A few weekends ago, PG staff headed up to Yosemite to climb, hang out, and volunteer! This year, staff painted an old railway turntable in El Portal. The turntable was in pretty bad shape but the park and Yosemite Conservancy have been restoring it and it needed a new coat of paint. Needless to say, in 100 degree heat, it was a hard job but with a beautiful river close by and some great camping and climbing leading up to and after the job, it was well worth it!
I’ll give you a bit of background and my experiences first, since I am writing this post!
We got there early on Friday – and by early, I mean we left SF at 5:30am. It was a great ride up! Kevin and Wyatt (my car mates) were hilarious. Once we got to the park, I was ecstatic; it was my first time there! I couldn’t wait to see everything after hearing so much about it and it was a great time to go! There were more waterfalls than a lot of people usually see because of all the snow. Friday we explored a bit, had a dip in the river (it took us a while to find a spot – the rivers were all flooding), did some bouldering near Ahwahnee and ate some choice food courtesy of our camp chefs, Primo and Pete. Saturday, we painted the turntable and while it was very hot, it was also a great experience. It was helped a lot by the fact that we were a minute away from a very cold, very beautiful river that offered the perfect place to relax. After that, as all people dedicated to their craft, a chunk of us went off to climb while others went back to camp for a nap. Overall, it was great and I can’t wait for the next time!
Best part of the weekend??? Getting to hang out in the valley! Just being there is incredible.
This work project was great. Every year is different, depending on the time of year and what is needed to be done totally dictates that what we get to do. Most importantly we are a volunteer group at heart, thus it’s essential to stay open minded for anything work. I got to see a cool little spot of El Portal I have never visited, and that turntable is pretty cool. Painting was very zen and rewarding, plus I got a nice tan!
It was unexpected how stoked and organized the hosting crew was to us, they had such hospitality and we had all the essential supplies (cold water and Gatorade!). They made the job easy for everyone; they were so generous to share there local swimming hole with us too.
Joey Paris – PG Facilities
Glad we all got to spend some time together this past weekend. So Fun! Between the good meals, river swimming, fun bouldering/climbing, great campsite and good company it’s tough to choose a favorite part. If I had to say though my favorite bit was probably the climbing on Saturday, getting to climb and hang out at the crag while the thunderstorm was coming in was super cool. Taking dips in the river in between painting was also awesome. In general just getting to be in the valley for a few days was a real treat….I’d 100% do it again if the opportunity arose.
Pete – PG SF
The best part was definitely getting to know everyone outside of work. I think our wild early morning ride there was actually one of the highlights. I can’t recall the last time I laughed that continuously! Also swimming in the river after painting the turnstile was awesome!
Besides being super hot, I really liked the project myself. It was cool to do something involving a historic structure that will be standing the for many years to come.
Wyatt – PG SF
Thanks for a great weekend, team!
Written by Kim. Photos by Primo.