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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eastside Til I Die
    Posts
    2,236
    Pine Creek area

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    ((. The joy I get from skiing...
    .))
    ((. That's worth living for.
    .))

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,706
    how about a reminder. When does corn season start?
    off your knees Louie

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eastside Til I Die
    Posts
    2,236
    Hopefully not for 3-4 months
    ((. The joy I get from skiing...
    .))
    ((. That's worth living for.
    .))

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    499
    Looks good back there frush. We were looking at going in to pine creek, but the road was closed. Poked up it a ways, only a single plow width had been cleared so we did other stuff.

    Big Pine area Friday


    Around Convict saturday




  5. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eastside Til I Die
    Posts
    2,236
    From Basin:

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    Convict Creek:

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    McGee Creek:

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    ((. The joy I get from skiing...
    .))
    ((. That's worth living for.
    .))

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    June Lake
    Posts
    2,626
    Quote Originally Posted by thefrush View Post
    From Basin:

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    Convict Creek:

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    McGee Creek:

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    You cover some ground kid. The wind sculpting in the alpine is nutty. Its gonna be an amazing spring on the East Side!

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eastside Til I Die
    Posts
    2,236
    It was a good week! About 40K of touring. Yes, Spring is going to be amazing.
    ((. The joy I get from skiing...
    .))
    ((. That's worth living for.
    .))

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    here & there
    Posts
    1,404
    Right on, great shots & thanks for the beta. Traded north upslope wind for North offshore wind the past week or so but will poking around the rest of the month so maybe I'll run into ya
    "In a perfect world I'd have all 10 fingers on my left hand, so I could just use my right hand for punching."

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099
    I've been fortunate enough to have spent a few days down on the east side the past 2 weeks. Here are some pics. It's fantastic to have a deep snow pack back in CA.

    Day 1 was Jan 24 with somethingclever and 1 other. We decided to ski the E Gully of the Wheeler Crest above Swall Meadows. The E and N winds had done a number on the snow, so the skiing was mostly variable. We did have a couple thousand feet of smooth supportable wind board, which skied quite well. There was a bit of soft snow here and there, but also plenty of breakable and wind affected snow. Still, a beautiful day in a new zone to all of us, so no complaints.

    We were able to skin from Swall Meadows and ski right back to the vehicles:

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    The climb went pretty smoothly. Ski crampons were mandatory. We transitioned to boots for a long section of supportable crust, only to be forced back to skins by breakable wind board over deep soft snow. 1 final transition to boots had us on top.

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    The ski down was challenging at times, but as mentioned previously, the long sections of supportable crust were edgeable and skied quite well. somethingclever in the black jacket.

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  10. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
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    One more pic from day 1:

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    Day 2 was the following day, we headed to Lee Vining to ski above V Bowl. We added 1 snowboarder to the crew. We had our eye on possibly skiing the E Gully of East Peak, but settled on one of the Fruit Chutes after getting below them. The skiing was better than the day prior, but still a bit variable. The chute itself was mostly supportable wind board. There was some awful sastrugi at the very top and some pockets of soft snow, but the wind board was edgeable and skied well enough. We did a short skin up to ski all of V Bowl. V Bowl was fun. Mostly soft snow with some occasional wind crust and frozen tracks beneath to keep us honest.

    Morning light on the Dana Plateau:

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    Going up:

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    Going down:

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    A short skin up to get amazing views of the Plateau chutes:

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    Good skiing in V Bowl:

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  11. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099
    Aaaaand, back at the car:

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    Day 3 for me was Monday January 30. It had snowed just before heading down there, and it was forecasted to be very cold. We decided on the June Lake area as it would afford us a variety of options and safe terrain below treeline. We got lucky as June had more snow than anywhere it seems during that last storm. There was 8-12 inches of fresh, very light snow, and pretty much zero wind effect where we were skiing. Only 1 of us has an Ikon Pass, so we couldn't get a lift bump. Thus, we skinned up Yost Creek towards Hemlock Mountain. We skied some NE facing trees on lap 1. Lap 2 was similar terrain, although we snuck into a steeper gully for the second half of the run. The snow was excellent. Dust on crust, but the dust was pretty deep and light, and sometimes the snow felt bottomless. No avy concerns besides loose sluffs. Lap 3 was in the Ghost Trees and then back down to the cars. Stellar day with no bad turns.

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  12. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099
    After a brief respite in Tahoe, I drove back down for what we hoped was going to be a big day on Wednesday Feb 1. I was joined by somethingclever and 2 split boarders. We had our eye on Scheelite Chute in Pine Creek. It's a line I've always wanted to ski. It seems notorious for being difficult to find it in good conditions. It has a tendency to shed when it warms up. When I drove past it to give it a look in 2017, it had massive amounts of avy debris at its base. We were hoping to find a couple of inches of soft snow on crust, but not too much new snow given that it was going to warm up for the first time since the last storm. We were fortunate to have pretty damn good conditions on the line. The steeper, upper chute to the ridge was mostly firm, with some pockets of softer snow. After the steeper upper section, it gave way to a couple inches of pow or hot pow on a stout crust. There was still a small amount of debris to dodge, but overall the conditions were great, especially for such a big line. It has more than 6K relief from bottom to top.

