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  1. #1651
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    7
    5/12; North east side of Gibbs from the bridge at the meadow on the power plant road off of 120. Car thermo read 30 degrees at at 6:30 a.m. About 700 vt. ft., of dirt and timber to the snowline at about 8,300 ft. No wind, it was soft all the way up to the ridge. The corn was cooked to a shimmering perfection descending at 2:00 p.m. The gate on 120 was still closed. It looked like maybe 200 yds to some steep snow if one choose to start at the end of the power plant road.

  2. #1652
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Truckee, CA
    Posts
    5,519
    Quote Originally Posted by gimpy View Post
    Love this panel backside dundy
    Attachment 282183Attachment 282184
    ..... but you have to either slog out the drainage to a shuttle car at gcreek (f that) or just walk back up
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    And back down from where u came
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    N couloir/kavanaugh ridge beta shot for gc shuttle tour
    Attachment 282192



    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Thanks for the photo beta on Dunderberg's "backside" (though I've always considered that to be the "frontside" ). I've only ever hit it from the Green Creek Road side and then again only when you can drive all the way up to Kavanaugh Ridge.
    Cool to see it really filled in, at least compared to all the times I've skied it in late summer/early fall. You can't even see Jack's Lake (it looks filled in). Looks like it will be solid patch skiing for late summer and into fall. Sweet.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  3. #1653
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,544
    Nice job, sfskier, Rod, gimpy, and BMSFDS! I'm loving all the photos.

    Anyhow, whatsupdoc's photos are much better than and largely redundant with my own. But, for what it's worth, here are my photos from our 9-day odyssey a couple weeks ago.

    April 27: Gilcrest. Because we all slept in Tahoe the night before, we started with a roadside softy, which ended up requiring about 3k of booting. Anyhow, Lundy always delivers.




    April 28: Virginia Lakes to Twin Lakes via Virginia Peak. This tour started rough, with 30-50 mph from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. Thankfully, the wind settled down by dawn. The repeated lesson of the Eastern Sierra is that you pretty much don't know what conditions will be like until you're actually on the slope. Until then, you need to forge on and hope things work out when you get there.


    After a 90-minute nap at the base, we climbed Virginia Peak. The summit was small and a little scary, so we dropped quickly to find perfect corn.


    Sluff management was critical though.


    whatsupdoc


    BJ with a tele turn lower down.


    CJ and I, with the help of whatsupdoc generously volunteering to do a car shuttle, decided to continue on to Twin Lakes via the Twin Peaks couloir, which, theoretically was only a 1,500' bootpack away. The only problem is that we followed a preexisting bootpack up the wrong gully and ended up on the wrong side of Twin Peaks. Instead, we had to negotiate what I'll call the Cliffs of Confusion. This was a 40-50 degree face in which literally everything downhill rolled over so that you couldn't see whether it cliffed out or not (most of it did). We figured that something in it went, and did some traversing, some descending, some climbing back up, some more traversing, and a bit of worrying before we finally found a sneaker line that went. Thankfully, everything on this face was perfect corn, so the skiing was less terrifying that it might have been. I expected the descent from the top of Virginia Peak to be the crux, but, nah, it was definitely the Cliffs of Confusion.


    We ended up coming out on Horse Creek Peak, where we happily skied corn back to Twin Lakes.


    April 29: The weather was supposed to be bad and I was tired from the day before, so I did the Mini-Morrison circumnavigation tour to a descent on Morrison Col, which I had never done before. What an awesome little tour! Highly recommended.


    Freshness was achieved through copious visits to the Double Eagle Spa and various hot springs.


    April 30: With nasty winds forecasted, we did a mellow day on one of McGee's Creek Chutes. We superfluously did the Esha crossing instead of the direct and easy snowbridge within view of the trailhead. But when you get a chance to take a silly photo of a partner crossing a stream, you take it.


    I cannot say the snow was great at the bottom.


    The snow up top was firm and pretty meh, too.




    Still, it was a solid day out.




    May 1: This was the day we planned to do Whitney, but, as luck would have it, it also coincided with the first day that permits were required. We figured we could pick some up at the Lone Pine office the evening before, but as luck would additionally have it, it closed early and there was no system available to pick up unused permits, which we knew existed. After debating our options, we went back to McGee to ski a line and then audibled again to ski Mt. Wood's East Face for the second time in two weeks. I had some camera issues and couldn't take any photos.

