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Archive for the ‘Backcountry Skiing’ Category

Dates: Monday, May 7th – Friday, May 11th

Locations: Ansel Adams & Yosemite Wildernesses, including Donahue Pass (11,056 ft.), Mount Lyell (13,120 ft.), Simmons Peak (12,497 ft.), Kuna Crest South (11,812 ft.), Koip Peak (12,968 ft.) and Mount Wood (12,657 ft.).

Skiers: Jon & Nick

Photos: As noted

Synopsis: Towards the end of April each year, Jon and I start pouring over topo maps to piece together potential multi-day tours into the High Sierra. It is one of my favorite activities of the year, as there is so much potential for exploration deeper into the range. This year, the High Sierra had a pretty weak winter, so snowpack depth was of paramount concern. Colin was nice enough to link us to some NOAA snow coverage and SWE models that over layed on maps. Using this enabled us to quickly scrap some ideas we had been thinking about in the more Southern Sierra, as the snow coverage looked really thin.

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Date: Saturday, March 17, 2018

Location: West Shore Lake Tahoe (Rubicon Peak)

Skiers: Andrew, Alex, Nick and Mike

Photos: Alex, Nick and Mike. A special thanks for Alex to being willing to lug a DSLR and take the vast majority of pictures, all of which turned out amazing.

Synopsis: Words can’t really describe how fun this day was. We were treated to an amazing day of ultra deep, stable snow. At times, it was too deep to even ski, as we focused on a low-angle zone on Rubicon Peak in light of avalanche instabilities. It was great to ski again with Alex, who moved up to Oregon last year.

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Dates: Monday, May 22 – Friday, May 26, 2017

Locations: Mt. Gould & West of Palisade Crest, Eastern Sierra

Skiers: Jon & Nick

Photos: As noted

Synopsis: With a great winter and a huge spring snowpack in the Eastern Sierra, Jon and I spent the early part of map pouring over topo maps and deciding where to plan a five day ski tour. We had originally intended to cross the range over a variation of the Monarch Divide tour, but ultimately the hassle of car logistics turned us towards a loop style tour starting and ending on the Eastside. With no shortage of terrain, it was simply identifying a zone we wanted to stay in for five days. As is the case, sometimes planning only takes you so far, as we had set out originally on a tour leaving out of Onion Valley, but a broken ski boot on the first day quickly changed our plans. Fortunately, some quick MacGyvering ultimately kept the train on the rails, albeit on an entirely different track!

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Locations: Hidden Peak, West Shore & Herlan Peak, East Shore, Lake Tahoe

Skiers: Jon, Andrew, Nick & Mike

Photos: As noted

Synopsis: My life trajectory has really validated the theory that good things come in pairs. Ultimately, this TR is A Tale of Twos, so to speak. Two general themes, life and skiing. Two seasons, last year and this year. Two little boys, really struggling then triumphing. Two particular days. Two peaks on two shores of Tahoe. Two life arcs, pre- and post-parenthood. Two inversion layers, above and below the fog. It goes on and on, as does life…

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TR: Desolation Wilderness

Dates: Saturday, February 6 & Sunday, February 7, 2016

Locations: Desolation Wilderness, South Lake Tahoe (Ralston Peak, Dick’s Peak, Janine’s Peak and Maggie’s Peaks)

Skiers: Saturday: Jon, Andrew, Alex and Nick, and Sunday: Jon, Mike and Nick

Photos: As noted

Synopsis: After a period of heavy wet snow the weekend prior, last week a very strong high pressure moved in over California (and much of the Mountain West), leading to above average temperatures and a quickly solidifying Sierra snowpack. After 4 days of melt/freeze cycles and shifting winds, we settled on heading into Desolation Wilderness for a couple of bigger days alpine terrain. With above average forecasted temps, we new going in that working the compass dial and time of day would dictate quality of snow conditions, and in retrospect I think we nailed it both days.

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Date: Sunday, January 10, 2015

Location: Mount Tallac, South Lake Tahoe

Skiers: Jon, Mike & Nick

Photos: As Noted

Synopsis: While every day out in the mountains with friends is a day well spent, every once in a while a day will come across that literally just makes you stop, look around and deeply appreciate your surroundings. Sunday was one of those days for me.

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Dates: Saturday, January 2 & Sunday, January 3, 2015

Location: North Lake Tahoe

Skiers: Noah, Pat & Nick

Photos: As Noted

Synopsis: Following periods of heavy snow during Christmas week, the Tahoe Basin was subject to particularly strong winds that impacted much of the alpine zones above tree line, leaving wind scoured surfaces. However, the near tree line and below tree line terrain sheltered the snow from the intense winds. Coupled with very cold temperatures, the tree skiing continues to be excellent. With more storms forecast this week, fingers are crossed for more days out like this.

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