High pressure in the Sierra means clear skies, warm temperatures, and longer tours in the mountains.
On Saturday, Anne and I toured from Tamarack to Coldwater Campground, then up to the ridge leading to Pyramid Peak, and over to the Banana Chute.
This is Anne hiking the ridge towards Pyramid.
Looking back towards the Mammoth Crest.
Here we're about halfway along the ridge traverse with Pyramid back left.
We skipped the peak owing to the poor, wind hammered snow and made the long, but quick downward traverse to the top of the Banana Chute.
The first few turns on the chute were wind affected too, but Anne managed to rip some nice turns anyways.
After we got down a bit we moved over into a smaller, sheltered, treed chute (The Banana Peel?) and found real nice settled powder.
The view back to the Banana Chute (curving far left) with "The Peel" just right.We topped it all off with a pleasing short run down the Tele Bowls.
Sunday, Anne, Steve, and I again started from Tamarack and toured up Blue Couloir, down a nice chute to near Skeleton Lake, then back up to "The Perch" on Sherwins.
Blue Crag with the Blue Couloir on its left shoulder.
Steve motored up the firm windboard in the couloir sans ski crampons. Impressive.
We took a pleasant break at the top.
The broad, hanging valley just beyond the Blue Couloir had a distinctly alpine feel.
Anne and I had spied a beautiful chute the day before on our way towards Pyramid Peak, so we headed over to its entrance.
Steve makes the first turn into the chute on the steep, firm windboard.
Fortunately we found some pleasing soft snow lower down.
We quickly skinned up half cooked corn snow to the crest of the Sherwins.
And hiked over to the blocky knob known as "The Perch."
Looking back at our route with the Blue Couloir on the far right and our chute far left.
Odd rock pile that is the summit block of "The Perch."
We found decent skiing off towards the northeast for a few hundred feet, then dropped into a steep northwest facing chute which had nice snow for about two turns before turning to nasty crust.
Better skiing would have been found in the trees, but we were lured by the pretty line.
No complaints however, twas a fine day in the mountains!