05-09-2006, 09:37 AM #1
The Price is Right - A Westside TR 5/6/2006
The Price is Right - 5/6/2006
Ever since I started backpacking in Desolation Wilderness I’ve wanted to ski the western-most peaks of the Crystal Range. Access to this area is basically cutoff during the winter months due to no snow removal on the road/s leading into Wrights Lake. By the time the roads melts out…so has the snow on the peaks.
The standard approach to the Crystal Range in the winter is either from Rocky Canyon on HWY 50, via Echo Lakes to Lake Aloha, or from the trailheads on HWY 89. The latter typically require an overnight agenda.
While Pyramid Peak sits at the southern end of the range and sees the most skier traffic the more northerly peaks on the range like Mt. Agassiz and Mt. Price see much less traffic. I’d been on Pyramid previously so the natural instinct was to check out Mt Price and Mt Agassiz.
With a combination of family obligations for Friday night and Sunday-day my window of opportunity would fall on Saturday. I considered pulling a marathon drive to the Eastside for a daytrip but with high gas prices and a Crystal Range trailhead less than 60milesaway from my doorstep, I decided to finally scratch the Westside itch.
First things first though…the kids had Open House Friday night.
They’re both growing like weeds and doing great, I’m a proud Papa.
After Open House I headed up the hill to meet mmcpheet and Roman at Strawberry Lodge. Matt had gone up earlier in the day to pick up our secret weapon for the Westside approach………a snowmobile. Special thanks to JayTe!!!
At the lodge we enjoyed some last minute grease and beverages.
I got to see my Kings get eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs too.
Then if was off on our mission. We drove about 2miles up the Wrights Lake road to the snowline and started shuttling our gear up the road.
Mmcpheet and Roman head off into the darkness.
While I make some sandwiches on a makeshift table…..see, snowboards are good for something.
After a couple miles we set up our camp.
mmcpheet shows the latest in ultra-light bc gear. The “Ricardo” personal duffle bag. It comes in at 9lbs 6oz and holds 1400 cubic inches.
Before we knew it the time was 12:30am and our alarm was set for 5am, nothing like a full night of sleep. :?
Morning came quickly (no surprise) and at 5:30am we found ourselves getting ready to loose our “snowmobile-skier” virginity. :mrgreen:
Here goes nothing….I hope this works.
It actually went pretty smooth considering two of us were on the sled with one person towing. Roman was on the back of the sled and got bucked off a couple times (priceless). Matt’s arms got tired too from holding on to the rope but since he was a skier we wouldn’t let him on the sled and he stuck it out. Luckily it was only 7 miles or so.
We reached Wrights Lake and got our first good look at the Westside of the Crystal Range. Our objective is just behind the pointy peak in the looker’s right side of the photo.
Here is the view in summer…
and even a painting.
We continued on past the lake to the wilderness boundary where we planned to stash the sled for the day.
We found a good spot and had some breakfast before switching to self-propelled mode.
We got a rare view of the Desolation SickBird and heard the familiar “caw, caw”….it must be a sign of good things to come. 8)
The springtime sun was quickly rising and it was time to get moving.
Getting closer…near Grouse Lake.
The snowpack is still pretty deep in places......don't fall in! :shock:
Some glide cracks are starting to open up too.
The west facing runs above Smith Lake.
Just above Smith Lake we came across this. It looks like it was from a cornice break…probably last week when we had the rapid warming.
It was a huge piece of snow and left behind a large swath in its path.
Roman making his way up using his Verts.
Matt and I gained the ridge and looked down to Lyon's Lake.
And up to a nice looking line off the false summit of Mt Price.
Roman learned the hard way the limitations of his Verts snowshoes. They don’t traverse firm snow well at all so he was forced to take a less than ideal route. He kept his cool and took his time though so all was fine.
05-09-2006, 09:38 AM #2
Once we regrouped our movement continued upward.
Roman with the west face of Mt. Price.
Looking down to Island, Twin, and Boomerang Lakes.
The approach up the west ridge looked doable but we chose a more conservative route so we could take advantage of a ripe south facing run down towards Lyons Lake.
Roman and Matt get ready to drop. Our previous week’s decent off Dick’s Peak can been seen in the background.
Mmcpheet goes first.
Roman goes next.
After a short boot up the bowl we were on the saddle between Mt. Price and Mt Agassiz.
Matt and Roman cross the saddle.
Looking south over to Mt. Agassiz…
followed by north to Mt. Price.
bcrider giving props to the WestSide.
After a short break at the saddle and look around we continued up the last little pitch to the summit of Mt. Price.
mmcpheet and Roman.
mmcpheet and bcr on the summit.
