Saturday, February 27, 2016

Powell Glacier

Ann Piersall and I joined forces today for a tour up above Lake Sabrina to the Powell Glacier. We were both on our race equipment which was perfect for the fast travelling conditions we enjoyed.

Moonlight Lake (foreground) with Point Powell (square top mountain) in the back. We headed up the left side of the big moraine in front of Point Powell.

Ann took this picture of me crossing Moonlight Lake.

Ann cruises along through the broad valley beneath the glacier which lies at the back.

Stunning terrain.

We found a nice rock and soaked up the High Sierra scenery.

From whence we came. Our return would take us up and over the ridge to the right.

Ann enjoys the windboard.

This high traverse set us up for the climb to the ridge.

Scrambling Ann.

I strike a pose near the top of the ascent.

On top of the ridge with Clyde Spires (left), Picture Peak (Center right) and Mt Haekel (right).

To more solid wind board skiing.

Then a skate across Blue Lake.

Got a little funky below Blue Lake with warm mushy snow here and there.

To Lake Sabrina.

Heck of a great tour!!
Thanks for the pics and the partnership Ann.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mt Tom, Southwest Side

I got up and out the door fairly early and headed up the Buttermilk Road to the Horton Creek trailhead. Flipped back to looking for corn skiing on south facing slopes and the southwest slopes of Mt Tom fit the bill.

Early morning light on the Buttermilks.

The Horton Creek Trail was patchy all the way up the moraine, but once past the old miner's cabin the valley floor was covered. Looking up the valley.

One of several attractive couloirs on the north side of Basin Mountain.

Big control burn down in the valley. Glad I wasn't around for that!

Once I made the ridge the views were incredible. Looking south to Basin Mountain (left) and Mt Humphreys (pointy, right of center).

West toward Four Gables and the old mining road that comes up from Horton Lakes.

North to Bear Creek Spire (large granite face, center) and Pine Creek below.

This was the first real tour on the "racing skis." I took em up to the ski area Tuesday and was super impressed with how well they skied. Today they were quick going up and great going down.

2,500' of perfect velvet corn! I skied the left side to the little horizontal sliver on the sky line.

Started the descent around 11am which seemed about the right time. The approach is a little long on the trail, but totally worth it. Great day.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Hurd Peak Glades

Keeping with the theme of long approaches for short runs in stunning settings, Anne and I decided to push the track up to and across South Lake to ski the open glades beneath Hurd Peak.

South Lake was drained and snow covered making for easy travel.

The lower portion of the glades.

Anne shared trailbreaking duties.

Hurd Peak above this pleasant basin.  Lots of wind affected snow up high.

Anne got this shot of me skiing lower down. Nice snow here.

Same spot from below taken on the trip back up for a second run.

Anne snapped this one of me with her IPhone. Good stuff!

Beautiful day, fun skiing, and not another soul in the neighborhood. Good times!

Friday, February 19, 2016

South Fork Glades

Without any goal in mind I headed up the South Lake road from the usual winter closure at Habeggar's. The coverage on the road is poor and discontinuous (by now) for the first mile or two.

After a bit it's pretty well covered.

Lots of snow was moving around in this cirque north of Tyee Lakes.

Once the road began to climb up to Parcher's Resort I was breaking trail in 4" to 6" of new snow.

This glade was the first zone that looked good for skiing, so it became my destination.

The views opened up impressively as I neared the ridge. Mts Gilbert, Thompson, and Ski Mountaineer's Peak from left to right.

This nice line drops straight to South Lake. Good corn shot. Maybe soon?

Bishop Pass (far left just out of view), Mt Goode, and Hurd Peak both on the right.

Johnson (left center) and Gilbert (far right) above the enticing Treasure Bowls.

I had a pretty enticing zone of my own!

The glades skied very well. A bit thin in spots still.

Took two runs and headed home. Good day.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Paiute Crags Chute

Decided to try my hand at a little corn skiing hoping the several days of cooking had improved the conditions. Went with Ann P and Anne S from Aspendell.

Got to North Lake pretty quickly. Fools Ridge.

The lower chute was not exactly inviting. Hard to see, but there is avalanche debris in the middle. We actually descended the ribbon far left.

The upper half of the chute is splendid. Ann about to top out.

Anne booting up just below.

Nice glimpse of the upper Buttermilks and the White Mountains from the top.

Anne psyches up for the first turn.

Ann finds good snow just below the top.

The corn was pretty much ideal throughout much of the chute. We were blessed with a few periods of high clouds and a bit of a breeze which nicely extended the corn window.

Down low this little alley was playful fun.

Another fun day in the hills! Thanks Ann & Anne.