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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Verdi NV
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    8,879
    What's up doc. Thank You! That's a hell of a trip report. Dam. I spent over an hour going though that. I will most likely go through it again. Shame about being a dirty knee bending hippie. But you seem to make due 🤭
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    666
    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    No, i am just curious how many days other people can ski.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 8 Pro using Tapatalk
    I know, that’s what makes it even better!

    My dry humor doesn’t translate well to the Internet. I’m stoked that you are living your best life terrorizing Pyrenean couloirs on average every other day of the season. I bike toured through that area (the “circle of death” cols) in the mid-2000s before I started skiing. Hopefully I’ll make it back some spring with skis, beautiful zone.

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    666
    I skied the east face of Wood Saturday solo, but I was not alone:

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    I think five people dropped in before me and then I lost count of how many were making their way up still while I was descending.

    I skied the center chute at noon which was about right, maybe a hair late. I can’t say the skiing was great though, some kind of skied-out transitional mank. Perhaps all the traffic it’s seen this week has worked to prevent consolidation. When I could find nooks in the far sides of the chute that hadn’t been touched the snow was much better. Doing it over I’d ski another of the chutes instead.

    My usual partner was understandably not super excited to drive 12+ hours for the third weekend in a row and bailed on me, so not much in the way of photos.

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    Also, enlosandes’ story checks out: 50% discounted pizza magically achieved by showing my stupid wood selfie at the June Pie window.

    Hell yeah!

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    Thanks man!

    I won’t be able to make it back up until the last week of the month, so hopefully the sun stops shining until a couple days before then.

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    3,308
    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    I know, that’s what makes it even better!

    My dry humor doesn’t translate well to the Internet. I’m stoked that you are living your best life terrorizing Pyrenean couloirs on average every other day of the season. I bike toured through that area (the “circle of death” cols) in the mid-2000s before I started skiing. Hopefully I’ll make it back some spring with skis, beautiful zone.
    February and March are the best months. February is a bit busy, but nothing like squaw.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 8 Pro using Tapatalk

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe-ish
    Posts
    874

    Eastern Sierra Backcountry Thread 2020-21

    Quote Originally Posted by powdork View Post
    how is horse meadows road for the 4wd challenged (severely)?
    It’s fine with 2wd. Mostly a dirt road. Some small rocks but nothing significant.

    There was a good place to park on the left before the snow started.


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  6. #106
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe-ish
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    874
    Quote Originally Posted by MTT View Post
    What's up doc. Thank You! That's a hell of a trip report. Dam. I spent over an hour going though that. I will most likely go through it again. Shame about being a dirty knee bending hippie. But you seem to make due 🤭
    Thanks. Only my partner is a dirty knee bending hippie. I’m a clean and respectable AT skier.


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  7. #107
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,696
    Big Pine Report: Skiable, kind of.

    I efficiently dry hiked the first 4.5 miles up the North Fork until somewhere between Second and Third Lake.
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    The Palisades.
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    Not sure if you can see it in this grainy iPhone photo, but the top quarter of U-Notch is solid water ice.
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    NE Couloir on Mt. Sill peaking out.
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    Sill’s North Couloir was skiable windboard, sastrugi, and then firm refrozen crunchy snow at the top. It’s skiable and aesthetic, but it’s probably not going to be a ton of fun.
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    Sill’s NE Couloir was mostly smooth chalk with nothing approximating corn.
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    The problem with doing a loop is that you don’t know they way down if it isn’t obvious. The part of below the NW Couloir isn’t obvious. In retrospect, I should have taken the chute in the middle. But when I traversed above it, it rolled over out of sight and didn’t look like it went. So I tried the cliff band to the middle of this photo, which was a little scary. After a little poking around, I ended up committing to a 4th class down climb over a little exposure before escaping. I need to stop doing high Sierra solo tours.
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    The next 2,000 feet was moderately fun transitional snow, followed by unfun rotten snow and poor coverage for three or four miles below 10.5k for the rest of my South Fork return. In a good snow year, it might would have taken a leisurely couple hours to get back. But with the snow, crappy coverage, and route-finding issues, it took me 4-5 hours. I also stupdily broke two of my cardinal rules: (1) If at all unsure, follow the damned hiking trail. (2) Never follow snowshoe tracks.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,696
    Quote Originally Posted by whatsupdoc View Post
    I’m a clean and respectable AT skier.
    Only one of the three descriptors in this sentence is accurate.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    tahoe
    Posts
    3,291
    Sweet akb!......had some friends close to that zone this weekend and deep dark shady hallways are still holding pow......anything with even the smallest sun and wind exposure classic east side variability

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    In the sewers of Folsom
    Posts
    171
    Wow, just catching up on this thread. Great to see it coming alive!

    Doc, another great TR! Really descriptive and great pics as always. You could legit publish a book with your best photo’s. And not sure if he still reads this, but the same goes for BGnight.

    Chill, your line about “but now that we are all getting AARP discounts” made me laugh, but also think back and remember the days before TGR, before ttips, splitboard.com, when a young guy named Steelman and his buddy BCrider used to post on thebackcountry.net message board. Your posts there and Mike’s, &others, really got me to discover the BC. Good to see you’re still getting it, AARP discount and all 😊 And nice TR. Good work helping out other parties too.

    Jorion, if you’re partners bail on you in the future, feel free to shoot me a PM. We were on Gibbs the same day and had the mountain all by ourselves. No pizza discount, and ~1k ft of walking though... Might post some pics later.

    AKB – Nice tour! that pano of Temple is $$$. Can’t believe Unotch is already part ICE. Regarding: “(2) Never follow snowshoe tracks” they should put this in all ski guide books 😊 Hey, do you have any pics looking North/North west from Sill? or Nice thing about that zone is the easy path vs. schwack factor elsewhere...

    Man, was really surprised how fast things are changing down there… lots of stuff looked good last weekend had degraded significantly over just one week. Felt like in the past, you’d have melt off on ridges, & low elevation (<8k), but still have a deep snowpack that was slower to retreat >8000ft. This year, seems like everything is going together.

    According to Satellite, 120 is plowed/snow free up until ~1 mile from Ellery https://apps.sentinel-hub.com/sentin...howDates=false So maybe they’ll open it in 2 weeks to the park? Sonora is Leavitt lake junction. https://www.facebook.com/bridgeporta...02387933388298
    -

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    666
    *removes the u notch from list of potential things to ski this year*

    YES! Nice to see beta from farther south even if it isn’t necessarily super promising. Looks like a super fun day even if the ratio of 1:2 fun wasn’t totally optimal. Can’t wait to map your trip out and realize that it was 40 miles long with 10k’ of vert or something.

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    666
    Also the chute in the middle of that one pic doesn’t look super un-sketch either haha.

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,696
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. hankey View Post
    Hey, do you have any pics looking North/North west from Sill? or Nice thing about that zone is the easy path vs. schwack factor elsewhere...
    The second to last photo is the best one I have looking north or northwest from Sill. But there was a rock buttress in the saddle between the two couloirs that blocked much of the view to the north.

    The schwack factor is definitely low going up the North Fork. The South Fork, however, has a pretty high schwack factor.

    More beta: Tinemaha and Birch look pretty damned burnt. As does Tom. Basin is probably still skiable, but the bottom is going to burn out very soon. ESAC just posted a photo of a big wet slide in SE Baldwin, so I'd write that one off for the season (absent a big filler storm). Gibbs still goes, but the top is partially burnt and the bottom looks like it's going fast. At this point, I'm skeptical if there's going to be much if any of a May season in the Eastern Sierra.

    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    *removes the u notch from list of potential things to ski this year*

    YES! Nice to see beta from farther south even if it isn’t necessarily super promising. Looks like a super fun day even if the ratio of 1:2 fun wasn’t totally optimal. Can’t wait to map your trip out and realize that it was 40 miles long with 10k’ of vert or something.
    The Palisades are still great and the approach on the North Fork is fine. You could still probably ski Thunderbolt and Sill, although the clock is ticking. I wouldn't recommend anything up the South Fork beyond Kid.

    Nice job on Wood, btw.

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    1
    All,

    Going to be in the Mammoth area April 16-19 showing some old friends the ski area. Will be free the 19th and looking for a quick tour in the area. For those that have been up recently, are any of the lines closer to June Lake/Mammoth Crest still in this time of year?

