WHO: Dave, Kevin and Jeff
WHAT: Backcountry Skiing Lake Tahoe
WHERE: West Shore of Lake Tahoe
WHEN: May 17–18, 2011
GEAR USED: Black Diamond Drift Skis with Quadrant Boots, Outdoor Research soft shell pants and Smith Trace sunglasses because when that sun gets high in the sky this time of year, shades are essential!
After the Amgen Tour of California folks decided to leave town due to a snow storm, we were all a little disappointed. BUTTTT, did I say snow storm? Yup, you bet I did. Since Sunday, Tahoe’s higher elevations have received 2-3 feet of some of the coldest and driest snow we have seen all winter and since none of us are really into road biking anyways, we decided to venture out and see what the coverage was like with the hopes of making some sweet powder turns. Wow, were we surprised to find that conditions were still like mid-winter in many places and the snow was insanely phenomenal!
We hit up Grouse Rock on the backside of Alpine Meadows on Tuesday in the midst of the storm. We were the first ones up so we broke trail most of the way and got to ski down first, always my favorite part. The bottom over here got a little wet and manky so we decided that as long as it snowed a little more, we were going to head further down the West Shore and see what some of those peaks had to hold. We were a bit unsure if we would even be able to ski from the road as we hadn’t been down there in a good month and didn’t know the status of the snow levels.
On Wednesday, we decided the snow had fallen and Rubicon Peak was the goal. We were able to skin right from the car as you can see in the pic at the top of this post. It started to clear a little as we made our way up and we got some nice views of the lake.
The higher we got, the deeper the trail-breaking got and we were about 1-1.5 feet deep in the skin track by the time we hit the top. We were also worried the sun was going to come out fast and furious today but lucky enough, there was just enough light cloud cover that the snow was staying perfect and we were getting more and more psyched for our descent. After topping out and taking in some of the views, it was time to go down and both Jeff and I could not stop yelling to each other how good the snow really was and how psyched we were to be skiing dry, light, fluffy, DEEP powder on May 18th. If you are in Tahoe, go get some and if you are reading this from somewhere else, hopefully it is warm and nice out there because our winter is still going strong!
Here are a couple more pics from our morning on Rubicon.