My High School buddy Alan moved to the Lake Tahoe area last year. Although an avid alpine and cross country skier, he hadn't done much touring. This year he bought the gear, took an avi class and, of course, it hasn't snowed much at all!
He invited me up for some exploring around Carson Pass. Figured it couldn't be much worse than what we have down here, plus I knew it would be fun to hang out, so I headed up.
The first day we elected to check out the north side of Red Lake Peak. We started by hiking up the road to Crater Lake - which turned out to be driveable. Would have saved about 15 minutes of hiking, but not much more.
Almost to Crater Lake we got our first good views of the skiing terrain off the peak.
The southeast facing slopes above the lake were likely corning up nicely but we elected to try for winter snow on the north slopes.
Sweet tracks on a sub peak just south.
Distant views of the Sweetwater Range.
Looking down into the depressingly dry Hope Valley.
There were lots of tracks but the snow quality was good
and got better as we descended.
The next day we chose to tour right from Carson Pass which was a bit of a scene with plenty of skiers and snowshoers.
After a bit of rolling skinning through the forest the views of Round Top Peak (left) and The Sisters (right) opened up. We wound our way round to the saddle in the center.
A view back to Winnemucca Lake and Elephants Back.
The Crescent Couloir on Round Top Peak.
Alan gains elevation with Caples Lake down below.
We skied this nice bowl among the Sisters. Wind packed but fun.
Up on the saddle we enjoyed a snack, the views
and a cool Ermine sighting.
Nice to get a glimpse of Lake Tahoe too.
Alan drops in!
We had a smorgasbord of snow including wind buff, settled powder, and corn lower down, but very little breakable crust and no mank. Good fun!
Really enjoyed the skiing, exploring a whole new area and hanging out with Alan and his wife Tree. I'll be back!