Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mammoth Backcountry

I had a great weekend skiing in the Mammoth area.

First ski of the year with my buddy Nemo. We found some very nice steep, untracked tree shots in the Sherwins. The snow was staying light in the cold air and the open glades were a joy to ski. The exact location will not be revealed although I will say we skinned up from the bottom. Use your imagination. 

Nemo was appropriately stoked. 
 He liked this. So did I!

The next day I hooked up with my long time partner Stephen for a tour up Blue Crag way in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

No tracks here either.
I've had my eye on the Blue Crag Couloir for a long time. Usually the middle section is scoured out, but it's currently filled in nicely.
We elected to head up the chute system just to the west for ease of travel. 

I skied this chute system back in '10 blue crag 2010 and in '09 mammoth crest 2009 (see bottom of post).

After skinning up to the throat we elected to boot up the wind buff which proved to be an efficient choice.
We then skinned over to the top of the Blue Crag Couloir. The upper section was edgeable wind buff and would have been ok, but there would have been a lot of sideslipping through the tight spots, so we elected to head back and ski the pinnacled chute.
 The views from the crest are great. Looking north to the top of the Sherwins (mid field) and Mono Lake (distant).
 The windbuff off the top provided tolerably decent skiing.
 Mid way down there was fluffy snow with patches of crust which kept us on our toes.
 The lower apron skied pretty well.
It was great to get up in the alpine zone and operate in the steep zone a little bit.
Special place for sure.
Thanks Steve!

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