powder with a view

pretty much every time you go backcountry skiing here in the sierra you’re treated to great views. often the views are alpine lakes or even tahoe itself. but every now and then, you get to slice through the powder with a lake filling you’re goggles so much it’s hard to concentrate on your line. since most of these zones at least start and stop at lower elevations, it’s been a while since they’ve had the level of attention they’re getting this year. all you need to find these mountains is a map, but a map won’t get you to the top. for that you need a friend or local knowledge. despite overlooking lake tahoe, or fallen leaf lake these peaks are typically not easy to get to. jake’s peak would be the main exception to this rule and as a result, can get crowded. the reward for the extra effort can be awesome though

as you can see the lakeside peaks are clustered together in two main zones. one on the southwest shore and one on the north and east
Tahoe Map

angora peak – there are three ways to get to the base of the peak, have the gate code or key, snowmobile, or just under a 3 mile skin. if you choose the latter chances are someone with access is gonna get there first. the views of fallen leaf lake with tahoe beyond are magnificent


we were a little late in the day for pictures. to see the true possibilities follow this link

mt tallac – access to mt tallac used to be considerably easier before spring creek tract road was closed to the public. to be fair the parking was often a shitshow for the residents and backcountry use has exploded in the 6 years since it’s been closed. tallac is somewhat removed from the lake and the most expansive lake views are from the top whether you’re heading down north bowl or into the cross
tallac backcountry

maggies peaks- maggies can be easy to get to if the road is open but the conditions are best when the road is closed. avalanche danger can be fairly high here especially in the different zones that provide the best lake views. as a general rule, if you’ve got a good unimpeded view of either emerald bay or cascade lake, it’s because you’re in a slide path. the views are awesome though.


jakes peak – jakes offers easy access, great views in many directions, and multiple terrain options. the downside is it can be like a ski resort at times. part of this is the easy access, and part is that it gets hit by both the north shore crowd and the south shore crowd. it is also notable for being one of the few that offers excellent spring skiing with great views.



rubicon peak – rubicon offers excellent lake views in the right conditions. typically though, the best lines face more north through the trees and take the lake out of view. park smart and don’t ruin it for everyone.

rose knob – rose knob does offer great views, although you are somewhat removed from the lake. i’m not sure how access is in a good year. when i did it there was a lot of bushwhacking to get to the snow.
Rose Knob backcountry

herlan peak – bear scratch is the name of the zone, and it could be considered the crown jewel of lake view skiing. partly because it has the most expansive lake views, partly because the views are of sand harbor, but mostly because it is so hard to get when it’s good. it’s on the east shore so it doesn’t get as much snow as the others. it faces east so the winds often play havoc with the snow near the top. it goes to lake level so the entrance and exit is usually a bushwhack.






even when you hit it good, there’s scraping and bushwhacking

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