Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sky Meadow

I woke up without any real zeal for skiing, but figured the clearing "storm" would make for nice scenery if nothing else.

The back of Mammoth and Emerald Lake. Rimed and dusted!

 Still dark and moody up on the crest.

 Skinned up some nice glades just south of Sky Meadow

Skiing was surprisingly good.

Cleared out fast.

Glad I rallied! One of the most beautiful days in hills this season.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Owens Valley Gravel Grinder I

I pre-rode the course yesterday. Amazing weather.

I managed to create a map.  Click here.

February 1, 2015 10am, about 50 miles.

Meet at the back of the Bishop City Park across from the Senior Center or meet us along the way out towards Millpond.

Course description at the bottom.

Chalk Bluff Road

Artesian well along Owens River Road

Rawson Canal Road

Airport Road just north of Warm Springs Rd

Views along the Airport Road

Nice sight along the Buckley Ponds Road

Great fun!

All distances approximate – or perhaps completely wrong!
First # is the distance of segment (miles) second is the running total distance.

  1. 5.0/5.0 City Park to jct Red Hill Rd & Ed Powers Rd via West Line St (turn R)
  2. 3.0/8.0 to jct Sawmill Rd & 395 via Millpond (straight across 395) end of “neutral” section
  3. 1.8/9.8 to jct Pleasant Valley Dam Rd & Chalk Bluff Rd (turn R onto C. Bluff)
  4. 6.0/15.8 to jct Fish Slough Rd, Jean Blanc Rd (stay R onto pavement/Jean Blanc)
  5. 0.6/16.4 to jct Jean Blanc & 5-Bridges Rd (straight, stay L onto dirt)
  6. 2.8/19.2 to jct Jean Blanc & Hwy 6 (staight)
  7. 0.8/20.0 to jct Jean Blanc & Upper McNally Canal (turn R)
  8. 1.6/21.6 to jct Laws Poleta Rd (paved) – cross Silver Cyn Rd (stay R/merge onto pavement)
  9. 2.6/24.2 to jct E. Line St/Poleta Rd (turn R)
  10. 0.3/24.5 to jct Collins Canal Look for cattle guard on left near the trees (turn L)
  11. 3.2/27.7 to jct Eastside Road (turn R onto pavement)
  12. 0.8/28.5 turn R on Warm Springs Rd to jct with Owens River Rd (turn L)
  13. 3.4/31.9 to jct Collins Rd (turn R)
  14. 2.6/34.5 to jct Rawson Canal (turn R) Close gate behind you!
  15. 0.7/35.2 to unnamed jct (turn L)
  16. 2.3/37.5 along Bishop Cr Canal to unnamed jct (turn L)
  17. 0.8/38.3 to jct Warm Spring Rd (turn R)
  18. 0.9/39.2 to jct “Airport Rd” just after cattle guard (turn L)
  19. 1.4/40.6 to jct unnamed Rd (turn R)
  20. 0.6/ 41.2 to jct unnamed Rd, stay on more used road (turn L)
  21. 0.6/41.8 to jct unnamed Rd (turn R)
  22. 0.5/42.3 to jct unnamed Rd (turn L)
  23. 0.5/42.8 to jct Buckley Ponds Rd (turn L)
  24. 3.6/46.4 stay on main road all the way to East Line St (turn R) Prepare for quick left
  25. 0.1/46.5 to jct Aiport Canal (turn L)
  26. 1.0/47.5 to jct Airport Rd (turn R) Prepare for quick left
  27. 0.1/47.6 to jct Airport Perimeter Rd (turn L)
  28. 1.2/48.8 to end of Wye Rd through opening next to gate (straight on Wye Rd)
  29. 0.7/49.5 to jct Spruce St (turn L)
  30. 0.5/50.0 back to Bishop City Park (straight)   

Sunday, January 25, 2015

San Joaquin Ridge

More touring for exercise. This time with Steve and Anne.

Frozen snow machine tracks made for tolerable skinning.

