Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mammoth Lakes Basin Grand Tour

I got the ok from my boss to take the day off yesterday to go skiing with my friends Anne, Jed and Alex.

Jed hatched a plan for a full day tour of the Mammoth Lakes Basin, starting at the normal winter road end near Twin Lakes, then skiing Hammil Bowl, TJ Bowl, and Crystal Bowl.

Here we are checking beacons and displaying colorful skis.
After a couple of hours we emerged from the forest into the Hammil Bowl area, with howling winds over the crest, but only occasional gusts lower.

All smiles at the top of our first run of the day.
We dug a test pit to ascertain what the snow pack was like and found a few inches of very weak facets at the bottom of the snow pack, so we stuck to low angle slopes for the most part.

Alex enjoyed the nice, soft snow here - as we all did!Looking up after the first few hundred feet.
We continued down to Hammil Lake then skinned up to the TJ bowl area.

We skipped the "main attraction" and skied the trees just east, which held great snow.

Jed liked it quite a lot.
Jed got this nice pic of me skiing just above TJ Lake.
We then climbed up to the saddle south of Crysal Crag.
Skied down to Crysal Lake and out the waterfall to George Lake.

Here's Jed shooting out of the waterfall onto the apron, where we found our only less-than-ideal snow.
Of course he made it look easy.

So much scenery, so much fun, and so much snow - at least compared to what we had a week ago!

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