Tiny Lee Vining is known primarily as the eastern gateway to Yosemite National Park (summer only) and the location of vast and desolate Mono Lake. Pick up supplies at the general store year-round, or stop here for lunch or dinner before or after a drive through the high country. In winter the town is all but deserted, except for the ice climbers who come to scale frozen waterfalls. You can meet these hearty souls at Nicely's restaurant, where climbers congregate for breakfast around 8 on winter mornings. To try your hand at ice climbing, contact Doug Nidever (760/937-6922 www.themountainguide.com), aka the Mountain Guide.