Archive for the ‘Eastern Sierra’ Category


Locations: John Muir Wilderness, Dutch Lake & Hidden Lake

Dates: October 10, 2009 – October 11, 2009

Hikers/Fishers: Colin & Nick

Photographers: Nick (unless otherwise noted as Colin)

Colin and I decided to head out into the John Muir Wilderness for a brief weekend hiking and fly fishing trip. I recently tore my meniscus as well as additional cartilage damage, and Colin currently has a leg like the terminator resulting from a broken tib/fib/ankle accident at Squaw last winter.

Needless to say, we are both gimps but wanted to get out of dodge deep into the Sierra. The result: Kaiser Pass Road. Kaiser Pass Road is a seasonal, single-lane paved road that ventures up to Thomas Edison Lake and Florence Lake. Sitting at approximately 7,500 ft., Florence Lake is accessible by car but serves as a jump-off point for several trailheads.


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Locations: Sierra High Route

Date: Saturday, May 2, 2009– Thursday, May 7, 2009

Skiers: Geoff Clarke, Craig Dostie, Nori & Nick

Photographers: Nick (except where otherwise noted as Craig or Nori)

Synopsis: We were embarking on the Alpine Skills International (“ASI”) 2009 6-day Sierra High Route, from West to East. The trip would be lead by Geoff Clarke, an ASI Guide and former Chief Telemark Examiner for the PSIA.

The planned route crosses the Sierra Nevada over 9 high cols and passes, beginning at old Wolverton Ski Resort on the edge of Sequoia National Park and ending at the valley floor outside Independence (off 395). The planned route starts at approximately 7,200ft., climbs to around 10,000ft. and holds the line between 10,500ft. and 13,000ft., until dropping down on the Eastern side of the Range.

As discussed more in detail below, the night before the trip approximately 8-12” of new snow fell above 8,000ft. On the tail end of our second day, near Copper Mine Pass we encountered High avalanche conditions, forcing us to spend the night. When the conditions had not improved the next morning, we turned around to Table Meadows and set up a base camp – skiing some great lines for the remainder of the trip.

The ASI East to West group lead by Peter Leh was able to make the crossing as conditions had improved by the time they hit Copper Mine Pass.


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Locations: Matterhorn Peak – Skiers Dream Chute and East Couloir

Dates: Saturday, Sunday, March 28 – Sunday, March 29, 2009

Skiers: Frank & Nick

Photographers: Nick (except where otherwise noted as Frank)

Weather: Saturday was fairly warm, with highs in the 40s. Late Saturday night, the winds picked up (with gusts in the 40-60 mph range were we camped at approximately 10,000 ft.). Temps dropped to about 15 at night, and then Sunday the high was in the mid-30s.

Avalanche Conditions: We found the snow to be very stable. During the skin in through Horse Creek drainage, there were signs of past wet snow point release slides from earlier in the week. However, temps were not high enough to cause any concerns for wet instabilities.

The snow in the actual couloirs (both North facing) was a combination of some wintry pow, but mostly wind affected. On the ski out on Sunday, we found good corn below 10,000 ft..


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