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  1. #1776
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    209
    Nice AKbruin! Rad that you got 3rd Pillar in great conditions, in the middle of freakin' JUNE no less! For comparison, here's a picture from the end of April (APRIL!!!) 2013:



    Next time it looks that nasty you can casually say, "yeah I skiied that a while ago, it was easy..."

    My inner eastside geek feels the need to point out a couple of errors:

    Quote Originally Posted by AKbruin View Post
    I think this is Liberty. It looks great and almost skiable without a rappel.
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    That is not Liberty. It's only a few feet away from the entrance to Liberty though, so you get a pass. But don't ever think about actually dropping into that, unless you want some serious airtime. That chute is "Sucker Chute Between 3rd Pillar And Liberty That Looks Great Up Top But Ends In A Big-Ass Cliff". So you'd still need a rappel... just at the bottom!

    Ran into Jack Burton and his crew (and Jorion?) at the bottom for some beer, followed by a Jolly Kone stop.
    That's not Jolly Kone, that's "Sucker Jolly Kone That Looks Like Jolly Kone But Is Actually MONO Cone".

    (unless things have changed recently and I didn't notice...)

    All in all, conditions are unbelievably good for mid-June (mid-June!), although I suspect they will deteriorate rapidly in the coming week.
    Doh, I guess all good seasons must... move to Shasta?? You get a look at Saddlebag road? Wondering if that's starting to melt out yet. I heard the TPR folks bought Saddlebag Lake Resort, and were planning to take over the boat taxi operation, but no idea if/when that will happen. I imagine any plowing of that road isn't gonna happen like it has in recent years. Also word on the street was TPR (which was closed all last year due to winter damage) may still not open this summer...

  2. #1777
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,732
    On Friday, saddlebag road had about a meter of snow at the intersection with 120. Or maybe was Thursday

    I'm skiing so much that the days are blending in

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  3. #1778
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    In the sewers of Folsom
    Posts
    112
    We went up saddlebag a little bit yesterday. in the first quarter to half mile, it had drifts of up to 5 feet in places, and some places bare road. but most of it had 2+ ft. I'd bet if they let it melt out naturally, the drifts will keep it from opening until late june/early july. The lake is still frozen.

  4. #1779
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,732
    Frozen like you could skin on it, or sketchy?

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  5. #1780
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    In the sewers of Folsom
    Posts
    112
    Great posts, Gopher, AKBruin, Jorion, (and jimW for your beta pics from last week).

    Here's some pics from the weekend:
    Saturday - did the Solstice to Ellery link up. Solstice was great corn at ~10:40 or so. Good entry with no airtime necessary. Other than a 10-15 min climb on rocks to regain the plateau, you could skin all the way to the top of Ellery/chute out, etc. Coverage from the park entrance is still great with 1-2 ft (skin from the car). Could skin to Solstice the whole way on snow. We looked at Chute out, but if failed the snowball test at 12pm (still too hard), so we did Ellery instead. The Northerly entry was still hard(super glad we didn't ski Chute out at that time) but we transitioned to the more Easterly side and it was great corn (noon ish). Eric - great skiing w/ya on Sat. PM me if you want more pics of ya.

    Sunday - skinned to the top of the Conness Summit Plateau, dropped the ski's and climbed the West Ridge. Great coverage with 2+ feet still on the flats/could ski all the way to the car. Took a bit longer than planned, but the re-freeze corn was awesome at ~5:30pm. For all the climbers/backpackers out there with plans for above Tuolumne meadows in late June/early July - there's a ton of snow back there(see pics!). Skeeters starting to come out at night, at least where we car camped by the Saddlebag lake parking lot. Rod- don't know about the supportability of Sbag lake. We didn't go there. But see a pic from the summit of Conness below. Sun cups/runnels are starting to form in lower elevations.


    Saturday 6/8:
    Looking west from Dana - tons of snow near Tuolumne
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    Solstice:
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    Great coverage to get to the plateau still:
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    Chute out:
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    Ellery:
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    Powerhouse:
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    Sunday 6/9:
    Looking south towards Ellery/Dana, false white, White. Great coverage - ski to/from the car.
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    Cirque below Conness Summit plateau:

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    Conness Summit plateau
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    Looking SW towards Tuolumne,Matthes crest, Cathedral, Half dome, etc...
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    West ridge of Conness:
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    We were able to stay off snow the whole time by climbing the ridge crest except for one 4ft down climb from a tower notch on snow that we actually pitched out. Definitely wanted to stay out of the gully w/all that snow above.
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    View of the access/descent gully from the plateau- rocks weren't bad even in ski boots, snowfield was fine w/axe, never put on crampons
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    Looking East from Conness summit - Sbag lake still frozen
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    The summit walk off was a bit more spicy with snow and 1000+ft drop off on either side. We did a running belay with super solid rock anchors(60M rope needed) since we had the gear anyway... My Tinemaha slide experience earlier this year made me a little more cautious about slide consequences, especially with a 4pm descent.
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    Great re-freeze corn at ~5:30 pm. Could ski all the way to the car by staying on the West side of the river (non Sbag road side). So much faster off the summit plateau when you ski vs. summer time.
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    Great season in the Sierra. Still many weeks of great skiing left, but for me it's shasta-time going forward.
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  6. #1781
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    12,529
    sweet post poo-man!
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  7. #1782
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,732
    Great, thanks for all the info.

