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Archive for April, 2011

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Synopsis: Sarah and I headed for a quick weekend trip to Yosemite Valley to check out the large waterfalls given the huge winter snowpack this year. I have never been to Yosemite Valley to see the spring run-off. More importantly, I was very excited for the trip as this was Sarah’s first time in Yosemite. Although it was too short, Sarah really enjoyed walking around the Valley and I am sure it is the first of many trips.

Photos: Nick

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Dates: April 9 –10, 2011

Locations: Cross Couloir, Mt. Tallac & Angora Peak

Skiers: Alexis, Clement, Warren & Nick

Photos: Alexis, Warren & Nick (each as noted below)

Synopsis: Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you view it) one of the joys of ski touring is dealing with variable conditions. After amazing corn skiing in Carson Pass Last Sunday, the warm cycle continued for most of the week leading up to a pretty strong re-freeze Wednesday night. A small low-pressure system then moved in, dropping 3-6 inches of fresh snow along the upper elevations of the Sierra Crest on Thursday and Friday. Yes, that is one of the few times this winter we are talking 3-6 inches rather than 3-6 feet.

While we headed out on Saturday to ski steep lines in a bit of powder, what we found was steep lines in quintessential “dust on crust” conditions. While the ski conditions were essentially nothing to write home about, we still had a great day both days.

Pictures to follow. Note that this TR is several pages long, with the Cross Couloir on Page 1 and Angora Peak on Page 2.

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Date: Sunday, April 3, 2011

Skiers & Rider: Andrew, Alex & Nick

Location: Carson Pass

Photos: Andrew, Alex & Nick (as noted)

Weather & Snowpack: This winter in Tahoe has been unreal in the volume of snow, and in some cases, record setting. According to Tahoe Weather Discussion, for the month of March up to and including March 28th, “8-16 feet on the resorts in the last 10 days of non-stop snow, 11-21 feet in the past 2 weeks, and 13-23 feet in the month of March.”

Once the snow stopped on March 28th, that week brought a rapid warming trend. Unfortunately, nights were not refreezing so the snowpack was not transitioning to corn snow. After several days of heavy glop due to the warm days and nights, on Saturday night, April 2nd, we finally received what we had been waiting for – a very strong refreeze of the snowpack due to well-below freezing nighttime temps and a clear night for some radiational cooling of the snowpack.

As a result, Sunday we awoke to a strong refreeze, warming temperatures (capped around 40F) and blue-bird skies – the perfect combination for rapid corn snow growth.

Synopsis: Andrew, Alex and I headed out to Carson Pass in search of corn. Ultimately, our tour ran approximately 9.8 miles on skis, with approximately 4500′ of vertical ascended and 5200′ of vertical descended. Most importantly, this was Alex’s first day back in the backcountry following a full recovery from some spontaneous lung collapses last year. A proud welcome back indeed!

Pictures to follow. Note that this TR is several pages long.

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