Leavitt's Y Couloir: Ski season is over

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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Leavitt's Y Couloir: Ski season is over

Post by c9h13no3 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:11 pm

Ski mountaineering in June is about 95% mountaineering, 5% skiing. Had maybe 800 vertical feet of good turns, totally not worth lugging the skis for 5 miles. Not all trips are good skiing, but all skiing trips are good.

We parked at the pullout along Sonora pass where there's some construction equipment parked. The snow bridge was still intact over Deadman Creek, but I wouldn't count on it being good much longer. There's supposedly a ~4 foot rock hop you can do somewhere else to get across.

The use trail up into blue canyon would make an appearance every now and again, but it was mostly unnecessary with the sparse foliage.

We started off expecting suncups, but we'd heard the Deadman drainage was in pretty good shape in spots that weren't flat. Either our reference was crazy, or things got crazy worse in 2 weeks, but the snow was a sun cupped hell.

The snow climb was phenomenal up the Y. We had a decent refreeze overnight, so the snow took crampons perfectly. Still too hard to kick steps though, so we all used crampons and axes.

After lazing around on the summit eating snacks and wandering around the broad summit plateau, we skied down. The Y skied incredibly well, but everything else was sun cupped garbage. The summer melt is full on.

After the climb, we swung by the Kennedy Meadows store to buy cokes and chips, and enjoy the picnic tables along the river. It's a pretty chill spot, full of cowboys and families fishing with their kids. We enjoyed an hour soaking our feet in the river and napping in the sun before driving back. The air was full of dandelion (or some other plant's seeds) and all the grass and flowers were green. Backpacking between 6000-8500 ft is probably primo right now.

So now I'm at home, digging the summer gear out of storage, and thinking about what trips I want to do this year.
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Re: Leavitt's Y Couloir: Ski season is over

Post by SSSdave » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:44 pm

Thanks for the tour. Winters when one can access such slopes in mid to late May before the sun altitude gets higher obviously tends to result in less sun cups in the flats and smoother surfaces on the steep norther exposures.

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