  4. #1654
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    Dec 2006
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    3,544
    May 2: Thunderbolt and U-Notch. After Wood, whatsupdoc and I bivied near Glacier Lodge, where we met BGnight, who joined us on the climb the next morning.


    One of my top goals for 2020 is the SE face of Cloudripper. You can't see it in this photo, but all those chutes appear to cliff out in chokes. My guess is that they go earlier in the season though.


    BGnight






    Whatsupdoc looks at Thunderbolt, the first line of the day.


    Whatsupdoc booting.


    . . . and skiing.


    On to U-Notch.


    Except that we should have skied V-Notch. A couple guys came down V-Notch and reported soft snow. U-Notch, on the other hand, was full of refrozen, elevated bootpacks and tracks. The top 30 feet was well over 50 degrees with the same shit-fuck snow issues, so I sideslipped the shit out it before making my first turn.


    Look, a glacier! In retrospect, part of me wishes that we, like BGnight, had climbed Sill and skied out via the South Fork. But we had already left our shoes on the North Fork trail. Also, we got some pretty sweet corn turns beneath U-Notch, so no regrets.


    May 3: Onion Valley supposedly opened the day before, so we planned a short, restful day on a mellow line there. Unfortunately, the gate was closed and no one told us it was a soft closure. I ended up driving to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and doing a short hike from the first snow drift blocking the road. I would have preferred to have skied, but the views from from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest are pretty stunning. You can see everything from Whitney to Mt. Ritter and Banner.


    May 4: Mt. Whitney, north face. After a little rigmarole, whatsupdoc and I secured permits for Saturday.






    Whitney is obviously very popular. And there certainly were many bootprints from many mountaineers (why don't they use the same bootpack?) on the ascent. That said, we only saw a handful of other people out there. And while I expected the Mountaineer's Route to be bootpacked into oblivion, it looked like it would have skied pretty damn well and is a fine Sierra couloir.


    That said, the first north face chute above the Mountaineer's Route, while short, was pretty gnar. It required some scrambling over rock and snow before a steep bootpack up very firm snow. I did not want to ski it or downclimb it.


    Instead, we did what I had hoped we could do: ski Whitney's north face down to the valley between Whitney and Russell. It wasn't that steep (35-40 degrees), but it was mostly firm chalk and had a large number of closeout cliffs. Luckily, we (a) knew that others had skied it before and (b) could see a workable route down. The views of Russell were unreal.


    Here's a view from the bottom, which makes the north face look flat and straight-forward, which it is not. After short skin and scramble, we skied top-notch corn down to Upper Boy Scout Lake and then more excellent corn down to the dirt and our shoes.


    I've been told many times by many people that Whitney is a mediocre ski. I'm here to disagree. I thought it was pretty epic and adventurous. We didn't get great snow on the north face itself, but it was still pretty damn fun and the views, as I mentioned before, were as good as it gets. We also got more than 3,000' of excellent corn skiing. So, a big thumbs up for Whitney from me.


    May 5: For our last day, we did Mt. Irvine, a truly excellent tour.


    The High Sierra seems to be were Monarch Butterflies go to die pretty deaths.


    The views from the top are fantastic. Here is Mt. Muir, Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell, the 99 Switchbacks, Trail Lake, etc.


    Lone Pine Peak may be my favorite mountain in the Sierra.


    The run itself was also fantastic. We scored near ideal corn from the time we put our skis on until we took them off again to put on our shoes.




    That was it. Afterward, whatsupdoc and I had a meal and beers at the Mountain Rambler and then drove home. We had a pretty good haul for our 9-day trip:
    Gilcrest
    Virginia Peak
    Morrison Col
    McGee Creek Chute
    Mt. Wood
    Thunderbolt and U-Notch
    Whitney
    Irvine

  5. #1655
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    1,729
    Fuck yeah AKB! Glad to hear you enjoyed Whitney, and Irvine looks $$$

    WUD - photos are soooo good. Need a model?

    sfskier, hankey, gimpy, rod & rod's wife, trogidor -- so much good stuff. I need to post up some up from last weekend.

    BG - wassup with the head fake about "mank" and MTBing? Do you think we're all going to SKI ALL YER POWDER unless you mislead us into thinking the East Side sucks with pow...in May??
    sproing!

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  6. #1656
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,544
    Ak, great write up.
    Going back next week.

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  7. #1657
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    382
    Really good stuff everyone.

