How do you keep busy during the winter?

A forum that'll feed your need for exploring the limitless adventure possibilities found in "other" places. Post trip reports or ask questions about outdoor adventures beyond the Sierra Nevada here.
User avatar
kdemtchouk
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:07 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by kdemtchouk » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:07 am

I'm curious how everyone likes to keep busy during the winter, while much of the Sierra backcountry is buried in snow.

I live in the Bay Area and have spent the last few winters working on the Bay Area Nifty Ninety peak list, trail running in Marin/Point Reyes, and obsessively planning my summer backpacking trips.

Looking ahead to this winter, I was thinking of trying something new. Ideas that come to mind:
-Exploring more of Ventana Wilderness (though I hear trail conditions can be rough)
-More actively snowshoeing
-Backcountry skiing

Things I've tried in the past:
-Ice climbing (hard to find good ice in California, guiding fees can add up)
-Snow camping (requires some additional investment in gear)
-Resort skiing (busy, lots of traffic/waiting in line)

Ideally, any suggestions would be within a ~6hr drive of San Francisco and not require a 4WD vehicle.








User avatar
bwd
Topix Novice
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:43 am
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by bwd » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:30 am

As a fellow Bay Area resident, I'd also love good advice on Ventana!

User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 10981
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by maverick » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:09 pm

Please keep this thread within the Sierra, if you would like to ask for info about areas outside of the Sierra, post in the "Beyond The Sierra Nevada" section.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

User avatar
kdemtchouk
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:07 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by kdemtchouk » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:32 pm

Whoops, sorry. I'll move this over there.

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 3044
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by SSSdave » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:32 pm

There are endless activities and pursuits here in the urban SF Bay Area to entertain or keep anyone busy though expect you mean outdoor activities? Even during the stay in one's county pandemic lock down I was outdoors a lot urban street hiking.

Have been an avid Tahoe resort snow skier for decades. That will keep me active through April if not pulled elsewhere. Between early November and early March usually do very little landscape or nature photography except on uncommon years our deserts bloom and then journey south at times mid February through mid April. By early March through April, in wet years there can be interesting wildflower work here in the SF Bay area, our Pacific shores, and Northern California. In May sometimes journey up to our north coast redwood parks. Otherwise in drier years with a shortened ski season may do some meetup dot com group hikes.

User avatar
c9h13no3
Topix Expert
Posts: 711
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:19 pm
Experience: Level 1 Hiker
Location: San Mateo, CA

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:55 pm

We both have 4 Nifty Ninety’s left, and I’m not Daryn Dodge ;-).

Ventana is good stuff, but if you don’t check trail conditions first, it will hurt you. Backcountry skiing is a good time, but there’s a bit of an initial investment. Lemme know if you wanna get your feet wet, I’m always lookin’ for other ski partners.

I’m still thinking about fall plans though. Got ~3 months until I start thinking about winter stuff.
"Adventure is just bad planning." - Roald Amundsen
Also, I have a blog no one reads. Please do not click here.

User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 10981
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by maverick » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:27 pm

Castle Rock State Park and Pinnacles NP for fun for hiking and climbing/bouldering.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
Posts: 1136
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:24 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by dave54 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:51 pm

Take the RV to Arizona and become a desert rat for a few months. I am too old the mess with the several feet of white stuff in my yard.

I like getting winter storm alerts from home on my phone while hiking in 80 degrees wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Fishing the Colorado River, mountain biking, exploring desert mountain ranges, etc.
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=

User avatar
John Doe
Topix Novice
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:51 am
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker
Location: Cambria, CA

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by John Doe » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:24 pm

bwd wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:30 am
As a fellow Bay Area resident, I'd also love good advice on Ventana!
Nearly everything worth anything in the Ventana is up 2k+- from the road. Bugs are bad in the fall, blackfies. Some years really bad, some not so much. Water is the main issue there. It ain't as prevalent as the sierra.

Issue right now is that a very large chunk of it just burned, or is still burning. In other years they've kept the backcountry closed for months post fire. I would guess they're going to do the same. I believe it's due to unstable ground, just a guess.

User avatar
neil d
Topix Regular
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:46 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: How do you keep busy during the winter?

Post by neil d » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:56 pm

Most of us in California are quite lucky for being able to keep active during the mild winter weather. I'm in the lower foothills (Rocklin, east of Sac) and generally keep doing what I do: lots of cycling (road and otherwise), short overnight trips (the fabled 'S24O' bikepacking trips at sanctioned or bandit camping spots), and getting into the hills in snowshoes. I love playing in the Tahoe NF in winter, because no crowds! I can dayhike and see nobody. Also a big fan of winter overnights if the weather is not too severe.

Also love hitting fave spots in the Bay Area during the off season (Pt Reyes, cycling in western Marin County in general, Mt. Diablo, etc.) as the crowds really thin out. Especially Super Bowl weekend!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests