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Archive for the ‘Eastern Sierra’ Category

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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Date: Saturday, March 14, 2015

Location: Matterhorn Peak, Eastern Sierra

Skiers: Jon & Nick

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: As the “winter” has progressed here in California, I have been doing a lot of road biking… Long periods of high pressure, sunny skies and warm temps have largely dictated February and March. California was treated to a much needed storm about a week ago, which provided some moisture for the state and a blanket of low-density snow at high elevation. While not the base-building, heavy cement we really needed, no one was in a position to complain.

However, as quickly as the storm came, high pressure and warming temps generally returned. On Wednesday, another storm came across the Sierra that provided several more inches of snow, followed by a warming trend and high pressure. The weekend called for great weather for a mission down to the Eastern Sierra, in search of remaining “wintery” snow at high elevation, north-aspects.

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Date: Saturday, September 6, 2014/

Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA

Photos: Nick (unless otherwise noted).

Synopsis: On Saturday, September 6th, I participated in the Mammoth Fall Century Ride, a 102.6 mile ride in the Eastern Sierra with a total of 6,643 feet of elevation gain. I had actually signed up for this ride last year with my friend Pat, but I was unable to attend on account of a work conflict. Fortunately, this year I was able to make it and I had an amazing time.

The Mammoth Fall Century Ride is a loop style course that starts at the Village at Mammoth Mountain with an escorted mass start through the town of Mammoth down to highway 395. After that, the course heads out east and includes some great climbs on super desolate roads. There is only one stop sign on the entire course once you get out of the town of Mammoth Lakes! The ride is entirely supported with six aid stations, a lunch stop and full SAG vehicle support. Similar to most areas of the Eastern Sierra, you are in the Sierra Nevada rain shadow so the topography has a high-desert feel, with huge peaks to the West and rolling hills to the East into Nevada. The entire ride takes place between approximately 8,000 feet and 6,400 feet of elevation – meaning the lowest point of the ride is still 200 feet higher than our condo in Tahoe!

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Climbers: Jon & Nick

Dates: Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19, 2013

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: We awoke Friday morning to clearing skies and what looked like a dusting of snow up on the high peaks. The clouds were still engulfed on the Sierra Crest, but weather forecasts called for a general clearing trend. Our plan was to hike in from Mosquito Flat trailhead towards the Rock Creek area to camp at a lake near the base of Bear Creek Spire, and get an early alpine start Saturday morning.

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Climbers: Jon & Nick

Dates: Wednesday, May 15 – Thursday, May 16, 2013

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: Upon returning to our camp at Third Lake after climbing Venusian Blind Arête, we settled in for yet another 4 AM wake-up to go climb Moon Goddess Arête the following day. That night the winds were picking up pretty strongly, clouds were increasing and the temperature dropped pretty significantly.

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Climbers: Jon & Nick

Dates: Monday, May 13 – Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: After climbing the Direct South Face of Lone Pine Peak, Jon and I headed back the next morning to try and get permits for the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. Our initial soft plans going in were to hike in that Monday and set up a camp by Second or Third Lake, and climb Venusian Blind Arête on Tuesday, followed by Moon Goddess Arête on Wednesday (both of which we ended up doing). We then tentatively planned to move camp up beyond Sam Mack Meadows to the Palisade Glacier, with a potential objective of climbing Starlight Buttress on Starlight Peak. More on that later.

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Climbers: Jon & Nick

Dates: Saturday, May 11 – Sunday, May 12, 2013

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: Similar to the winter of 2012, this Winter was a pretty low snow-year throughout the Sierra Nevada. Throughout the Winter, Jon and I had been tentatively planning a week-long ski-tour in the Eastern Sierra. As the months passed along, days grew longer and the weather warmed, we realized that once again the Winter would not provide optimal Spring ski-touring conditions.

On the other hand, the low-snow year lent itself to great, early season alpine climbing opportunities throughout the High Sierra. With that in mind, Jon and I headed with a loaded car down Highway 395 to the high peaks of the Eastern Sierra to try and take advantage of a good weather forecast and climb some classic, big routes.

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