    The ascent went quickly until the steeper, upper chute. The booting up here was exhausting, but we topped out surprisingly in under 6 hours. After a brief rest and transition, we began our descent, all of us with tired legs. It was the biggest day all season for every one of us. We were elated however when we reached the car and realized we had scored with such a cool line in pretty damn good conditions.

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    Booting:

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    Topping out:

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  13. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099
    Views from the top looking west:

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    Descending the upper couloir:

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  14. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099
    Descending the lower chute:

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    Sending conditions in Pine Creek:

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  15. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099
    My last day was the day after Scheelite. We lost 1 split boarder to family duties. We were tired and settled on a mellower day on McGee Mountain. None of us had ever skied there. It was a fun day for sure in new terrain. Lots of options on McGee. We skied one of the NE bowls. The top was nice dust on crust. We did 2 laps on the upper mountain. The middle was highly variable. We found good snow again on the lower mountain and skied right back to the vehicles. When attempting to start the drive home I realized I had left my lights on and my battery was dead. After a jump start from somethingclever we all drove home to Tahoe, quite satisfied with a fine trip down south.

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  16. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,706
    looks great, big lines. Planning on being there for month of April. Hope I can still do 6000 in a day. Do they plow the road all the way to the Pine creek trailhead parking lot?
    off your knees Louie

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    4,726
    Nice

    Sent from my moto g 5G using Tapatalk

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
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    1,099
    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    looks great, big lines. Planning on being there for month of April. Hope I can still do 6000 in a day. Do they plow the road all the way to the Pine creek trailhead parking lot?
    We didn't drive past Scheelite but it was plowed to there and looked to be plowed all the way to the mine. Pine Creek Rd is one of the roads that typically remains plowed through the winter, although not always immediately after big storms.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,706
    thanks, last time down there was not well researched. Enjoy your photos.
    off your knees Louie

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    386
    Hello everyone, looking for advice on when to plan a trip to the Eastern Sierra this spring. Would you generally pick the month of April or May for an extended trip?

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted26 View Post
    Hello everyone, looking for advice on when to plan a trip to the Eastern Sierra this spring. Would you generally pick the month of April or May for an extended trip?
    I'd say mid-April to mid-May would be the sweet spot. If I had to choose one calendar month, I'd personally vote for April. Deeper snowpack, some of the cool lower elevation lines still might be in, better overnight freezes. Most roads into the mountains open fully by the last weekend in April, "Fishmas," so that's a consideration as well (with the exception of Tioga Pass and Sonora Pass which is variable but will almost certainly be in May this year with the deeper snowpack). In early April you might not be able to drive to every trailhead. By late May things are much more burned off and you're a little more limited to the higher passes and deeper tours. By late May many tours will require some dry walking, which isn't a big deal, it's common around here, but it's something to consider. Hope that helps.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    here & there
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    1,404
    whatsupdoc fucking crushing it...I'm more of a 2000ft/day guy

    found me a nice honey hole yesterday....

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    "In a perfect world I'd have all 10 fingers on my left hand, so I could just use my right hand for punching."

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099
    I had the opportunity to spend a few days on the east side again last week. Here are some pics and a brief TR. It was an adventure on an east side giant sandwiched by 2 shorter days of great pow skiing.

    Day 1 was Wednesday Feb 8. I was joined by a buddy from Tahoe. We skied Mono Jim Peak aka Mini Morrison. We set out from Convict Lake with the intention of skiing the Airport Chutes on McGee but the NE aspect of Mini Morrison looked better, so we called an audible. It was a beautiful bluebird day. It was an easy skin up Old Man's Bowl and we reached the summit of Mono Jim Peak without incident. A short rock scramble had us at the start of the skiing. We negotiated a short steep rutted pitch to get to the goods. The NE aspect was holding excellent pow. We began our descent, working skier's right over a small ridge to get a long section of completely untracked pow. The skiing was awesome. We contemplated another lap but we had some bigger plans for the next day, and the crowds were starting to show up, so we called it early, content with 1 excellent lap of pow skiing. Even the turns back to the parking lot were good.

