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Handicap in the winter

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park in Winter and most of Spring, when snow is on the ground. Includes visiting in winter, snow play, downhill and nordic skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and snow camping.

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Handicap in the winter

Postby Saries7 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:26 pm

I will be going to Yosemite the first or second week of January. My very good handicap friend will be going with me. She has mobility problems, she isn't confined to a wheelchair but her knee is a bit messed up from multiple surgeries.
She lives in Northern Arizona so she does walk in the snow and on very mild trails.

My question is, are there any winter trails that somebody with mobility issues can take? We plan on hiking to Yosemite Falls as it seems like an easy hike, are there any other options? What about Mariposa Grove? I know you have to hike there as the roads are closed. Are there any trails that are only cross country skiing? She can't do that but she might be able to take snowshoes so I'd like to know what trails allow snowshoes.

We're also both very into photography. Besides the tunnel view, are there any really good vantage points that we can get to at this time of year? I'd like to hike to Glacier Point but I don't think she could take that trail unfortunately.

Lately, are there any tips I can give her for walking safely on these trails? I'd recommend a walking stick but she doesn't have the capabilities of holding one. I haven't visited Yosemite in the winter since I was a kid so I don't really remember.
I want to make this trip enjoyable for her.

Thank you. :)
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Postby Hikin Mike » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:51 pm

Being a photographer AND having mobility issues myself...both of my knees/legs are permanently fused (can't bend)...I can relate!

I'm not sure how "strong" your friend is, but hiking to Yosemite Falls (assuming to the top) is NOT an easy hike. If your talking about the lower falls bridge, then yes, it's easy...I did it when I was in a wheelchair.

Glacier Point is out because the road is closed and the only way to get there is skiing or snowshoe a 20+ mile r/t....a very long day.

The Mariposa Grove is a nice, easy hike. I haven't been there since my knees went south though.

You mentioned snowshoes. Depending on snowpack, snowshoes may not help you and your friend. When I was able to backpack/snowshoe, many times I well through the snow and sometimes getting stuck. Depending on your friends' mobility issues, that can be a problem.

Not sure if that helped. I know for me, I have to just stick to the roads in the winter.
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Postby Saries7 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:28 am

Thank you very much Mike, that did help.

What's the hike like to the Grove? Is it fairly steep or pretty level ground?
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Postby Hikin Mike » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:19 pm

Saries7 wrote:Thank you very much Mike, that did help.

What's the hike like to the Grove? Is it fairly steep or pretty level ground?


In the wintertime you have a 2-mile walk to the grove....all paved. It isn't flat, it's Yosemite, but it isn't "bad". Here's my snowshoe trip to the Grove and beyond:

The Backcountry: Wawona Point
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Postby Saries7 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:39 pm

By "flat" I meant "flat for Yosemite". I know Yosemite isn't flat of course, but there are parts that are much steeper (Glacier Point hiking).

Thank you so much for your help, I'll check out your link.
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Postby Hikin Mike » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:04 pm

Saries7 wrote:By "flat" I meant "flat for Yosemite". I know Yosemite isn't flat of course, but there are parts that are much steeper (Glacier Point hiking).

Thank you so much for your help, I'll check out your link.


Yeah, that's kind of what I meant....flat by Yosemite standards!

Glad to help and I hope you both have a great trip! Do you have a website?
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