Tried out the tow bungee. We were skeptical at first, but found it to be potentially very useful. Seemed like the towee gets a 10% or so boost and the tower barely feels it. Good discussion here

Can't go up the ridge without taking a pic of the Ritter Range.

Tagged the little knob just south of the Minaret Vista too.

The views back where we had traveled along the ridge.

The bleakness continues.
Where there is a will to have fun there is a way to have fun nonetheless!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Barney Lake

Quick leg stretcher up to Barney Lake.

Barney Bowl.

Barney Lake and Duck Pass

Skelton Lake

Skinning was alright. A little bushy. A little sugary.
Out was hairball. On frozen snowshoe track for a good bit. Mr. Toad style.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Knobaineering in the Eastern Sierra

Knobaineering. Like mountaineering only smaller. It's all you can do in a dry year!

First it was up to Red Cone.  A nice little knob on the Mammoth Crest.

These glades provided the only pleasant turns of the day. Down to the PCT. The goal for the day was the prominent knob right of center.

Cruised the PCT for a bit. Thankful for the tree cuts in the blow down.

What do you know. A summit register!

A few well known Sierra knobaineers nabbed the first ascent! The first winter ascent for me!!
Dubbed Madesno presumably because the knob sits on the border of Madera and Fresno Counties.

Some nice views from the summit. Back to Mammoth.

Red Cones (foreground) and the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin

More great skinning. More horrible "turns."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hamill Bowl & TJ Area

Headed out again Sunday for a shorter tour.

Followed skin track up to Way Lake.

Picked my way through a couple of boulder fields to check out Hamill Bowl. Wasn't even tempted.

Then back into the TJ area. A determined skier could probly put something together here. Not me.

Descended here. Nice coverage.

Out via TJ Lake & Lake George.

Great skinning. Poor turning. Gorgeous day.

Red Cones to Red Cone

Skinning for turns hasn't been real fruitful, so I turned to skinning for scenery. 

Saturday I headed out over Mammoth Pass to Red Cones then around the backside of the Mammoth Crest to Upper Crater Meadow and up to Red Cone Bowl.

One of the Red Cones.

I ran into acres and acres of this. Just an astounding number of trees were blown down in the wind event of 11/30/2011.

I've never been so happy to see a log cut! It took a moment to register, but the only reason to cut back here would be to clear a trail. No more tedious one mile an hour travel!

 Moving quickly again I shortly arrived at Upper Crater Meadow.

Then up a broad beautiful drainage for a good bit.

Right to the top of the Crest. Red Cone Bowl, Horseshoe Lake and Long Valley.

Red Cone Bowl skied poorly with a combination of windboard, breakable crust, and spongy snow - all covered with an inch or so of new snow. The trees below skied alright where there was ample coverage.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mammoth Pass Area

Poking around the Mammoth Pass area.

McCloud Lake and the Mammoth Crest on the way in.

Headed up a shallow gully towards the Crest and found wind hammered snow up high. Some decent skiing here and there in the sheltered trees lower.

Decided to head over to Mammoth to see if the corn was a cookin'.

 Ever pleasing views of the Ritter Range with Hemlock Ridge in the mid ground.

Corn fields softened up pretty well and provided fun skiing for a couple of short runs.

Snow in the trees was under cooked and thick though.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Lake Mary Rdige

Simon and I toured up in the Lake Mary Ridge area.

Looking for faceted settled powder. Found dense, damp snow.

Simon reins 'em in - which wasn't always easy.

The run off Lake Mary Ridge was alright. Small pinwheels forming, but linking turns was do able.

Skiing back here has gone from bad to worse.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mammoth Lakes Basin

Toured on Friday 1/2 in the Mammoth Lakes Basin returning to the area I skied back on 12/27.

High winds have taken a toll on all terrain at and above treeline.

Wind sculpted snow at the saddle above Sky Meadow.

The best skiing is in the deepest forest, but downfall and rocks area significant problems there.

Much of the snowpack has become faceted here. Sugar city!