Monday, March 10, 2014

Backcountry Skiing, Bishop!

I got in a couple more days of skiing.

After skiing in Mammoth for the past few weeks, I decided it was high time to take a look closer to home. While Table Mountain and South Fork were still dreadfully thin, Bishop Bowl looked pretty good. 

Once up and over the moraine the coverage was decent.

I skinned up to the left shoulder first thinking I would do some short laps in the glades. Nice views of the terrain above Lake Sabrina.

But then I figured I'd go all the way to the right shoulder just below the summit. Amazing alpine scenery from there.  Mt Emerson in the back.
Paiute Crags.

The skiing in the sparse glades turned out to be quite good top to bottom. With light powder up top and creamy stuff lower down. One of those days when I started with low expectations, almost baled, then had a stellar day.

Next up I figured I would give the Humphreys Glacier area a try. Easy driving (little snow) to close to 8,000' and good coverage once to 9,000' or so.

The approach gully was filled in nicely. Location of last year's MCL tear!

Chute on SE side of Basin looked quite skiable. Not so sure it's transitioned to corn yet though.

The day's route runs up to a small ridge before a short, brushy drop into the McGee Creek drainage. Nice views from the ridge.

Mt. Locke.

Bishop Bowl. Previous day was up on the left hand ridge.

Travel up McGee Creek was quick and easy. Nearing Langley Lake with the huge moraine of Humphreys Glacier and Mt Humphreys above.

Skinned about 2/3s up the moraine as the snow became increasingly wind affected (always seems to be back here!). Skiing was doable, but strenuous on the moraine. Could of used some big heavy skis and speed - I had neither.

Cruised out McGee Creek on transition snow. Then really fun skiing out below Basin and in the approach gully on supportable sun crust and wind board.

Great scenery. So so skiing.
Can't complain. A couple of weeks ago there was half as much snow here!

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