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Archive for the ‘Backcountry Skiing’ Category

Dates: Saturday, December 5 & Sunday, December 6, 2015

Location: South Lake Tahoe

Skiers: Sat: Andrew, Alex, Noah and Nick; Sun: Andrew, Mike and Nick

Photos: As Noted

Synopsis: Last Thursday, another small storm fell dropping between 5-12 inches of snow across the Lake Tahoe basin, depending on aspect and elevation. Saturday was largely a warming trend and rather mild weather, while Sunday brought very intense, gale-force winds (with gusts of near 90 mph on higher elevation ridge tops late Sunday afternoon).

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Date: Sunday, November 29, 2015

Location: North Lake Tahoe

Skiers: Andrew, Mike, Morgan and Nick

Photos: Andrew, Mike and Nick as noted (although everything was shot with various forms of cellular machines…)

Synopsis: So far in November, the Tahoe Basin has been consistently receiving small winter storms on a weekly basis. What has been interesting is that November in the Tahoe Basin has been below historical average for both total precip and snowfall. However, with the horrible “winters” the past several years, everyone is obviously excited with cold, consistent snowfall coming in. This past week in fact, Tahoe got a very cold storm dropping down from Alaska the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, followed by well below average temperatures the remainder of the week into the weekend.

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Date: Saturday, March 14, 2015

Location: Matterhorn Peak, Eastern Sierra

Skiers: Jon & Nick

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: As the “winter” has progressed here in California, I have been doing a lot of road biking… Long periods of high pressure, sunny skies and warm temps have largely dictated February and March. California was treated to a much needed storm about a week ago, which provided some moisture for the state and a blanket of low-density snow at high elevation. While not the base-building, heavy cement we really needed, no one was in a position to complain.

However, as quickly as the storm came, high pressure and warming temps generally returned. On Wednesday, another storm came across the Sierra that provided several more inches of snow, followed by a warming trend and high pressure. The weekend called for great weather for a mission down to the Eastern Sierra, in search of remaining “wintery” snow at high elevation, north-aspects.

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Date: December 2014

Location: North Lake Tahoe

Skiers: Jon, Noah & Nick

Photos: As noted

Early season in Tahoe this year was coupled with big expectation and hype (including the December Mega Storm), which as typical largely under delivered on account of fluctuating snow lines. As of present, we are once again combatting a high-pressure ridge off the West Coast leading to another dry January. As I sit and await our historically biggest snow months of February and March, I think back to some great days early season in December. There were certainly good days to be had, both in the resorts and touring in the backcountry.

Similar to the rising tides and fluctuations in the weather, each day had its ups and downs. Once such great day in December had a lot, in fact!

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Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014

Locations: Sierra Crest, North Lake Tahoe Basin

Skiers: Colin & Nick

Photos: Colin & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: Armed with high-pressure, clear skies, a decent re-freeze the prior night and a light, Southwesterly wind, Colin and I decided to head out last Saturday for the classic Sierra Crest tour from Sugar Bowl to Squaw in the North Lake Tahoe Basin. I don’t think I am surprising anyone in saying that this season has been pretty bleak in Tahoe for snow accumulation, and I think a lot of the pictures below will show how thin the sun-exposed aspects are right now. Still, it felt great to get out on a longer tour and get some exercise. I particularly like these “meadow skipping” type tours where you cover longer distances to see a lot of terrain. I particularly like multi-day tours in the Eastern Sierra in the Spring, but this season (like last season) is looking like May will be more devoted to High Sierra climbing.

Warning – there are not a ton of action ski shots in a tour like this, but figured I have not posted a TR in a while so why not.

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Skiers: Alex, Andrew & Nick

Date: Sunday, March 21st

Photos: Andrew (edited by Nick in Lightroom)

Synopsis: Alex, Andrew and I headed out Sunday to a higher elevation zone around Tahoe to try and take advantage of a couple of inches of fresh snow that fell over the weekend. Below 8,500 ft, the approach conditions are getting rough and involve quite a lot of patch to patch skinning and indirect routes. Up above 8,500 ft however, there is still good enough coverage for some good turns.

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Skiers: Pat, Alexis, Alex, Andrew, Jakob & Nick

Photos: Alex & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: While we have received very little snow since early January, I have actually be having a great time in Tahoe out in the mountains. The days are getting longer, with great weather, great views and good friends. Below is a collection of photos from a number of days out in the Tahoe Basin backcountry (as well as some Big Basin shots thrown in). Intermixed with all of this has been a number of days at the resorts just ripping groomers with Sarah, which has been a lot of fun.

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