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Posts Tagged ‘backcountry skiing lake tahoe’

May Powder Skiing – Awesome!!!

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Tahoe Sunrise

Tahoe Sunrise

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.

Skiing up Rubicon

Skiing up Rubicon

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.

Top of Rubicon Peak

Top of Rubicon Peak

Descent from Rubicon

Descent from Rubicon

Jeff skiing down

Jeff skiing down

Lake Tahoe Backcountry Skiing Report

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

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;)

Tahoe Backcountry Report – 4/6/2010

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Before it starts to warm up here for good, I wanted to get some more powder skiing in and today looked like the last day for a little while. So, Jim and I headed up to Rose Knob in the Mt. Rose Backcountry area for a quick tour this morning.

The snow was still excellent with about 2 feet of fresh powder on most aspects.Jim skiing the powder

The wind has affected some higher, non sheltered areas and the sun was starting to warm the south and east facing aspects and I suspect that after today, even the North facing aspects are going to see some type of sun.
Jim skiing the powder But, it was still cold and powdery the whole time we were out.

Here is the gear talk section to let you know what kind of gear we were using and wearing.

Jim on the way up with his gear

Jim on the way up with his gear

Jim is now on his brand new pair of Black Diamond Telemark Boots, BD Zealots and Axl bindings while I am on the same setup but with the Black Diamond 01 Tele bindings. He was also sporting his brand new Mammut Ultimate Hooded Jacket with his Patagonia Sun Bucket Hat. I had my Deuter Backpack on my back with all my normal avy gear, including my Pieps DSP. All in all, we had a great morning out with the powder smiles to prove it!

Rose Knob Corn Skiing in February

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Started hiking up Rose Knob this morning at 6:45am and made it to the skiers left saddle area around 8:30ish. I was on the Black Diamond Zealots with 01 Tele bindings and ascension skins. Mike was of course sporting his new Deuter Freerider Pro 30 backpack. A very difficult and steep skin up during the early morning light gave way to some softer snow once the sun came up and much easier skinning all around. We waited around at the top for about a half hour and our wait was well worth it. We jumped in to the true South face off skiers left shoulder and had just about perfect 1 inch corn all the way out. I was using my Pieps DSP Avalanche Beacon just in case anything had gone, as there was a pretty wet slide path right next to where we were  skiing. Then, it was off to work! Here are some pics:

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