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  8. #1783
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tahoe City
    Posts
    646

    Eastside Conditions Thread

    Great to see a bunch of people out having fun! Solstice fun, while we were sitting

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    watching the Lemurians gather skiing info we counted 9 descenders in Dana at once - gang ski at it's finest, all reports were perfect corn.

    Same result as AK in Chute Out, looked like a speedy entrance to quick deceleration under a teethy cornice, alternate was a nice ski as well!
    Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see, besides it's all in the reflexes.

  9. #1784
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,592
    Great stuff, Mr. Hankey! Very cool that you summitted!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimw View Post
    That is not Liberty. It's only a few feet away from the entrance to Liberty though, so you get a pass. But don't ever think about actually dropping into that, unless you want some serious airtime. That chute is "Sucker Chute Between 3rd Pillar And Liberty That Looks Great Up Top But Ends In A Big-Ass Cliff". So you'd still need a rappel... just at the bottom!
    Damn. So, is Liberty to the looker's left or right of the line in my photo?

  10. #1785
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    788
    Awesome looking adventure on Conness Mr. Hankey!

  11. #1786
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    528
    Very cool; I’m not a climber and it took me a while to figure out that one climbs the west ridge vs the east ridge for aesthetic purposes. At first my lizard brain was confused why you would pass by the perfectly fine looking east ridge. A little googling and I see that the west ridge is one of the most highly regarded “moderate” ascents in the Sierra.

  12. #1787
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Marin born -> Chico State -> CH -> France -> Truckee
    Posts
    466
    V notch still goes. Transitioning to its climbing state though. Super firm neve ascent, waited up top for 2+ hours for it to “soften” up, and had edge-able but sporty snow the whole way down. Palisades are looking beautiful. Consistent snow from 3rd lake up. Pics from June 9. The schrund was the physical crux of the climb, and the cornice at the top was the mental crux. Multiple nights of freezing temps prior to our climb and a nice hard refreeze the night before gave us the push to run up it quick though...I’d be hard pressed to put myself under any hanging snow again this season with the temps we’ve been seeing since.

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    Attachment 285417

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    http://skivino.com

    IG @Jskierpx

    "Can switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?"

    "Do people really call 911 thinking they will get seen faster in the ER?"

  13. #1788
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    In the sewers of Folsom
    Posts
    112
    Wow, great job on Vnotch jskierpx!!! A 55 degree slope of "edgeable but sporty" sounds scary Nicely done.

  14. #1789
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    147
    Nice Mr Hankey! I recall a similar trip 13 years ago this month. Man we are gettin old!

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  15. #1790
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Cali-for-ni-a
    Posts
    285
    Report from Solstice Couloir on Mt. Dana to Powerhouse Chutes yesterday.

    Really fun.

    That tongue of snow down to Poole Power Plant - it's days are limited...


    Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: Mt. Dana’s Solstice Couloir + Powerhouse Chutes
    'on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me,....which is nice!

  16. #1791
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    7
    Has anyone been up in Onion Valley recently? Any reports?

  17. #1792
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    1,924
    Quote Originally Posted by justinthomas View Post
    Has anyone been up in Onion Valley recently? Any reports?
    Friend skied there this weekend - skied E and N aspects on University and reported great corn. Bottom pitch to TH is almost melted out.

    Sick TRs from the W Ridge of Conness (yeah!!) and V Notch - ultra classicck.

    Gopher, Connery sending the Solstice cornice is sweet - his first turn after that must have been a doozer!

  18. #1793
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    788
    Quote Originally Posted by justinthomas View Post
    Has anyone been up in Onion Valley recently? Any reports?

    Skied the N side of University last Thursday. About a 20 minute dry hike to snow in that direction. Still plenty of coverage up high. Steeper N skied well but everthing else quickly went to mush with the poor overnight freeze.

  19. #1794
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    788
    I spent 5 days on the E side last week. Here's some photos. It was likely my last skiing for the season. This year was one for the books. So many memorable days.

    Day 1 was last Tuesday. We had planned on maybe doing a multi-day trip out of Onion Valley but warm temps had us changing plans to day trips. The overnight freeze was very poor the first few days of the trip. Anything but steep N was pretty much cooked by 9 am, maybe earlier.

    We started at Tioga. We started by skiing Unknown Chute off Dana. Fortunately we started early. Even before 9 am Unknown was borderline too warm. It was easy to slide in from skier's right. We moved quickly, not wanting to hang out too long beneath the massive cornices on a warm day. The chute was mostly good corn. It got pretty mushy down low but the upper 2/3 was good corn. After this we popped up to the plateau. We skied the alternate entrance to Chute Out before 11 am. The main entrance didn't look good. The top 1/2 of the chute skied well, pretty good corn. The bottom 1/2 was a mixture of too-soft corn in the sun and somewhat crusty snow in the shade. After getting out of the chute we got out of the mush and found some decent corn far skier's right down the rest of Ellery to the dam. Despite the warm temps it was still a great start.

