Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pinyon Creek

My buddy Dave K lives down in Independence and looks up at this run nearly everyday. It's a line I've coveted for quite a while too, so when Dave proposed skiing it, I was in.

Pinyon Creek. We skied down the right hand couloir.

The day began with a gorgeous sunrise and a most unusual phenomena. This is not the actual sun but a reflection of the sun before it rose.

We started on the Onion Valley Road, which is cleared to about the 8,000' level, then headed up the Robinson Creek drainage. Dave with Kearsarge Peak behind him.

Up canyon toward University Pass.

Dave comes up with Independence Peak behind.

We took a left turn here and climbed to the notch left of center.

Skis packed and ready to climb.

The snow was perfect for booting.

Then a couple of hundred feet of talus.

Dave approaches the notch with University Peak behind.

 Me at the notch.

We strapped on the skis in a steep snow tongue above this constriction.

The massive couloir.

The striking jagged ridge above.

 Dave enjoys great skiing.

 Splendid corn skiing.

Granite sculptures.

 Near the bottom of the couloir.

We traversed over to the south fork and enjoyed more fun skiing.

 Near the confluence of the north and south forks we came to this enormous avalanche debris field.

Just below this waterfall stopped the traffic. Off with the skis and time to hike.

The exit involves about two hours of moderately difficult hiking on a faint use trail in a beautiful, rugged canyon.

It's a good long way from snow to the trailhead. Keeps the riff raff out!

This is a spectacular tour with a great rugged and remote feel. Thanks for the impetus Dave!

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