after our last storm in tahoe the temps shot almost immediately up into the 60’s. combined with the high sun angle of late march it didn’t take long for most spots to start transitioning to corn. the same storm was still hitting southern and central oregon, and the forecast was for continued cold. try as i may, i couldn’t come up with a reason not to head north, and had plenty reason to get the hell outta dodge. i tried to rally some friends but really it would have made a lot of the trip more difficult. sometimes it’s nice to roll solo anyway so objectives don’t get in the way of adventures. it’s fun to park at a trailhead, put on the skins, walk a while, and then decide where you’re going. the result is that, other than saturday on broken top, most of the pictures are either scenic, or pictures of nacho.
we left thursday at 3:00 with a stop at the climbing gym in incline village, and after a long delay (forgot my sleeping bag requiring detour to reno) we were on 395 heading north at about 8:00. we pulled into annie creek sno park outside of crater lake national park around 2 am, which ruled out a dawn patrol the following day. no worries though as that just meant that i didn’t have to break trail or get lost.
it was apparent from the start we weren’t in tahoe any more, as there was an 8′-12′ base at the bottom of the hill on south facing slopes. nacho is looking a little rugged in his old pack. fortunately we were on our way to bend, the home of ruffwear performance dog gear.
skiing to the lake is forbidden. and it’s kind of hard to hide your tracks, and it takes a while to get back out, which means they’re waiting for you (and the dog you’re not supposed to have). still it was mighty tempting.
not today though. nacho stomped around cuz he wanted to go for it.
instead we did two laps on the front side. this was the second.
that night we found ourselves in bend with erik and lindsey discussing our plans for broken top the next day. we planned to start with a line called pucker. but as we approached, someone was already on the top cutting the cornice.
we called an audible and hit something on the opposite side of the crater. lyndsey
and erik on 1:59
next up we kept it on the same side of the crater and went back up to 1:00. erik and lyndsey on the up
lindsey waits as erik approaches
across the valley, the folks that earlier were cutting the cornice on pucker were retreating from an attempt to top out on the 8:00 couloir. you can make out their high point just above the top guy. not sure why they didn’t start from the moat, as the snow looked plenty soft to switch over.
instead they all climbed down to where the lowest guy is putting on skis
lyndsey on 1:00
the side view of 8:00 is much less intimidating, and the light was crazy.
looking back up at the now scarred runs (1:59 and 2:00, with skin tracks heading to 1:00 and 3:00 as well)
lindsey high on the flanks of 3:00
it was deeeeeep.
and then it was a quick tow back to dutchman’s in the evening light.
the next day i had planned to hook up with an old tahoe friend and ski little alaska near todd lake. this would require some fancy work to get the dog out there as a ski-joring partner. the plans fell apart, so nacho and i figured we’d have better luck and a more relaxing day if we headed south to mt thielsen. this was the adventure we were looking for. we had done zero research, and were driving along diamond lake highway when we saw a sign that said mt. thielsen trailhead. sounds good. so we geared up and started into the woods, with no view of the peak and nothing but a guess as to the distance and direction. it was 10:30 and we had to leave by 3:30 so the plan was to skin for for hours or til we got somewhere cool, and then turn around and head back.
nacho, sporting his new ruffwear approach pack, plays dead in hopes of avoiding the slog.
so i through a snowball, something we both know he is powerless to resist.
after three hours, the last 1.5 of which were a miserable, tourettes inducing, 6″ of snow stuck to my skins on every step kind of hell, we reached this ridge with this view, and this blank slate in front of us.
45 minutes later we were in the little pocket at the top of the previous pic
which left time for a little doggy recreation and humanebriation with a beautiful backdrop, mount bailey and diamond lake.
ruffwear gives you wings
i tried to get a picture of our tracks, but the clouds had turned everything flat
arriving back at the trailhead i found a ticket folded under my windshield wiper for no sno park permit. evidently the po po din’t know cali sno parks are valid in oregon, and vice versa
the pov, with lines from each day.