wandering in the desert

tahoe has been stuck in a long dry spell for pretty much all of february with the exception of one large event. a week ago hutchski and i headed to the rubies to ski terminal cancer. it was awesome, especially for her since it was her first couloir. another highlight was driving back the next day via highway 50. i had never seen the toiyabes or sand mountain during the day and they both had me excited for a return.
don’t have any decent pictures from then but this was as i was driving away from the toiyabes on tuesday. they look good right?

it’s all an illusion. this is big creek campground, which was an excellent place to sleep. free camping by a creek with excellent bathrooms.
what’s not to like?
1. the lack of snow on the lower and west facing slopes that i never saw before.
2. at the second creek crossing there was too much snow on the opposite bank to make it up, and i was still miles from consistent snow.
3. the fact that i left my clothes bag at home which meant i’d be hiking those miles and skiing in jeans, with no socks, and without ibuprofen (it’s a requirement for the knee now).

so i decided i would bite the bullet and drive to the opposite side of the range. that would also take me through austin so i could get some supplies. the chevron mart had everything on my list, and i got their one and only pair of socks

since i was missing stokedog, i took a quick trip up to stoke’s castle. nacho was obviously missing him too and tipped one out for stoke.

we thought we’d try kingston canyon road, but ran into too much snow on the road again, with no snow in sight on the mountain. the town looked beautiful though and i’ll be back when they’re open

birch creek was the same story, so we headed back to austin summit, which had lots of snow right at the road, but only about 450′ of vertical.

still it was two fun laps and the snow wasn’t bad. i bet the higher north facing slopes held decent powder

and if the north facing slopes aren’t holding the powder, check in here.

that night we (me and the wonderpup) slept at sand mountain, and awoke to head up at sunrise. nacho setting the track

riding solo was theme (and the beer) of the trip

the sand wasn’t bad, and nacho is super fast in it.

don’t know why they say this is a lonely road

but i survived it

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