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Best Eastside ski-mountaineering ascents mid-April

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Best Eastside ski-mountaineering ascents mid-April

Postby Pulldownfrenzy » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:18 pm

Hi like-minded mountain-loving friends,

I'm looking for some advice: My trusty old ski-mountaineering partner is coming in two weeks from the East Coast for some touring/ski-mountaineering. We've gone almost every year for the last 6 or 7 years, mostly on the Eastside or in Europe. I'm requesting info on best destination for us for three full days in the back country in mid-April. I live in Visalia and am picking him up from LA so we're not going to be able to do anything much further north than Bishop. I'm fine with either side of the Sierra but assume Eastside because of the escarpment/ability to get higher faster.

Some given info:

> both experienced (5+ years) backcountry AT skiers, both of us are from the snow and have skied our whole lives.
> not in *peak* physical condition (we're both married with children - this is a 1x/year trip) - max endurance is probably ~ 7-10 miles/day at 2-5000 ft./day so maybe 25 miles max tour trip length.
> Both of us have skied some already this season
> experienced multi-day winter backpackers
> looking for fun and steep (but not hucking cliffs here) we like adventure and unique experiences but not interested in stunts or death-defying stuff: if we do a coulour we prefer to be able to do turns in it vs. jump-turns with rock bands on both sides.
>both like peak bagging and touring
>both experienced technical rock and alpine climbers; both comfortable and experienced in general mountain travel
> NO desire for attempting any technical ice. Have general mountaineering and tons of climbing gear, ski crampons, etc.
> avalanche experienced/trained

Our biggest desire is to find somewhere we can ski all (okay, most of the way?) back to the car if possible.

Some ideas we've had are:
1) re-attempt on Mt. Humphries (cut-short on 2013 attempt due to conditions)
2) something through 1-2-3rd Lakes to Sam Mack meadow and ascent/descent of one of the 14ers
3) some kind of loop out of Onion Valley?

Any suggestions are helpful. I know it's late season so options are probably limited despite the much-hyped El Nino we were supposed to be having.

Thank you in advance! I promise to write-up a trip report if we do it.

:) -Dominic D.



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Re: Best Eastside ski-mountaineering ascents mid-April

Postby Beantown » Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:31 am

Here is one out of bishop. North Lake -> Piute Pass -> Alpine Col -> Lamrack Col. 3~4 days

I'm planning to do it April 6-10, as long as the weather holds.

http://www.sierramountaincenter.com/tou ... de-darwin/

I am not going with this guide service, just giving you a link to the route and info. They have other routes on their as well you may look at for ideas.

I heard that the condition coming down from Lamrack col may requires some hiking, the snow is receding above 8k. It just snowed a little there so im hoping for the best!
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Re: Best Eastside ski-mountaineering ascents mid-April

Postby paul » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:33 am

If Bishop is the limit, then Piute Pass and Kearsarge are probably (depending on road conditions) going to give you the quickest access to the high country without long walks to the snowline. Though you could also consider something out of South Lake - it's possible the road might get opened to the lake by the time you want to go. I'd keep an eye on that. If you go a little further north then something off the Tioga Road might be an option. No telling whether that will get opened part of the way up in time, but it might. Also look at Rock Creek, you might find something there that strikes your fancy.

Right now 168 is closed at Aspendell, but it might be opened as far as the bottom of the North Lake road by mid-month. From what I've heard you'll be walking to North Lake at least.
Onion Valley Road I think is Inyo county not caltrans, so you'd need to check with them on status but I think it's closed at the moment.
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Re: Best Eastside ski-mountaineering ascents mid-April

Postby Pulldownfrenzy » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:32 am

Thank you both Paul and Beantown. Appreciate the suggestions. We'll look at those options. I'll have to spread out my full Sierra Map on the ground and look at these routes.

FYI - the reason we don't want to go too far North is that essentially every hour we spend driving we lose in the back country.

Thanks again,

:) -DD
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Re: Best Eastside ski-mountaineering ascents mid-April

Postby Pulldownfrenzy » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:57 pm

Beantown wrote:Here is one out of bishop. North Lake -> Piute Pass -> Alpine Col -> Lamrack Col. 3~4 days

I'm planning to do it April 6-10, as long as the weather holds.
....
I heard that the condition coming down from Lamrack col may requires some hiking, the snow is receding above 8k. It just snowed a little there so im hoping for the best!


I just realized that this is the Alpine Col Tour from the "Backcountry Skiing California's High Sierra" isn't it? My partner had sent this the other day as his suggestion for the best route. Sounds like he was spot on!

Thanks
:) -DD
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Re: Best Eastside ski-mountaineering ascents mid-April

Postby Beantown » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:36 pm

looks like snow forcasted for each day we have planned to go, so I don't think we are going. don't have a backup date planned either. bummer
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Re: Best Eastside ski-mountaineering ascents mid-April

Postby Pulldownfrenzy » Thu May 05, 2016 9:15 am

Beantown wrote:looks like snow forcasted for each day we have planned to go, so I don't think we are going. don't have a backup date planned either. bummer


We made the trip. It was awesome, although it didn't end up being the loop. We nabbed the ski-descent of Basin Mountain instead.

I've written up the trip report and will post it as soon as I can get the photos from my partner's phone.

Thanks for all of the tips and suggestions everyone.

:) -Dominic
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