Looking northeast down to Mosquito Pass.
bcr exposure training.
Accessing both these peaks from the west is literally a “walk-up” compared to the north/south ridge or coming from the east.
Looking north along the ridge.
Looking at the peaks from the east.
After a look around on the summit we descended back to the saddle so we could go touch Mt. Agassiz as well. Two summits is better than one right?
Looking at the line off Mt. Agassiz from the ridge.
Standing on the summit block.....this is the closest I wanted to get to the edge. :shock: Lake Aloha below.
Looking down on the ridge that leads to Pyramid Peak.
05-09-2006, 09:39 AM #3
Looking back at the ridge to Mt. Price.
Thunderstorms were starting to roll in and we still had to find our stashed sled so we figured it was time to start heading out.
Roman descends towards Lyons Lake.
Matt heads towards Smith Lake.
We found the sled easily and quickly unburied our hidden treasure.
Then it ws time to head out. Matt gets to drive this time.
And Roman gets pulled.
After a few miles a gave him a break......the view from behind.
All in all it was a great trip, thanks guys!
I would recommend checking out the westside for anyone interested.....just don’t forget you'll need some machine assisted help.
Thanks again JayTe!!! 8)
05-09-2006, 09:47 AM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2005
Looks really good. Man, thats a lot of pic stoke. Thanks.
I dig this one - shows the essence of corn.
05-09-2006, 09:53 AM #5
niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.....i drove up to for the first time last summer and was faced with the same view that's in your summer photo. Naturally, my thoughts immediately went to "hmmm, it will cool to ski those". And you just did!! Great job!
05-09-2006, 09:56 AM #6
I think that's the longest TR (most pics) I've ever seen.
Makes me thankful for DSL
Nice Pics though.
05-09-2006, 10:55 AM #7
Dude, way to get after it. I’ve been there in the summer, but never with skis.The trumpet scatters its awful sound Over the graves of all lands Summoning all before the throne
Death and mankind shall be stunned When Nature arises To give account before the Judge
05-09-2006, 11:11 AM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
great stuff.Mom! The meatloaf! FUCK!.
05-09-2006, 11:19 AM #9
05-09-2006, 11:21 AM #10Originally Posted by FrankZappa
I think BCA is trying to break into the fragrance market this spring...
"Essence Of Corn"
05-09-2006, 11:41 AM #11
Nice report. The coverage you guys have over there is amazing. Good stoke!
05-09-2006, 12:01 PM #12
Way to get it! After hanging out with skiers the past few w/e's and all thru the Mammoth Mini (ratio of at least 10:1), nice to finally see some snowboard stoke.
Isn't it about time you head southward into our neck of the woods? Dana Plateau, Ginney Lakes, Mammoth Crest, etc...When you do, give me a call-out...
ps--REALLY relieved that your children take from their mother and are growing up into pretty good looking kids--I was afraid they might end up with your looks"There's a truth that sanity denies...." --Sprung Monkey
05-09-2006, 12:18 PM #13
Great trip, thanks for the stoke.
05-09-2006, 01:30 PM #14
some great stuff being posted up here today. Thanks for sharing BCRider! Looks like it was a great day over there.
05-09-2006, 05:09 PM #15Originally Posted by skier666
Glad ya'll like the pics.
Good stuff back there...anyone else got a sled.
05-09-2006, 05:20 PM #16
Any chance you could hook a brutha up on a brodeal on one of these? Some friends are going to ski Denali soon, and that bag would be invaluable. Damn that thing is extra pimp.
05-09-2006, 05:23 PM #17
outstanding! your photo TR length & bloggage is rivaling the devil skier! remote Sierras = high stokage
05-09-2006, 07:00 PM #18Originally Posted by Trackhead
05-09-2006, 07:18 PM #19
Lordy lordy the number of times I've looked back there from jakes or tallac (Including this sunday even) and sat there thinking how great it would be to access that ridge.
Good work fellers. Way cover some ground.
05-09-2006, 07:51 PM #20
05-09-2006, 08:46 PM #21
Ok, now that was just flat out awesome."I knew in an instant that the three dollars I had spent on wine would not go to waste."
05-09-2006, 10:09 PM #22Lambaster
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
- My armchair
qwaaaality (as always bc)"... she'll never need a doctor; 'cause I check her out all day"
05-09-2006, 10:23 PM #23
one of the best tr's i've seen
this one rules -
Last edited by wookalar; 05-09-2006 at 10:28 PM.
05-09-2006, 10:45 PM #24
What a great massive TR! Looks like a lot of intense fun.
05-11-2006, 12:50 AM #25
BCR that's a $$$$$ TR once again.
BTI got my Vans on but they look like sneakers.....