite@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ pfimrite. Photograph courtesy of Ken Yager Why? “Because it’s fun” Ken Yager, on his first El Cap route in 1977 when he was 18 years old. Yager, founder of the Yosemite Climbing Association which started Ask a Climber in 2009, said “We’ve changed how climbers are viewed by the park and vice versa. The venture, paid for by the nonprofit Yosemite Conservancy, offers visitors an opportunity to look through telescopes and learn what it’s like to climb the vertical walls surrounding the valley.” Bank with Confidence for over 30 years
Page Fourteen  YOSEMITE GAZETTE  Most visitors to Yosemite Park in the summer see climbers as mere specks on the granite f...
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013 Page Fifteen Web of Personalities, Power and Politics (Continued from Page 1) of Missouri. A year later, Fremont was instrumental in getting the 1864 Yosemite Grant legislation passed. Olmstead, by now entranced by Yosemite’s beauty and big trees, also used his connections back East to help with the legislation. By 1865, however, the Mariposa area mines he managed went bankrupt and Olmstead left California. Nonetheless, he kept involved with Yosemite issues the rest of his life. John Muir, born in Scotland in 1838, was raised on the edge of the frontier in Wisconsin from age 11 until he left home at the age of 22. After studying engineering, geology, botany, and other topics at the University of Wisconsin, he wandered for a number of years, observing nature, doing different jobs, reading the works of essayist, lecturer and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, and writing about his experiences. The romantic movement of the time glorified nature, especially picturesque and sublime landscapes. Yosemite became the “poster child” of the movement, attracting artists and writers. Inspired by descriptions of Yosemite, Muir set sail from New York in 1868 and arrived in Yosemite a few months later. He worked first as a sheepherder and then as lumberman at the base of Yosemite Falls, cutting trees and lumber for settler and tourism developer James Hutchings. Muir remained in the park for the next five years, closely observing nature with his one good self-trained eye. His explorations of the region were almost superhuman. Muir’s detailed scientific observations and love of nature were documented in journals. His writings were a syn- thesis of science, poetry, and spirituality. In 1871, Emerson visited the park and spent a day with Muir, proclaiming him to be his life’s legacy, for Muir was living what Emerson had only advocated in print. After five years, Muir left Yosemite to marry, raise a family, and run a ranch near Martinez, CA, but he continued to write about Yosemite, influence public opinion and engage in famous political battles that later enveloped the park lands and exploded on the American stage. Private companies were building roads, overnight accommodations, and other developments in and around Yosemite to serve the growing numbers of visitors. Local counties took over private toll roads and constructed new roads to increase tourism and improve the economy. In 1880, the state fired Park Guardian Clark and John Hutchings was made guardian. Bitter controversy plagued the commission for years. The debate questioned whether the State of California was adequately protecting the beauty of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove or promoting their demise. One State Commissioner advocated the cutting of all young trees in the Valley. Former commission chair Olmstead labeled that proposal a “calamity to the civilized world.” Muir and others grew frustrated with the changes in the Valley under state control, especially overgrazing by sheep and logging of Sequoia adjacent to the state controlled park. In 1889, Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson visited the park and worked on a proposal to expand the park and return it to federal control. Using the influence of The Century Magazine, Yosemite National Park’s local insider source for current events and activities, photos, art and videos on Facebook Yosemite Travel Tips and Insider Information Hosted by The Yosemite Gazette and Comfort Inn Yosemite Valley Gateway Just 45 minutes from Yosemite National Park On a quiet mountainside above the gold mining town of Mariposa, California Discover clean rooms, comfortable beds and a deluxe hot breakfast buffet 4994 Bullion St., Mariposa, CA 95338 comfortinn.com/hotel-mariposa-california-CA938 Reservations Recommended 209-966.4344 Photograph courtesy of the Tuolumne County Historical Society John Muir entered the Yosemite Valley in 1869. He first worked as a sheepherder and later as a lumberman for five years at the base of Yosemite Falls for James Hutchings who was an early settler and one of the first “tourism” developers in the region. where Johnson was associate editor, they were successful in passing legislation the following year for both the Sequoia and Yosemite Reserves. Johnson encouraged Muir to form an organization, which he did two years later. It was called the Sierra Club. Olmstead was one of the directors. But the Valley and Mariposa Grove remained under California control for another 16 years, despite Muir’s efforts. The Yosemite and Sequoia Reservations were to be administered by the General Land Office (GLO) in the Department of Interior, but the Army actually did the hands-on work for the next 23 years. The Army quickly ended sheep grazing and the logging of the big trees. They also fought fires and constructed roads, trails, and many other improvements. The Beginnings of Forestry After leaving California in the 1860’s, Olmstead spent the next 25 years designing dozens of public parks and estates. One of Olmstead’s last projects was the Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina. Owned by America’s wealthiest citizen, George W. Vanderbilt, Biltmore was intended to be the most spectacular country estate in the nation. In 1892 he hired a young forester, Gifford Pinchot, to prepare a practical forest management plan