  8. #1658
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    12,238
    anybody see this? new dam proposals on the table to meet California renewable energy needs
    proposal 1. gravity storage battery with reservoirs on wheeler crest and lower rock creek.
    proposal 2. damming nearby Owens Valley River Gorge and similarly pumping water to reservoirs on Wheeler Ridge

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/science/...e-13839661.php

    seems the FS has already shot it down since much of it is in wilderness and the proposal incomplete however there is the possibility the president could grant an exemption to get passed the wilderness designation.
    Last edited by powdork; 05-13-2019 at 11:25 PM.
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  9. #1659
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
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    1,729
    Photo TR of 3 nights in the Sierra, May 2-5, with telek and non-mag NB.

    I missed out on the best descent of the trip - which happened before any snow was touched, skis were clicked, or phasers set to shred.
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    pc: telek

    I drove my ass 5 hours by myself. Woke up next to their ride (and my ride) on airport tarmac. Weird.

    Soon enough we were off, and in sight of our first destination - Dragon.
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    There was booting.
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    And then vistas
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    A route presented itself. Would it go?
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    Gotta roll the dice.
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    Jackpot
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    Those chatter marks are from NB - conditions were interesting for full-pack-skiing!

    I'd wanted this thing since RJ Secor (RIP) first blew my mind with a grainy but incredibly striking photo in Peaks, Passes and Trails 15 years ago. Thanks for all the guidance, RJ!

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    Success

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    Resting place was raedical.
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    ....
    Last edited by meter-man; 05-14-2019 at 01:16 AM.
    sproing!

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  10. #1660
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    CA
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    1,729
    Damn, think I need two more...

    Day 2: after a hearty breakfast of grits, we had corn on the mind

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    Summit:
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    pc telek

    Freshly shucked, Cotter's finest
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    Yes, he's on Soul7s (!!!!!!) and Kingpins

    We skied another lap on an unnamed peak we dubbed 60 Lakes Peak - chutes and ramps in corn snow. But here's a picture of Gardiner cuz she sexaaayyyy af

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    blissed out.... there's no better satisfaction in life than a day deep in the mountains. One hell of a nice rock to chill on helps too.
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    We built a half-cave, played cards - it was good.
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    pc telek
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by meter-man; 05-14-2019 at 01:27 AM.
    sproing!

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  11. #1661
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
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    1,729
    Day 3.....
    Another hard freeze - conditions were perfect.


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    We thought we might go hit the north face of Rixford, but had found that exposed north faces above 12k weren't softening early in the morning, so we decided to check out some other options.

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    Least exciting and highest confidence was going up and over Glen Pass back into the Crabtree Lakes area. Once we crested a ridge, we realized we could put in a fun booter up the SE side of 60 Lakes Peak, so we figured we'd gave that a whirl. Worst case was 1,500 feet of SE-facing corn at 9:00 am - not a bad downside. Another option would involve high sierra sploring...

    back on top. once we were up there, telek and NB got stoked and schemed up a ridge traverse over to a huge S-facing summit that dropped the direction we wanted to go.
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    pc telek

    After some ridgetop, rock-walking-in-skis shenanigans...

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    We got back to the business of flying through a sea of corny goodness. We had no idea where we were going, but were guessing on a route using far-too-large-scale maps and memories of google earth flights. Worked out.

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    We weren't sure what to ski next....until we saw this whale of a thing right across the way. Mount wut?? Well, sure, yeah - let's ski THAT!

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    It was righteous. Bago!

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    We resumed our upvalley march. It was incredibly pleasant.

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    East Vidette - damn!

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    One more for telek...
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    Resolution: do more multi-day Eastern Sierra trips!
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    ****
    On Day 4, the other dudes had to head out early due to concerns of flying back across the Sierra during storm activity. Amazingly, the weather prediction was spot on - to the hour - from 5 days previous. We slowly toured up to Kearsarge Pass to find the earliest corn we could, and were back at the car at 9:30 in the morning.

    Wow, the east side is just endless.

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    Super stoked to have had awesome partners, incredible weather, and sooo much fun.

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    I drove back up the 395 through a "green" spring landscape and back over Spooner Summit into the snowy basin, but all I wanted to do was turn right back around! The East Side is skiing amazingly well. I wish I was booting up a coolie this week and getting some of this in fresh...but alas...next time. Can't wait!
    Last edited by meter-man; 05-14-2019 at 08:21 AM.
    sproing!

