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Lake Tahoe Backcountry Skiing Report

February 22nd, 2011 By   

For this adventure of the week, we go to our own backyard. Dave, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports, took some time away during this busy holiday week to enjoy the bountiful goods the snow gods dropped around Lake Tahoe.

WHO: Dave and Jonny

WHAT: Backcountry Skiing

WHERE: Bearscratch – East Shore, Lake Tahoe

WHEN: President’s Weekend 2011

GEAR: Black Diamond Megawatt Skis, ContourGPS Helmet Cam, Mammut Albaron Jacket, Black Diamond Virago Gloves

With all the new snow we got the past week (some said up to 99 inches or more), it was time to get some of the lines that can only be skiied a couple times a year, if even that. The East Shore of Lake Tahoe is one of these places that holds those kinds of lines. The East Shore always gets the least amount of snow and with its western exposure, it warms up and melts out very quickly. So, timing is critical if you are going to get one of these lines. As the sun decided to poke its head out for the first time in 4 days, Jonny and I thought this was our chance, so we headed for possible one of the most aesthetic lines in the Tahoe Basin, Bearscratch.

View of Bearscratch from across the Lake

View of Bearscratch from across the Lake

The only thing that was going to stop us was the potential avalanche danger. This line goes straight from top to bottom with few trees or safe spots, especially in the top section. After 2 hours of very deep trail breaking and skinning (literally, thigh deep with every step), we finally made it just below the top where we could peek into the “Scratch” proper. Wow, did it look awesome and not a track in it……yet. So, we down climbed over some rocks and took shelter from the wind in some small trees at the top while we deskinned, checked the avy conditions and layered up as the wind was blowing about 30+mph. The first video of this post is the top section that was absolutely incredible and the BD Megawatts made all the difference. I love the perspective of all these videos because you can see my ski tips and Lake Tahoe all in the same shot. The next 2 videos I am standing still while fliming Jonny come down from above.

Other Details:

Skiable Vert: 2400 ft.
Base Elevation: 6200 ft. – Basically, the Lake!
Approach: NW Facing Treed Slope
Descent: The gut of the “Scratch”
Where to Park: We can’t give everything away;)

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One Response to “Lake Tahoe Backcountry Skiing Report”

  1. Dave says:

    Turns out we were in a popular area this past weekend so we got another slideshow of the area from one of our local friends. Check it out here: http://gallery.me.com/wyatt_ogilvy/100255

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