Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Mtn Again!

Sometimes I am a creature of habit.

With a skin track set and conditions known to be excellent the decision to head back to Red Mtn was unimaginative yet easy.

Used yesterday's track for about 1,000' of vertical then veered east to a quieter part of the mountain.

Skin track stoke with Anne.

The skiing was exquisite!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Red Mountain, Powder!

I skied with long time partners Steve, Jed, and Anne today on Red Mountain near Tom's Place.

The latest storm was cold & wet leaving three to four feet on Mammoth and about a foot to a foot and a half here at Red.

Here's Jed near the top of our first run.
After a week in England Anne was more than happy to come back to some great snow.
The skies cleared and we enjoyed great views like this one west to Mt. McGee.
The crew is all smiles anticipating another great run.
Ready to go.
Blowing up the blower!

Even got a cameo appearance in Jed's Snow Report

Just amazingly good skiing lately - with amazingly good folks!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


No question, that was the best powder storm cycle in a long, long while.

I skied lifts Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Mammoth, June, Mammoth) sans camera.

Friday and Saturday we enjoyed deep, light, largely untracked snow, laughin' and grinnin' all day long.

Sunday went for a tour out of June.
Action shots were mostly poor.
Got this one in the flats where it wasn't so deep.
Up in the glades, though, the snow was incredible.

Toured in an unusual and undisclosed area Monday.

Looked (and skied!) like British Columbia.

More excellence was found.

Five days of Five-Star skiing!!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mt Aggie

Last week I hatched the idea of a car shuttle tour starting at Convict Lake, up to Mt Aggie, then down into the McGee Creek drainage. We ended up skiing the SE side of McGee instead, but ran into some other folks who had in fact executed that exact tour with rave reviews, so Simon, Steve and I gave it a shot today.

We hiked up a nice boot track to the top of the moraine above Convict, then skinned up above Tobacco Flat to the North ridge of Mt. Aggie.
The skinning was a bit tricky/frustrating on the firm windboard until we reached the more even ground of the ridge. Ski crampons would have been helpful.

Steve (l) and Simon (r) skin up on the ridge with Old Man's Bowl behind (see last Saturday's blog).
We booted up the last few hundred feet to the north (lower) summit.
We arrived at the top and chatted up some friends who happened to share the same vision for the day.

Then we skied down this fantastic drainage for at least 3,000'.


We enjoyed good to very good corn skiing the entire beautiful descent.

And now back to our regularly scheduled February powder skiing - I hope!

Birch Creek Area

Yesterday I hooked up with my friends Darren, Elysia, my wife Mary, and Simon (l to r in photo) and we drove to the Birch Creek Trailhead (passable with high clearance 4x4).
After an easy fifteen minute hike we were on snow and heading up broad, moderate slopes with grand views of the Owens Valley.
The huge Big Pine Complex fire a few years ago hit this area hard, but left some striking charred snags.
The snow varied with patches of frozen fins (not good), melted fins (ok), corn (yes!), and various winter forms (mixed bag). We were able to link up several corn slopes and had a good run.

Elysia expresses exuberance on her splitboard.
Simon (l) and Mary (r) synched it up here.
Darren ripping and grinning tele style.
Mary milked this snow tongue as far as possible.
While the skis dried in the sun we sipped beer, soaked sun, and basked in the feeling of a day well spent.
Thanks crew!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Southeast side of McGee

Finally getting around to updating this!

Last Sunday Anne, Steve, and I skied the southeast side of Mt. McGee.

We started from the bottom of the McGee Creek road, near 395, and skinned up to an old mining road, which we followed to the base of a nice looking drainage.

From the bottom we could see that the snow was continuous and appeared to end up near the summit.

Sadly it ended up close to 1500' below the summit, but provided excellent corn skiing all the way down.

The best route up was on the ridge to the west of the gully.
Steve skis the upper slopes with Esha Canyon behind.
The smooth, wide open slope in the lower section was nothing but smile inducing perfecto corn.
How long will this winter corn skiing continue?
I just hope spring is as good as this!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Old Man's Bowl

Last Saturday Mary and I were joined by our friends Simon and Dori for a ski tour out of Convict Lake to Old Man's Bowl and, ultimately, the summit of Mini-Morrison.

We booted all the way which was a bit tedious at the beginning, but pleasant from the top of the moraine onward.
Dori and Mary near the top of Old Man's Bowl.
We left our packs for the short stroll to the summit of Mini-Morrison while the true Mt. Morrsion loomed behind.
Summit shenanigans.

There was just enough warmth from the sun to soften the north side of Old Man's Bowl, providing decent skiing conditions up there.
Lower down firm, but edgeable, windboard with occasional patches of wind drift was surprisingly fun to ski.

Apres' ski was incredibly pleasant with warm temps and cold beer.

Mary enjoys her beverage with the summit towering behind her.
Soaking rays!
This one felt especially fun!