Sunday, March 15, 2009

Harvesting the corn

Babiche needed a day of rest so we drove down towards Bishop and just spend some time around...

We visited the Galen Rowell gallery in Bishop with some really inspiring photography. Galen was an adventure photographer that spent a really interesting life photographing outdoor shot trough out the world.

For our first couloir, we decided to go not too far from Bishop and checked out McGee.

It is not a steep run nor an impressive mountain. But for Babiche shape, it was just enough...
To be optimist, I would say that the snow was fast and the view was awesome, but in fact, the snow wasn't very nice but the view was still pretty cool.

After a good day of hiking, the beer at the car was just better.

The 140 mph winds from couples days ago had really damaged the backcountry around here and there wasn't much soft powder to ski.

We figure maybe some groomed runs would be better, so we try Mammoth Mtn. It is a really big resort with a lot of lifts.... but still not much soft snow. It seems that they have those conditions quite often, because they even have some signs to warn you about the quality of the snow....
After a day exploring the mountain, we figured we were really in the need for a good day of skiing. We decided to go check out Tioga Pass and its couloirs. With some warm weather on the forecast, we figured that with having an early start, we would probably be able to get some nice soft turns on V-Bowl (an east facing aspect).

After dragging Babiche out of the car, we started the hike that was getting us on Dana Plateau.

This Plateau is home of a lot of interesting couloir that are going to be on the must do list from now on!!! It is apparently the home of the biggest concentration of steep quality couloirs in the Sierra.
The ski down happen to be just at the right time since we were able to enjoy some nice spring conditions.
The snow was wet and soft and carving some turns into that open face was really nice.
We missed our tree-bridge on the way back, so coming back to the car was interesting...

After some more rewards beer, we drove to Travertine Hot Springs. Those are natural and free Hot Springs near Bridgeport.

The set up was really cool and the water really hot! We spent the rest of the afternoon soaking in that nice water and enjoying the view of the Sierras.
Yesterday, we were heading out to the backcountry but we met one guy in the parking lot that told us that the conditions were really bad... We figured that some resort skiing was probably a better option. We were able to get some parking lot ski passes at Alpine Meadows and we spend the afternoon carving the corn snow.

Last night, Babiche and I had a long conversation with Jimmy at one of his friend's place in South Lake Tahoe.
That delayed a bit our start this morning to hit Heavenly. I had some really good souvenir about the place since two years ago, when I skied it it was +15C, big sunshine and bikinis all over the place!!!
It was a bit cloudy and a bit more chilly this time so no bikini...
Heavenly sits on the border of California and Nevada. The view from it is pretty awesome since on one side you get the view of the Lake Tahoe and on the other side, the desertic view of Nevada. The snow did melt a bit later in the afternoon turning the conditions to soft corn again.
I'll have few more days of skiing around here and then I will have to hit to road to go back home in Quebec... On my way back, I will hit Utah and Colorado to end my trip.

See you soon!


stark said...

Hey Snow Chasers, What an awesome trip! I have been following your blog for a while and would like to hook up for some skiing next year if you travel through Montana. I could show you some nice steep/deep stashes if your journey takes you through this way.

I can feel Babiche's knee suffering. I too am working to heal a knee injury from last season. It's hard to throttle back on the skiing though - more ibuprofen and beers.

By the way, I was curious how Babiche's home-built skis worked out. They looked nice!

Good luck on your journey!

evans parent said...

If I drop by Montana next winter, drop me a line and it would be really cool to explore Montana a bit more!!!

Babiche's skis worked really great!!! We'll see how long they last but skiing-wise, they were a really nice deep powder machine!!!