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    13,914

    Eastern Sierra Backcountry Thread 2020-21

    Went for a little tour out of horse meadows road today. Things were a bit more burned out than last week and the next higher up parking spot was already taken so I hopped on the bike to avoid walking back downhill. Being my first time there I spent some time dry tooling and skinshwacking my way up to right around 9k when the knee didn’t want to skin any more (it doesn’t like the inefficient motion of the tracker/guardian nor the weight of the setup). Also Nacho was waiting back in the van so my time was limited. Bonus boulder waiting back at the car.

    https://youtu.be/h_VMp2fFTiU

    Watched a couple folks climb and ski the shot in the center off East Peak.
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  16. #116
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    61
    Finally I have something to contribute. Little slide thin, but was certainly passable. Hulk runs looked pretty grim. The snow was mostly transitional or wind board but the company and the location more than made up for it.

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  17. #117
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    In the sewers of Folsom
    Posts
    171
    nice, Powdork, Boulderbreak!

    What's the snow line at twin lakes right now? how deep is the snow, etc?

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    In the sewers of Folsom
    Posts
    171
    Some pics from Gibbs from last saturday (4/3):


    Gibbs: road is permanently blocked at ~7500ft. We were able to ski down to ~8200ft, which is 2+ miles walk to the car with willowy fun involved (many can be avoided by traversing right on the climb. From 12.5k down to 10k we had what I think was windboard that had corned on the top 1-2 inches. Supportable to zig zag up the slope on crampons without sinking in (mostly) and skiied ok. 20ft section of rock to walk at the rollover @12.2k. Not great corn, but fun. Below 10k, it was heavy mush. We hit it around 12:30. Overall, really not bad since we had the mountain to ourselves, vs. nearby options (kidney/wood), that had the train run on them that day😊 . I’d guess Gibbs would be skiable to 9k+ next weekend, and maybe more rock obstacle's.
    Someone asked for June conditions, this is near by and shows coverage on the flats and or easterly aspects. Northerly aspects still had snow down to the car at 8.5k (not consistent, but patches). hope this helps.

    According to Satellite, 120 is plowed/snow free up until ~1 mile from Ellery https://apps.sentinel-hub.com/sentin...howDates=false
    So maybe they’ll open it in 2 weeks to the park? Sonora is at Leavitt lake junction. Edit to fix link: https://www.facebook.com/VisitEasternSierra
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  19. #119
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    61
    Snow down to about lake level at twin lakes parking only on north facing terrain everything else cooked off. Maybe around foot deep with the usual variability. The walk up along Robinson creek was about 50:50 snow/ice patches and dirt which made for fine hiking in the morning (frozen) and heinous post holing on the way out. Creek crossing was fine and the swamp was decently covered to pass through without any problems. Seemed like the Horse creek drainage would be a lot easier to approach, but we didn't go up there so can't say for sure.

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    In the sewers of Folsom
    Posts
    171
    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderBreak View Post
    Snow down to about lake level at twin lakes parking only on north facing terrain everything else cooked off. Maybe around foot deep with the usual variability. The walk up along Robinson creek was about 50:50 snow/ice patches and dirt which made for fine hiking in the morning (frozen) and heinous post holing on the way out. Creek crossing was fine and the swamp was decently covered to pass through without any problems. Seemed like the Horse creek drainage would be a lot easier to approach, but we didn't go up there so can't say for sure.
    Thank you

  21. #121
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,696
    Well done, mr. hankey, Powdork, and Boulderbreak!

    Powdork, looks like the party submitted a wet slide observation to ESAC.

    Heading down there tomorrow night with a young one. Looks there'll be good overnight freezes and warmish day temps (low 40's). Anyone want to guess the best descent time for high-elevation south-ish facing? I'm guessing 10-11 a.m.?

  22. #122
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    13,914

    Eastern Sierra Backcountry Thread 2020-21

    Yup that was them. They’re timing is a bit off though they didn’t summit til shortly afternoon. I took this at 11:52 and they had just past the bottom of the center rock rib
    From a distance the slide looked like a newly formed runnel in the center


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  23. #123
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by AKbruin View Post
    Well done, mr. hankey, Powdork, and Boulderbreak!

    Powdork, looks like the party submitted a wet slide observation to ESAC.

    Heading down there tomorrow night with a young one. Looks there'll be good overnight freezes and warmish day temps (low 40's). Anyone want to guess the best descent time for high-elevation south-ish facing? I'm guessing 10-11 a.m.?
    Not the highest elevation (11k), but I toured the Negatives last Sunday and we poked around the different aspects on the ridge to see what was softening up first. East aspect was plenty soft by 10:30 am where we did our first lap. And the skin up hourglass at 9:30 was soft where no ski crampons were needed.

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