Category Archives: backcountry

backcountry skiing, sometimes mixed with resort skiing

utalorado for rock and snow

after tahoe has suffered through one of the worst starts to a season in, well, forever, a few of us decided to hop in the car and head east. armed with our various passes which included days at vail resorts we headed in search of whiter pastures at the canyons in utah, as well as a-basin, vail pass, and beaver creek in colorado. we through in an awesome day on the rock on the way back to break up the drive.
we’ll get you started with a little video from the week

our first stop was the canyons, and after one run inbounds we headed for sidecountry. we got a late start due to problems with my ski pass. not too many pictures as i left the camera in the car. ashley had hers though.
this is one of the few shots of chris, who came down with the flu as this pic was taken. he was immediately quarantined for the rest of the trip.
snowboarding picture

first sidecountry run and first decent air of the season.
skiing picture

skiing picture
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three volcanoes in three days

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.
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a disappointing little storm

january has been a dry month and february too here in the sierra. we’ve had a few storms that have provided surprisingly good conditions pretty much throughout the mini drought.reports started coming in about an approaching storm that could drop as much as 2′ to select locations along the sierra crest. well that didn’t happen. the select locations along the crest received 4-7″ with locally higher amounts drifting into gullies
dangberg – 2/19/13 – the storm starts around 11. we’re skiing pow by 4
tahoe skiing

tahoe skiing

carson pass skiing

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where the pavement ends

got a call from a buddy to head down south to poke around for some good conditions. nothing too rad and all kosher for nacho. 8 hours later at 0-dark-thirty toby and i were driving off into oblivion. two hours and two more people later we driving up a snow covered road into the sierra eastside.
i mean, what could possibly go wrong

i’ve been thinking and i just can’t figure it out. how do they know where to put that sign??

toby, seth and allison (nacho’s in there too) head back towards the goal, which is still hidden to us

a not so friendly reminder we’re still in the desert.

nacho points out our objective, a dog leg couloir no less.
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stevens peak trilogy

i hadn’t been to stevens peak yet this year, despite it holding some of my favorite lines. problem is they normally take a lot of snow to fill in. good thing is, we have a lot of snow. on wednesday, the 16th i invited ashley to gon a tour, thinking we would head back to some of mellower terrain off the north ridge. with dog in tow we (I) decided to skip that and stay on the skin track rather than have nacho post hole the long way around. the elevation gain from road to peak is about 2700′.

since that was not enough of a workout we decided to throw some climbing into the mix when we approached the summit. it started off scrambly, but as it got steeper, nacho had second thoughts

once we reached the top, we realized it wasn’t really the top. YAY!

and then there was some real climbing. it looks like i am in trouble here.

but the views made it all okay
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carson pass to kirkwood – 1/12/13

chad was up for a rare full day off and the conditions were primo and stable. our original plan was to meet up with another friend, rick, and hop on chair 10 at opening bell, make our way to the backside, and then lap melissa coray peak several times. it was a good plan, and with our crew we could have nailed some good lines and made several laps. but the lure of the tour was too much so we opted to head up to carson pass and hit kirkwood from there.
we started out at 9:45, and despite the fact that it was saturday and conditions were fantastic and stable, we had to break trail the entire way from one of the busiest passes in the sierra. we knew it was gonna be a good day.
chad and rick with another day’s destination in the background

winnemucca lake and elephant back in the background

rick dives into life on the edge

chad takes the next line over

it’s a long line for these parts
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december to remember

so december started off a little slow in the snow category, things really kicked into gear on the 15th, and the conditions have been fantastic since
12/17 – kirkwood

12/18 – kirkwood
i hooked up with chris and sean on a bluebird day at the kookwood
good morning

chris hits a popular rock just above the drain

hopping off an air near waterfall

sean, walking like an egyptian
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winter is here for reals now

now that our little bout with springtime is over, lets get this winter thing underway. tuesday we were skiing corn. tuesday night it started to snow. is still hasn’t really stopped. wednesday toby and i hit up kirkwood both inbounds and out. once we started, each run got deeper and better and the tracks were filled between runs. it was my first day on my new lhasas, which i had mounted on the way out the door

they seemed to work ok

toby gettin sum of the deepest turns of the day

thursday rolled around and the skies were blue for a bit. the temps stayed cold and the sun hurt nothing. nacho and i hit up the red cliffs area outside kirkwood all morning. we had it all to ourselves (sadly). here is the damage
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the last day of spring, 2012

the last day of spring was a strange one in 2012. mostly because it fell on december eleventh. the spring was filled with showers, but there were no may flowers.
there was corn though, and there was sun. and skiing is always fun

nacho and hutchski enjoying the scenery and spring like conditions

i’m the king of the mountain!

i’m the queen of the mountain!

but i still like to perform menial tasks. like building this bench
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when in doubt, go skiing!

woke up this morning with plans to hike with hutchski, nacho and two other doggies out to elephant back, or something simple like that. it was gloomy and we were hoping for corn conditions. i think we were playing cancellation chicken where neither one of us wanted to be the one to call it, but either one of us would have been ok with the decision. still, we loaded up the car and headed west, noting how things looked a tad less dark that way.
at carson pass, we put 3 out of 4 boots on before deciding it was too cold, windy, and rock hard to warrant heading out into the flat light. we opted to keep going to danberg in the valley. that way we could just take a low angle descent if everything is frozen solid. before we got to kirkwood, the open field to the left of the cliffs behind caples lake caught our eye. easy approach. appeared to bathed in what we were calling sunlight. low angle enough we couldn’t get in trouble.
these are taz (front and center) and yogi

and this is where we went. you already know nacho and hutchski
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