Sunday, January 17, 2010


Wow! I've just had the best weekend of skiing this season thus far and tomorrow promises to be a great powder day (antijinx!).

On Friday, my partner, Steve and I took a chance and headed up above Bishop to the North Fork of Bishop Creek. The snowpack in this area is pretty meager, but we were hoping we could find some decent skiing in one of the chutes falling from this ridge.
We spent a bunch of time trying to find a decent creek crossing, but alas had to settle for this rather sketchy spot. I believe Steve was thinkin' "you've got to be kidding." It worked out fine, although we were not as fortunate on the way out (sorry no embarrassing pics).
We took a short break after the creek crossing and Steve's inner child emerged, so he created this fantastic snow angel.
We found ourselves at the bottom of this beauty, so we gave it a go.Here's Steve skinning up the lower section.
The views across the valley to the Paiute Crags (red) and Mt. Emerson (gray) were inspiring.
We decided to turn around where the chute branched and narrowed with close to 1700' below us and about 400' above us.

The snow in the upper, protected part of the chute was impeccable as Steve demonstrates.
The snow in the lower sections were slightly wind affected, but still provided great skiing. This area will definitely get more attention from us!

Saturday morning I hooked up with my partner, Anne up in Mammoth and headed up to the crest above TJ Lake.

I couldn't resist snapping this shot of Crystal Crag.
This is the view from TJ Lake towards the crest. We topped out just right of center on the skyline.
Here's Anne charging up.
I like the cloverleaf pattern these lakes make. Clockwise from the top we have Mamie, Mary, TJ, and George.
This is Anne climbing the short, steep chute which led to the top.
And this is the view down into the chute from the top of the crest.
Animal tracks on the wind sculpted snow on the crest.
We found a mixture of wind packed snow, wind crust, and wind blown powder. For the most part we had very good skiing. The turns were especially fun here in these glades just below treeline.

Today the weather started coming in, so my friends John and Anne and I headed for the more sheltered terrain around Red Cone off of the Mammoth Crest.
The weather never came in as severely as we initially feared, so we had nice views all morning. This is a shot looking back towards the TJ area we skied yesterday.
I wasn't too good about capturing any action shots, but the skiing in the trees was a total hoot. Here's John and Anne catching their breaths before hitting another fun pitch.
Another fine day under the belt and in the legs!

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