    Skinning up Dana:

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    Top of Unknown:

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    Skiing Unknown:

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    Last edited by whatsupdoc; 06-12-2019 at 02:04 PM.

  20. #1795
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    788
    Getting back up to the plateau:

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    Alt. entrance to Chute Out:

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  21. #1796
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    788
    Day 2 we stuck around Tioga Pass. It was another night of poor overnight temps and a bad freeze. We woke up early and skinned up Saddlebag Lake Rd. to the Conness/North Peak zone.

    We started by skiing the Y Couloir on Conness. Snow in the couloir was mostly good corn. The minute we hit the lower-angle apron it turned to mush. We traversed skier's right for some better snow down to Conness Lakes. After Conness we decided to give North Peak a go. Skinning up the sunny side of North Peak was difficult so we proceeded to boot. It was an ass-kicker, booting in direct sun. But we ultimately made it up to the notch and skied the N couloir of North Peak at 11:30 am. Snow was good in the chute, soft spring snow. The apron and way out was once again mush. But it was worth it for 2 great lines.

    Skinning on Saddlebag Lake. I stayed off the lake. My partner skinned on the lake (but near the shore). He heard 1 crack and proceeded to get off the lake.

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    Getting into the Conness Lakes zone:

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    Approaching the Y:

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    Booting:

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    Views from the top of the couloir:

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    Skiing the Y on Conness:

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    Last edited by whatsupdoc; 06-12-2019 at 02:06 PM.

  22. #1797
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Tahoe
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    788
    OK corn turns down to Conness Lakes:

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    Booting up North Peak:

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    Skiing North Peak. We dropped in at 11:30 am and conditions were good.

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    Back at Saddlebag Lake:

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  23. #1798
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Tahoe
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    788
    Day 3 we headed down to Onion Valley and went for the N side of University Peak. Overnight temps were once again warm and the freeze was once again poor, although slightly better than the previous 2 days. It was about a 20 minute dry hike to snow. We ascended the climber's left side of the N face until we hit talus at about 13K. I wanted to go to the summit and this seemed like the best way to the top. I tried scrambling to the summit from here (my partner hung back) but I got turned around by a few inches of sugary snow on top of a rock slab that didn't seem worth it. So I down climbed to our high point and we skied from there. It was really good corn on the N face itself. Once we hit the lower angle apron everything once again turned to mush. Like the previous days, it was worth it for the good turns above.

    Dry hiking above Onion Valley:

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    Skinning above Onion Valley:

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    Booting:

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    Skiing:

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    Back at our shoes:

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  24. #1799
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Tahoe
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    788
    Day 4 we headed north to South Lake. We set out to ski Mt. Johnson. I'd done it once before but wanted to see if it went to the summit this time. Overnight temps were somewhat better, freeze was stronger than the previous 3 days. It was much cloudier and windier than expected. We got above the first set of Treasure Lakes early and realized there was no way N aspects would soften anytime soon. So we called an audible and decided to head for Mt. Goode. We figured we could probably make it there before it got baked. We headed over a col above Treasure Lakes and skied firm snow down to Saddlerock Lake. A long climb around the corner brought us below the SE face of Mt. Goode. It was windy as hell and still cloudy by the time we reached the summit. Summit views were fantastic. We killed a little time but got impatient and skied at 11:30. It was still firm for the upper half of the face, but it was smooth and consistent and skied well. The lower 1/2 of the face all the way down to Saddlerock Lake was money corn. Another climb back up to the same col and we skied good corn down to Treasure Lakes. It was sticky below that but no complaints as we had skied a lot of good snow and had reached a great summit.

    Sunrise at South Lake:

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    Morning light at South Lake:

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    Getting up to the col:

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Size:	1.23 MB 
ID:	285600

    At the col:

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Views:	36 
Size:	1.45 MB 
ID:	285601

    Climbing from Saddlerock Lake to Mt. Goode:

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Views:	37 
Size:	1.05 MB 
ID:	285602
    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	38 
Size:	1.37 MB 
ID:	285603
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Views:	36 
Size:	1.37 MB 
ID:	285604
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Views:	36 
Size:	1.29 MB 
ID:	285605

    Booting:

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Views:	35 
Size:	772.3 KB 
ID:	285606

    Short scramble to the summit:

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	34 
Size:	1.83 MB 
ID:	285607

  25. #1800
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    788
    Skiing Goode:

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	35 
Size:	776.8 KB 
ID:	285608
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Views:	38 
Size:	1.24 MB 
ID:	285609
    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	35 
Size:	1.28 MB 
ID:	285611
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Views:	35 
Size:	1,005.0 KB 
ID:	285612
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Views:	39 
Size:	934.7 KB 
ID:	285613

    Climbing back up to the col:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7592.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	1.40 MB 
ID:	285614

    Back on the other side of the col, skating around one of the lakes. The aforementioned col is in the background.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7649.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	1.04 MB 
ID:	285615

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