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    Good look at the Pinner on Laurel:

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    Skiing:

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    At the bottom of the run. Our tracks are looker's left here:

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    Last edited by whatsupdoc; 02-15-2023 at 02:19 PM.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099

    Eastern Sierra BC 2022-23

    Day 2 was the following day, February 9. We had our eyes on the NE Couloir of Lone Pine Peak. It's a line I've always wanted to do. It's not feasible in lower snow years, so this seemed like a good time to give it a go. The two of us were joined by claymond and his lady friend. We were hiking by 5 am. We had minimal dry walking before skinning. Getting to the mouth of the canyon was easy. LPP is said to have one of the more challenging approaches on the east side in the Greenberg/Mingori guidebook. I'd say this is pretty accurate. Only Williamson was worse in my experience (although it was worse by a large margin).

    We followed an old skin track up on the north side of the canyon. We knew we'd have to start traversing into the canyon itself sooner or later. When we couldn't get much higher we began the trek into the canyon. It's a very narrow canyon with cliffs down low above the water for large portions, so you have to traverse pretty high above the water itself for a ways before the canyon opens up. At this point we took off our skis and did a combination of walking on dirt and snow for a ways. Some post-holing above a cliff band took us to a point where we could put skins back on.

    A brief section of easy skinning led to challenging skinning while traversing high above the river canyon. At the end of the day when exiting the other side of the canyon, we realized we were above exposure for most of that traverse. Some ups and downs led us further into the canyon. We did 1 descent that in retrospect was unnecessary. We skiers just down-stepped with ski crampons in place while claymond and his partner had to transition since they were on split boards. We separated here into 2 groups of 2, not really meeting up again until the summit.

    Finally after a bit more sidehilling, we were on easier ground. We began the long process of skinning up the gully. We were in the shade the entire day, and there was often a light to moderate down slope breeze, so we were all colder than expected. Additionally, the gully is consistently steep without many flat benches for breaks. This is one reason why we didn't meet up again until the summit, it was too cold to stop for very long.

    We skinned several thousand vert with the help of ski crampons. The split boarders had a harder time following the steep track. They transitioned to boots before us 2 skiers. About 1500 feet below the summit we transitioned to boots and began the booter to the top. The snow up until this point was mostly variable wind effect, but the snow up higher became softer and more consistent. We slowly worked our way up to the sneaker chute that bends right to the summit itself. The snow here before the final chute was excellent pow.

    The top sneaker chute was much more variable. It has a more E aspect. It was very firm with plenty of large wind sculpted sastrugi features and wind lips. We knew it would be challenging skiing but it seemed edgeable so we continued on. Unfortunately about 50 vertical feet below the top we encountered a choke with a bunch of exposed rocks. Also, the snow around the rocks was pretty awful, mostly rotten facets around the rocks with a small strip of bulletproof ice to the climber's left. We paused here for a while, contemplating what to do. It was clear this choke was not skiable. Too many rocks, especially with the rotten facets that barely covered other rocks. The climbing here was challenging as well. claymond and his partner caught up to us here. We tried going left but it was really bulletproof and sketchy with only 1 ice tool and aluminum crampons. We then tried going straight through the rocks but were shut down by rotten snow. Finally we went far right and the snow was just supportable enough to hold some steps, aided by some rocks to grab onto. I even threw in a gloved hand jam for 1 move. We agreed to continue to the summit and then down climb below this section on the way back. Delicate climbing over steep snow and rocks led up past the choke and to the summit.

    We were very happy to finally be in the sun. Views were excellent. We took a short break, but couldn't wait too long as we had lost time messing around at the top. We all carefully down climbed about 100 vertical feet. After we had cleared the rocks, we dug out platforms and transitioned. I was mildly disappointed to have not been able to ski the entire way, but I was happy with our effort and feel like we ticked the line. We topped out and skied from the highest reasonable place, only down climbing about 100 vertical feet.

    The top couloir was survival skiing: careful jump turns on 45 degree very firm snow and delicate sliding over big wind lips. After all of us cleared the top couloir, we let out a sigh of relief and began the fun part. The next 1500 feet or so was awesome pow skiing. This gave way to increasingly variable wind affected snow. Negotiating the punchy snow below was taxing, especially with light skis and tired legs (the split boarders had an easier time here), but we gradually made our way down.

    We decided to exit on the south side of canyon. It looked snowy the entire way and there seemed to be a slight ramp we could follow out. We kept as a high a line as possible. It was definitely a challenging exit. The snow was bottomless facets and there were seemingly infinite trees, boulders, and cliff bands to negotiate. We did 1 short skin to gain some elevation back, but in retrospect this was unnecessary. After a while of uncertainty we finally traversed out of the canyon onto flat ground. Some low elevation sage dodging led us to a dirt road. We crossed a creek and walked back to the vehicles, exhausted but elated. It was 11:58 car to car. Not a record by any means, but we were moving the entire day. After celebratory beers claymond and his lady drove back to their hotel and my friend and I drove to a campground and crashed in our vehicles. It was a memorable adventure with good friends.
    Last edited by whatsupdoc; 02-15-2023 at 03:46 PM.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,099
    Bushwacking in the dark:

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    Skinning into the canyon:

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    Finally on easier ground:

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