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  12. #1662
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,544
    Fuck yeah, meter-man! Sick trip. I should probably spend more time thumbing through Secor.

    ETA: Did you grow a dirty porn stache for the trip? I'd feel pretty vulnerable sharing a tent with that thing.

  13. #1663
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    4,115
    Hell yes!!!

    Secor and the several out of print moynier books (including his climbing book) are a treasure trove.

  14. #1664
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    82
    pretty sick meter-man!

  15. #1665
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    382
    Wow. Dragon, Cotter and BAGO!!! Very well played.

  16. #1666
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    1,729
    Quote Originally Posted by AKbruin View Post
    Fuck yeah, meter-man! Sick trip. I should probably spend more time thumbing through Secor.

    ETA: Did you grow a dirty porn stache for the trip? I'd feel pretty vulnerable sharing a tent with that thing.
    Secor's book is a damn goldmine. It's also almost absurdist in our era of data-driven and pretty-figures-laden guidebooks - the descriptions are so taciturn, and lacking in detail, it's comical. E.g. "4th Class. Climb several pitches of excellent, moderate cracks, to an open ridge. follow that for several more pitches of airy third class scrambling. 2000 vertical." Actually, it's loose as fuck old-school 5.9, and the scrambling is the most terrifying thing you've ever done and is probably 5.7 anyway, and the route is fucking massive.

    And yeah, shaved my beard into the barista-porn-cowboy. They were concerned, to say the least. We shared half-snowcaves, so they could escape more easily.

    Lotsa pow shots on the East Side on IG from the last couple days - looks sick out there!
    sproing!

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  17. #1667
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    41
    Green Creek Coulier on monday.

    1: View up just past the willow thicket.
    2: Booting up
    3: Looking down
    4: Mono Lake from the top.
    5: Dunderburg
    6: View west, Virginia peak looking burly (Sick picks meter-man).
    7: Victor skiing the last pitch.
    8: Mandatory pic of log crossing.

    Ski was great for the top half, and a bit of mushy unfrozen snow for the bottom half. Descended a bit too late (around 2pm). Did not skin up very far and the boot pack took quite a while.

    Sent from my SM-J737T1 using Tapatalk

  18. #1668
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,544
    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    Secor's book is a damn goldmine. It's also almost absurdist in our era of data-driven and pretty-figures-laden guidebooks - the descriptions are so taciturn, and lacking in detail, it's comical. E.g. "4th Class. Climb several pitches of excellent, moderate cracks, to an open ridge. follow that for several more pitches of airy third class scrambling. 2000 vertical." Actually, it's loose as fuck old-school 5.9, and the scrambling is the most terrifying thing you've ever done and is probably 5.7 anyway, and the route is fucking massive.

    And yeah, shaved my beard into the barista-porn-cowboy. They were concerned, to say the least. We shared half-snowcaves, so they could escape more easily.

    Lotsa pow shots on the East Side on IG from the last couple days - looks sick out there!
    IG?

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  19. #1669
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    tahoe
    Posts
    2,788
    Secor is the ultimate sandbagger


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  20. #1670
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Tahoe
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    12,238
    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    IG?
    InstaGram
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  21. #1671
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Reno
    Posts
    10
    Was the Green Creek road open to the trailhead?

  22. #1672
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    41
    Quote Originally Posted by tony3 View Post
    Was the Green Creek road open to the trailhead?
    Open all the way to campgrounds

    Sent from my SM-J737T1 using Tapatalk

  23. #1673
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    256
    Thanks to all for the advice and inspiration. I've been meaning to ski on the eastside for years and finally made it happen. I know some of the areas from hiking and camping but I'm a total noob to the ski scene. Here are a few pictures from my short but sweet trip through the Sierras earlier this week (Sun, May 12 - Wed, May15):

    Day 0: Jackson to Virginia Lakes

    I took the more scenic route which made a long day in Max the Astro Van a bit longer. 14 hours from Jackson to Virgina Lakes:

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    Found a nice camp spot just up the Virgina Lakes road with a view the valley about 1/2 before I got dark.

    Day 1: Virginia Lakes and Mono Lake

    Woke up at 5:30 with a sweet sunrise:

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    Drove up to the trailhead and took a peek at the south gully of Dunderberg.

