Monday, February 24, 2014

Virginia Lakes: Spring Skiing In February

The last series of storms was more generous north of Mammoth into Lake Tahoe than it was south and the word on the net was the Virginia Lakes road was plowed again this year, so Simon and I elected to head up and check it out.

After driving through a lot of depressingly dry scenery we were pleased to arrive at the relatively snowy trail head . Black Mountain rising above Simon at the beginning of the tour. 

While the southeast bowl of Mt. Dunderberg was enticing, it was also well tracked and most likely was going to end up busy, so the default plan was to head up canyon and look around.

After examining the map a bit, the cirque above Moat Lake emerged as our destination. Everything south facing was setting up well with either supportable sun crust/corn or wind board.

We were pretty early, so the first slope we attempted to climb was still pretty firm. To kill a little time we took a short warm up run on some very nice wind board.

Back at Moat Lake.

We then booted up to the ridge.

We were rewarded with spectacular Sierra views of the upper Green Creek drainage.

Impressive terrain at the head of Green Creek. East Lake above the skis.

The sun softened wind board skied like a dream. Smooth, consistent, and just soft enough.

We liked it enough to wanna try another run.

The next line was due south facing and instead of wind board we encountered classic corn snow. Some steep skinning led us to the top of the ridge again.

More dreamy skiing. We timed our descent well as much later it would have been sloppy.

Smiles!! Our first run was diagonally up to the right of the large knob and the second up to the left.

Sure was good to see so much snow up this way. Looking like more on the way too. It's starting to feel like a real ski season for a change.

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