for the vast estate. This became the first forestry plan implemented in America by its first practicing forester. Pinchot came from a wealthy and well-connected family, graduated from Yale in 1889, and spent a year in Europe studying the highly-regarded forest practices there. He had the encouragement of his influential father who was disgusted by the devastation wreaked by cut and run timber barons of the day. George Marshall’s landmark book Man and Nature (1864) had raised public consciousness about the disastrous effects of poor resource management. He scientifically presented how Greek, Roman and other civilizations had collapsed following the destruction of their forests, watersheds, and soil resources He predicted that the extent of uncontrolled forest cutting and land clearing in the US would ultimately lead to the same end. He advocated the practice of sustainable forestry as was being done in Europe. Except for the original thirteen states and Texas, all other lands in America were deemed Public Domain. Under a series of federal laws intended to encourage citizen occupation and private development of the West, the highly political General Land Office in the U.S. Department of the Interior routinely gave ownership title to those who made improvements on Public Domain lands. The general attitude was to get Public Domain lands in to private hands as fast as possible. Yet, Congress declined to appropriate enough funding for officials to ensure land claims were legitimate, so these laws were poorly administered, if at all. Fraud, abuse, and outright theft of the Public Domain, especially by large railroad and timber companies and land fraud profiteers, was notorious, but largely ignored by most citizens, politicians and officials alike. Editor’s Note: This is the second of a multi-part series chronicling the history of Yosemite National Park and the Stanislaus National Forest, Sierra Nevada neighbors sharing miles of common boundaries. Next issue: the Forest Reserve Act and creation of the U. S. Forest Service.
Yosemite, California, Summer 2013  Page Fifteen  Web of Personalities, Power and Politics  Continued from Page 1   of Miss...
Page Sixteen YOSEMITE GAZETTE Photographer Features the Beauty of Nature William Neill, a resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a landscape photographer concerned with conveying the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and feels in nature. Neill’s award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars and posters. His limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill received a BA degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of Colorado. In 1995, Neill received the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Photograph courtesy William Neill “Storm Over Half Dome” William Neill, whose studio is located very near Yosemite National Park, said his photograph was “made on May 8th this year. A spring storm was just beginning to clear in the early morning. I was working with a private student, beginning before dawn, photographing the dramatic clouds rolling around the cliffs. For just a few minutes, the sun broke through, lighting up some low-lying fog.” William Neill Photographer has taught photography for the Ansel Adams Gallery since 1980. Neill’s assignment and published credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. He also writes a monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has also received five Awards of Excellence. His corporate clients have included Sony Japan, Bayer Corporation, Canon USA, Nike, Nikon, The Nature Company, Hewlett Packard, 3M, Freidrick Grohe, Neutrogena, Sony Music/Classical, University of Cincinnati, UBS Global Asset Management. His work was chosen to illustrate two special edition books published by The Nature Company, Rachel Carson’s The Sense of Wonder and John Fowles’s The Tree. His photographs were also published in a three book series on the art and science of natural process in collaboration with the Exploratorium Museum of San Francisco: By Nature’s Design (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1993), The Color of Nature (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1996) and Traces of Time (Chronicle Books / Exploratorium, Fall 2000). A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published entitled Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness (Yosemite Association, 1994) which received The Director’s Award from the National Park Service. A retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 1997) relates his beliefs in the healing power of nature. William has taught photography since 1980 for such prestigious organizations as The Ansel Adams Gallery, the Friends of Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Workshops, The Maine Workshops and Anderson Ranch Workshops. He specializes in landscape and nature photography and is concerned with conveying the beauty seen in Nature. Currently, he teaches online courses for BetterPhoto. com and One-on-One Workshops in his home studio near Yosemite National Park. This quartet of visitors to Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, California couldn’t resist pausing to look over the Winter issue of the Yosemite Gazette in the springtime gardens. Ironstone is just one of over 100 venues where complimentary copies of the Yosemite Gazette are available. But why not ensure regular delivery? Subscribe to the YOSEMITE GAZETTE One year, only $30—less than 50 cents a story. $50 for two years—$100 for five years Receive your copy of each issue delivered to your home or office by first class mail. Photocopy this and mail it to us with your check to P. O. Box 5227, Sonora, CA 95370-5227 You can also subscribe at our website YosemiteGazette.com Name ____________________________________ Address __________________________________ City ______________________________________ State _________ZIP_________________________ Email ____________________________________
Page Sixteen  YOSEMITE GAZETTE  Photographer Features the Beauty of Nature William Neill, a resident of the Yosemite Natio...