Thursday, March 31, 2011

Independence Peak

Yesterday my coworker, Brian, joined me for a tour up Onion Valley way.

Currently you can drive the road for about a half mile beyond the first hairpin where the old mining road to Sardine Canyon is. The county is working on clearing the road beyond the closure, so they do not want folks parking above that. The county does not work up there Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

After a 15 to 20 minute hike on the road we were on the skis and enjoying a real nice sunrise.
We headed up the main chute on the northwest side of Independence Peak, which was filled with an impressive amount of avalanche debris.

This is the upper part of the chute. The old avalanche crown line can be seen on the side of the gully in the sun (click to enlarge).
We found some decent settled, sugar snow in the protected north facing trees, so we headed up a short slope to the ridge bordering Lime Canyon. We enjoyed fine views there.
Yep, that's me! Gee, I thought I was smiling.
The soft snow here skied pretty well.

We then traversed out into the beautiful old growth pine grove and made a few turns on softening slightly cooked powder. Much later and it would have been mush.

We then popped into a short gully. More wet snow - we did not start those pinwheels.
Nice little line, not corn yet, but our timing was good so it skied ok.
Actually found very nice corn out beyond the mouth of the chute on south east aspects.

Back to the car by 9:30.
Perfect way to start a work day!

No comments: