Winter fun, Yosemite

Yosemite Conservancy Sets Nov. 14 Deadline for Ostrander Ski Hut Lottery Applications

Sunday, November 04 2012 20:25   Yosemite
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Yosemite Conservancy is accepting lottery registration forms for the 2012-2013 season at Ostrander Ski Hut, a popular overnight destination for those making the stunning 10-mile trek from Badger Pass Ski Area to Ostrander Lake in Yosemite National Park.

The lottery applications must be returned by 5 p.m. PST on Nov. 14, 2012. The annual registration lottery is scheduled for Nov. 15. Starting on Nov. 26, remaining reservations can be booked by calling (209) 379-5161.

Reservation information, equipment lists and a description of facilities can be found at
www.YosemiteConservancy.org/Ostrander .

ostrander_skihut"Ostrander Ski Hut provides visitors with the chance to experience a breathtaking winter backcountry adventure with unforgettable views of Half Dome, the Clark Range and Mount Hoffmann," said Mike Tollefson, president, Yosemite Conservancy.

"It's a perfect winter retreat away from crowds and resorts in a beautiful and isolated wilderness area," he added. "Proceeds collected from the ski hut, along with contributions to the Conservancy, are poured into projects and programs that preserve and protect the park and improve the visitor experience."

Yosemite Conservancy manages the rustic two-story stone ski hut, which sits in a small glacial cirque at the edge of Ostrander Lake at 8,500 feet.

Ostrander Lake Ski Hut, completed in 1941, was the last building erected in Yosemite by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The construction of the hut was the recommendation of the Yosemite Winter Activities Committee, which was founded by Dr. Donald Tresidder to "encourage and develop all forms of winter sports and to advertise and exploit the great advantages, beauties and healthy benefits of winter in the Sierra Nevada to all lovers of outdoor life"

According to the Yosemite Conservancy, from the club came an explosion of winter sportsmanship in the park from toboggan runs, ice skating, dog sled rides, sleigh riding, skijoring, hockey games, and the bigger dream of hosting the1932 Winter Olympic Games. The latter goal lost to Lake Placid, but served as a jump start to visitor's interest and involvement.

National Park Service rangers staffed the cabin starting in the 1960s, but by 1974 demand for the hut grew too large and Yosemite Conservancy, in conjunction with NPS, took over stewardship and management of the hut.

The historic hut maintains much of its original facilities. The accommodations are suitable for individuals or groups up to 15. The ski hut is staffed by a full time hut keeper and is typically open mid-December through the end of March.

Facilities include single bunks with mattresses, community cookware stocked in a common kitchen, wood for heating, solar powered electric lights for evening use and two outdoor toilet facilities. Nightly rates range from $35 Mon.-Thurs. and $55 Fri.-Sun.

Yosemite Conservancy is the only philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the protection and preservation of Yosemite National Park and enhancement of the visitor experience.

The Conservancy works to restore trails, protect wildlife through scientific research and habitat restoration, and offers outdoor programs that provide visitors with unique ways to connect with the park. It has funded projects in areas including trail and habitat restoration, wildlife protection, education, volunteering, and the production of award-winning books and DVDs. Learn more at
www.YosemiteConservancy.org .

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