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    Looked rock hard at 7:00 so hooked up with another guy from Mammoth and headed up Black Mountain. Pretty firm but easy skinning and booting so a short jaunt to the top. Nice view of the trailhead looking east:

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    East face was awesome corn at so we stopped near the bottom for another lap. The other guy had to bail to get back but I had another great run down the SE bowl. Perfect corn at 10! Grabbed a bite back at Max and figured I might be a bit late for Dunderberg with the sun beating down but decided to give it a go. Definitely kind of soft but good booting until the last 300' which was punchy postholing. Keen to beat the mush, I got up there in an hour from the car and put on the skis quickly. Skied down was mostly great, a little on the soft side just before noon. Met up with some guys from a big outdoor clothing company in the parking lot who had been skiing all week. Thanks for the beer, guys!

    Grabbed a burrito the Mono Market (yum!) and decided to check out the tufa on the south side of Mono Lake. Unexpected fun little hike.

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    Found a nice spot to camp nearby. Can you see Max?

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    What a great day. Looks like I'm going to have to find a way to do this every spring.
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    Last edited by phattypowpow; 05-17-2019 at 11:46 PM.

  24. #1674
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    256
    Day 2: Mt Wood and Gully Lake

    Got up at the usual time (5:30) and drove over to the June Lake Loop to give Mt. Wood a go. Started hiking a little after 7 from the old gate just past the Grant Lake Marina.

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    From there, it was short walk to the finger of snow that came down the gully heading SW.

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    Easy travel on firm snow. On the bench, I switched to skins.

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    and then back to boots/crampons for the steeper part. Really good conditions and I was on the top around 10:15. Max is parked near the smaller end of Grant Lake:

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    Hung out for a while on top and skied great corn all the way down at 11. Skied almost all the way down to the road:

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    Then took Max to the Grant Lake for lunch:

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    After lunch, decided to bust out the inflatable SUP. Grant and Silver Lakes were too windy for my tastes but tiny Gull Lake was perfect. View of Carson Peak (I think):

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    Drove back to Lee Vining for Mo Market goodness and a shower at Mono Vista RV park ($3.50 for 5 min of hot water). Ended the day with a drive up the power plant road to look at the sights (Dana Plateau coolies, East Peak, V Bowl, etc). Here's the view about 100' uphill from the end of the road at the power plant. Still some skiing to be found:

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    Found a nice quiet spot down the road to camp and listen to the sound of the creek. Another awesome day.
    Last edited by phattypowpow; 05-17-2019 at 11:45 PM.

  25. #1675
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    256
    Day 3: 395 Randomness and Kidd Mountain

    Woke up to the forecasted clouds on Wed. Originally, I was hoping to ski Mon-Thurs before headed down to the OC but Wed looked iffy and Thurs download terrible weather. Oh well, two good days and I planned on taking my time driving down south. Stopped at Convict Lake to look Laurel Mountain. Mmmmendenhall.

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    Thought maybe the low hanging fruit from the Hilton Lakes TH up Rock Creek might be softer now despite the clouds for a quick smash-and-grab ski. Nope, still rock hard so Max and I tucked tails and keep driving south. Got gas in Bishop and then the weather started getting a bit nicer south of town. Maybe Big Pine might have something doable? By the time I got to the Big Pine campground, the sun was out and Kidd Mountain was calling my name. It was already 9:30 so I'd have to hustle but as least the Kidd gullies above the trailhead are north facing. Starting hiking at 9:45 and this was the log over a raging creek as the crux move. I ended up taking my time and doing the pole-aided butt shuffle to avoid an early fail.

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    After 15 minutes of creek fun, the gullies were soon in my sites:

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    Mostly perfect booting conditions made for good progress and I was on top at 11:45. Just as I got there, a squall came in and it when from breezy sunshine to gale force snowstorm in a few minutes. I tucked my skis and pack behind a big rock and walked around the summit for a few minutes to check it out, only being blown over a couple times. This happy shot back down towards Max does not tell the tale of the gale!

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    Skiing was mostly good - firm at top, milder punchy below that, perfect corn in the middle, and little sloppy down low. Looking back up:

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    And then it cleared up as quickly as the snows came:

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    Decided to avoid the log crossing at the bottom and hiked all the way upstream to the bridge which took half and hour Should have just manned up for the log! Back at Max, I enjoyed the last of my stash on Mono Market burritos:

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    Reluctantly packed up and drove south with crazy headwinds all the way to Orange County. Already dreaming of my next trip but it looks like winter conditions for the next week might mean waiting until next year. Love, love, love the Sierras! Thanks everyone for the great beta and stoke in this thread all spring.

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