Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Bishop Bowl

Skied up on Bishop Bowl today. Yesterday one of the avalanche forecasters and a buddy were up here and had to turnaround near the left knob on the skyline due to deteriorating weather. No deteriorating weather today!

Gratefully used their skin track for a good ways but veered off to the right to ski the big glades.

Basin and Tom

The big valley

I reached the north ridge just shy of 11,700'.  Love the big views of the Piute Crags and Mt Emerson. It was quite brisk here though, with gusty north winds and temps in the low to mid 20s. Didn't linger.

Another big valley shot from the ridge.

The glades skied really well. In fact I found good snow right from the ridge.

 Had to head back up for another! Metronoming it.

 Snow was a little thicker here but still quite good.

The moraine is a bit of a chore to get up. Steep with some firm spots. The usual. The descent of the moraine was better than expected as those slopes really didn't get too warm today.

Splendid day in the mountains!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

South Fork Again

I noticed some nice mellow terrain across the canyon from me yesterday. Got home and checked the maps and decided to give it a go.

Left the road here at these meadows and headed east.

Big lines!

Painted rock. Tyee Lakes area behind.

Surprised to find this pretty meadow up on Coyote.

and nearby mining relics.

Great snow in these glades.

And astounding views at the top.

Zoom shot to Mt Gilbert. Lots of snow up there. There will definitely be a corn season this year!

The descent involved some good snow and some bad snow. At least I was early enough that the bad snow was supportable. Temps were rising quickly by 11am and I imagine this zone became bottomless mank in no time.

The skiing may have been so so, but I very much enjoyed exploring a new zone and drinking in those fine vistas.

Friday, January 18, 2019

South Fork

Skinned up the South Lake Road to check on conditions after the big storm.

The morning started a bit overcast and cool. Tyee Lakes area.

The skies gradually cleared though. Brown Lake area.

Skinned up these mellow slopes.

Turned around as the slope steepened due to avalanche concerns. Fun skiing.

Nice views too.

The snowpack is going to take some time adjusting to the new load. Dug a pit. Results and other observations here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Drove up to Aspendell to have a look at conditions. Table Mountain is almost there. Habeggar's is a bit lean. The snow on both the South Fork Road and the Road up to Sabrina was pretty thin, so I elected to trudge around in the Aspendell Meadow area.

High winds and plenty of snow transport occurring when I arrived. Fortunately the winds eased during my short tour.

 Believe it or not, this is the zone I skied.

The gullies were filled in pretty well,

Winter trees.

Skinned up to a little knob with views of Lamarck Col (center back) and Fool's Ridge (right).

Couple of fog shots.

Not bad!

Full disclosure - I only hit a couple of rocks but one knock was enough to put a deep gouge in my freshly tuned skies. Dang.

Big dump forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Hoping the Bishop Creek zone will be in full swing in a couple of days!

Foggy Mountain Biking

Yesterday we woke up to foggy conditions here in Wilkerson after a night of light rain. Perfect mountain bike conditions!

Familiar landscape looked altogether unfamiliar.

Rode the lower moto trails just north of Wilkerson.

Super fun although my skills were a bit rusty.

From brilliant blue skies and snow in the mountains to intimate fog in the desert - Eastside living!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

McCloud Lake

Almost sat out today as I was a bit tired from yesterday, but the crystal clear morning beckoned. Glad I rallied as it was one of the best days of the year.

The area above McCloud lake, in the Mammoth Lakes Basin, is easy to access and is nicely sheltered from wind and sun.

Frozen McCloud Lake with the back of Mammoth Mountain behind.

The views from my high point, Horseshoe Lake center with the town of Mammoth and Long Valley in the distance.

The skiing below the crest was sublime!

and equally good down below in the glades.

The day was crisp, cold, and brilliant. There was no one else in the neighborhood and no previous ski tracks. Three laps of pure magic!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

June Lake Backountry 2

Mary wanted to ski lifts at June today so I figured I would drive up with her and do my own thing in the nearby backcountry. 

Elected to ski a couple of areas I had not been to before. First I headed up this drainage in the northern part of the Negatives. Nice skiing here.

Looking back to the ski area.

Moody day with mid level clouds hovering about.

Next I skinned up into the trees just north of my previous run.

Fine old trees.

Looking at my first run. Up high under the rocks the snow was decent, but the chutes to the top and the first couple hundred feet down in the bowl held breakable wind crust. The lower half of the run was nice though.

 Down to June Lake.

Second run was good too. Especially in here.

Temps were staying cold, so the snow quality was hanging in there in areas not subject to wind or sun. Great to explore!