Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mono Pass Area

This Saturday Anne and I got together for a tour up out of Rock Creek. I was not sure of snow conditions as we've had a fair amount of new snow early in the week followed by a day or two of sunny, warm weather.

I basically decided on Rock Creek more for the great High Sierra scenery than for any specific ski terrain. We decided to head up to Ruby Lake and assess our options from there.

There is a tremendous amount of snow here.
We took an immediate shine to this run off the Sierra Crest just east of Mono Pass that Anne's late husband, Bill, had always wanted to ski.
So we skinned up towards Mono Pass. Here Anne heads for the gully (right) that leads to the pass with the stunning Ruby Wall above and to the left.
Anne exits aforementioned gully onto gentler slopes to the pass.
We arrived at the pass fairly early. Thinking the steep chute we wanted to ski may need more cooking we headed up the big broad slopes west of the pass for a short diversion.

We arrived at a nice peaklet (~12,800') with terrific views.

Bear Creek Spire, Mt. Dade and Mt. Abbot.
Mt. Morgan (South) front left and Mt. Tom back right.
We had decent skiing on the big broad slopes on slightly thick, but enjoyable snow.
We then headed over to our main objective. After a little consternation over the steep, rocky drop in, we slipped in and found the snow soft, but not too soft and it just got better as we descended.
That was a nice run!

Conditions in this area are still transitional with decent corn found on due south facing slopes and likely decent powder skiing on protected, high elevation north facing chutes. There's still about two feet of snow or more at the road end (Pack Station) with the runs off Pointless Peak & Mt Starr looking good and fat. There is a fair amount of slide debris in some of the steeper chutes however. Should be good skiing for quite some time barring a crazy heat spell!

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