Trip Report - North Fork Big Pine Creek - AT skiing -4/11-12 | High Sierra Topix  

Trip Report - North Fork Big Pine Creek - AT skiing -4/11-12

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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Trip Report - North Fork Big Pine Creek - AT skiing -4/11-12

Postby arnaudatla » Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:42 pm

Trip report - North Fork

Last week, in spite of the announced storm, we attempted to ski up the palissade bassin by the North Fork Big Pine Creek Trail. We left Glacier lodge on Sat at 8:00am. The weather was just splendid. We had quite a difficult time finding our way through the forrest and the bushes after the second falls so we made it up to first Lake around 2 pm. We were at the fourth lake around 4pm and camped just below it. At that point, it was quite windy and it started to snow lightly. The temperature dropped quickly and at one point it was -10F outside. That was the lowest temperature I have ever been in but it was still OK in the sleeping bags.

On Sunday, we left camp at 8 and just skied up to Summit lake. It was very sunny again. The descent was a LOT of fun, perfect snow. We wasted a lot of time on the way down in the flat part between first lake and the second falls and were back at the car around 12pm. We were back in LA at 8 to catch our plane at 10. Great Weekend.

----- AVY conditions ---------
Above 10500 ft, the south facing slopes seemed quite unstable. The first 8 inches of snow was compact but it was lying over a crusty layer. Good conditions for slab avalanches. Fortunately, there were quite a lot of anchors to hold the snow and it was possible to stick to the east facing slopes, which were more stable.

pics available at:
  http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnaudb/se ... 084431370/

--- Lessons learned ----
For a short weekend trip, the approach using the north fork is really too long and since the trail in mainly on the south facing slopes, it can be quite difficult to find one's way in the bushes that are not covered by snow at lower elevation. I would recommend taking the south Fork. Next time....

What other week end skiing trip do you guys recommend? We are specially looking for ones with a short approach, nice slopes for the descent, stunning views and a road that is accessible without 4x4. Is that too much too ask for? (hot springs optional)
Arnaud



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Postby copeg » Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:27 am

Thanks for sharing.I enjoyed the report and photos. Looked like a fun time.

What other week end skiing trip do you guys recommend? We are specially looking for ones with a short approach, nice slopes for the descent, stunning views and a road that is accessible without 4x4. Is that too much too ask for? (hot springs optional)

Lots of more choices in the spring on the eastside when the roads get plowed to the trailheads. In mid winter the travel in is just longer. Little Lakes Valley, North Lake, South Lake are all nice - the latter two needing a longer haul in mid winter because the roads aren't plowed. Lots of choices when hwy 120 gets plowed through yosemite.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:24 pm

I missed this one! I just looked at your Sierra Ski trips. I recognized The Big Pine area and Rock Creek. Where was the other one (Apr 05)?

Thanks for the pics! :D
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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