Feeling the need for a bit of adventure, I threw together an overnight kit and headed up towards Onion Valley after work.
The Onion Valley road is plowed to the summer homes in Seven Pines and is passable only a short distance beyond. I put chains on my 4x4 Tacoma which allowed me to get up another 1/2 mile or so - hardly worth the effort.
Under a bright moon I skinned up the main road to the Sardine Canyon mining road and followed it to where it enters Little Onion Valley.
I made camp on the road with the twinkling lights of Independence directly below.
After a mild night I broke camp and headed up into Little Onion Valley.
Relatively easy travel on a mix of windboard, windblown snow, and crust brought me here, to the top of the major bench in the canyon.
A bit further I enjoyed an alluring view of this nice chute on the south side of Mt. Mary Austin.
Click on the pic to enlarge!
At last I arrived at Parker Lakes which has an awe inspiring alpine feel.
Black Mountain is back right in this photo and sports a magnificent Y shaped couloir. Both arms appear to arrive at or very near the summit.
A closer view of Black Mtn.
The skiing out was somewhat of a chore. Lower in the canyon there were large swaths of solid, dependable windboard which made for acceptable skiing, but most of the snow was just too wind jacked to have fun on.
Honestly though, I came for the scenery and adventure knowing the skiing would likely be poor and I was not at all disappointed!