Tag Archives: Skiing

Backcountry

The snow just keeps coming! Last week it was a full moon so a few of us ventured out in the backcountry up around Mt Rose Wilderness.

The snow was light and deep and beautiful in the moonlight. Couple of days later it snowed again and we were right back out there touring around, dropping in, and having an absolute blast.

Here are a couple of pics from Saturday.

Phenomenal Weekend

Last weekend turned out to be one of the most phenomenal weekends of the year at Mt Rose Ski Resort. Lake Tahoe performed a bit of magic and created a lake effect storm that deposited 10-12 inches of the lightest powder that I have skied in a loooooooooong time. Interestingly enough, places like Alpine and Squaw received only minimal amounts. The picture is taken from the East Bowl lift.

Bluegrass, Bombs, and Boosting It

When you find a big mountain chain in close proximity to the largest ocean on the planet, it is inevitable that you will experience variable conditions. What amazes me is how often the Lake Tahoe area produces fantastic conditions despite its physical location.

Saturday started off windy and overcast in Tahoe, so I elected to spend the day in Reno dealing with all of things that have built up over the weeks of skiing. One of the things I love about Reno is that the sun can be shining in the valley while it is absolutely nuking up in Tahoe. Finished my chores, went for a mountain bike ride, and then headed up to the Crystal Bay Club to catch some free bluegrass. Crashed at my buddies place in Kings Beach and awoke bright and early Sunday morning with 7-10 inches of fresh on the mountain.

My friend and I b-lined it to Alpine Meadows, put our boots on in the parking lot to the sound of many bombs being detonated by ski patrol, scored first chair at Scotts, and barely stopped to rest the entire day. The wind loaded much of the snow in various gullies and trees, so it just took just a little bit of poking around to find some really good places. One of the things I really like about Alpine is that if you have the motivation to do some traversing and hiking you are bound to score fresh turns throughout the day.

The light was a bit flat with the sun coming in and out from behind the clouds, so it made it a little difficult to catch good pics. Nonetheless, I came out with a couple of good ones. Hope you enjoy.

Backcountry Skiing

While I enjoy the convenience and comfort of a high-speed ski lift just as much as the next skier, there is something unique and special about scoring fresh turns under the power of my own devices. Backcountry skiing, or snowboarding, leads those adventurous enough to pursue it off of the beaten path to areas less skied by. The Lake Tahoe region possesses countless miles of exceptional terrain with breathtaking views only further enhanced with the back drop of that big, blue, beautiful lake that so many people travel whole continents to see.

The past couple of weeks have delivered stellar conditions with light fluffy powder falling upon the Sierras foot by fantastic foot. The resorts have been excellent and the backcountry exceptional. I still marvel at the ease at which I can wake up at my house in Reno and so quickly am in the midst of such awe-inspiring mountains filled with so many options; and deep turns.

This past weekend I chose to spend one day on the West Shore hiking Mount Tallac, and the next day hiking and skiing in the area adjacent to the Mount Rose Ski Resort. Both days were phenomenal. The climb up Tallac took approximately three hours, but it was definitely worth it. The views into Desolation Wilderness and out across Lake Tahoe would have been rewarding enough for the effort it took, but then the big payoff came when I actually got to ski the roughly 3,000 ft of vertical back down to the car.

Despite being quite exhausted from the day before, the next day proved to be equally impressive. The area around Mt Rose is filled with varying lines that offer many different levels of pitch and position. My friends and I skied a few different lines, and each run brought giant grins to our faces. What is especially cool about this area are the mixed views that you see. On one side you can look out over Reno, Washoe Valley, and beyond, and on the other you can see Lake Tahoe and the Sierra chain as it stretches south towards Yosemite.

If you choose to venture out into the backcountry, please remember to carry the essentials: water, extra clothing, a beacon, probe and shovel. While backcountry conditions in Lake Tahoe are generally safer than places such as Colorado and Utah, avalanche dangers are always still a factor. Be prepared! All of these items are available from such stores as Reno Mountain Sports and The Backcountry up in Lake Tahoe. Avalanche classes are often conducted at REI, Patagonia, Squaw Valley and Kirkwood. Additionally, places such as The Backcountry even offer guided tours.

Until the next hike, I am eagerly keeping an eye on the weather – looks like more snow is on the way!