Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Skiing

Mary and I spent the Christmas holiday with my mom, sister, and brother in law up in Mammoth. Of course I used the opportunity to go skiing!

Since I wanted to spend time with my family I decided on a couple of short tours. On Thursday I skied off the back side of Mammoth down to Horseshoe Lake and then up to the area known as Hollywood Bowl. On Friday I returned, this time touring up from Tamarack.

Here's a shot of the backside of Mammoth. The snow there was a mix of sun baked, wind crust, and a little powder.
This is the view of the Hollywood area, with the Hollywood chute rising to the crest far left. The snow in the open below the cliffs was wind affected, but below that I found nice fluffy powder.
The good stuff.

On Saturday I hooked up with my partner Steve and headed up to Punta Bardini in the Sherwins, just south of Mammoth.

Our first run was down the chute falling from left of the summit and our second run was in the forest just below the left skyline.
Getting into the chute required a little "billygoating" in steep, rocky terrain, but once we were down a few hundred feet we found great snow.
We really enjoyed the playful terrain.
We liked the views from the top too.
The next run in the forest was good fun too although it was well tracked. The last run down in the "Telebowls" was a little tricky as the snow had become heavy.
Sunday I decided to take it easy and just take a few runs at the ski area on my new "area" skis. They are last year's Volkl Gotamas mounted with Marker Duke bindings and they skied great!
There had been a light dusting of snow which the wind had piled up nicely here in the lower part of the "Paranoids".
The clearing storm provided some great scenery too.

On Monday I joined my friend Anne and headed back up to the Hollywood area. It was her first tour of the season and I knew we'd find good snow. Mary joined us on cross country gear for the first bit.
This is the stark dead tree zone near Horseshoe Lake.
Here's Anne contemplating her run beneath the handsome cliffs.
And Anne enjoying the powdery sweetness in the trees.
After five great days of skiing I was ready for a break!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Nice report on the skiing conditions down there. And seeing the scenery again makes me miss the Eastern Sierra. Happy Turns for the new year and plentiful powder to you!

I'm planning to take some time to return to the Eastside this season, for the hallowed spring skiing and high tours. Likely sometime in April or May, Hope to get some skiing in with you then.