Category Archives: Skiing

Eastside Exploration

Will, Juliana, and I forged a plan to head down to the Eastern Sierras near Bridgeport for the day to ski a bigger line and just escape the Tahoe Basin and explore a new place. As we made the scenic drive down to Bridgeport, the temperatures fluctuated between really cold and extremely cold with the lowest temperature at -17 degrees.

Approaching Bridgeport. Yep, it's cold.

Approaching Bridgeport. Yep, it’s cold.


We parked at the end of the road closest to our objective and saw one other car filled with Bridgeport locals heading out for a ski themselves.

“Grandmothers on the run.” Bridgeport locals know how to have a good time.

Starting our hike around 9:15 am, we weren’t quite sure how to reach the Northern couloirs of Mt. Walt, our days objective, so we just started hiking, hoping to get high enough for an open view. We probably climbed an extra 1200′ or so, but we were happy to get a tour of an area that we were unfamiliar with and Juliana and I even got to make some fun turns before putting our skins back on and starting the real climb.

Will skinning up the extra nob with Twin Lakes in the background


Back on track. Will puts in the track up to Mt. Walt's couloirs

Back on track. Will puts in the track up to Mt. Walt’s couloirs


After that detour and a bunch of trail breaking, we approached the base of the couloirs a little before 2pm and they were both in the shade. The low temperatures were nearly unbearable in the shade and the snow looked to be wind affected. Our main objective was also not quite filled in. So we decided to keep it mellow and stay in the sun as we crested the ridge. Stellar views greeted us and gave us more ski objectives.

Couloirs looked cold and wind affected, so we opted to stay in the sun and take in the beauty.


Will taking it in!


And then dropping in.


The skiing turned from good to great as we descended – the highlight being a steep north-facing sheltered slope that was just perfect. We made first tracks down the slopes and tried to find a better way in on ski out, skiing right to our cars through some dense trees. At the car we congratulated each other on a successful day in the mountains – we stayed safe, warm, skied great snow, and learned a lot about the area. A backcountry skiing trip to the Eastern Sierras is never complete without a stop at the hotsprings! So despite the single digit temperatures, we hit up the travertine pools just in time for sunset.

Will and Juliana enjoying the soothing springs and the stellar views.


Great day and I can’t wait to get back there!

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It was worth it!

Clear and cold conditions have made the skiing in Tahoe awesome. I’m not alone in thinking this season has completely made up for last season. I can’t remember it being this cold in Tahoe for this long and am hearing that from longtime locals as well.

Dawn at Elephants Back (Photo by Will B)

Pow turns days after the storm (Photo by Lauren Lindley)

Pow turns days after the storm (Photo by Lauren Lindley)

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Incredible Start to the Winter

It has been snowing a lot for December. In fact, it was announced that it was the 2nd snowiest December on record for Tahoe! It’s also been staying cold, keeping the snow in great condition. The backcountry was somewhat unstable for a while, but things seem to be calming down now and the Sierra Avalanche Center has downgraded the avalanche danger to low. I was a bit too busy skiing to document things, but here are a few photos I snapped and a quick video of one of our runs from the top of Heavenly down to Gardnerville.

Storm day skiing at Heavenly


Dropping into Kirkwood on a Christmas Eve bluebird powder day


Will B sending Kodak at Kirkwood Mountain


Stellar run down Flagpole Peak


Skiing up the ridge to access fresh powder (Photo by Patrick Kelly)


One last run to the valley


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The Shift

2012 has just felt different for me – like I’m suddenly starting to understand at least myself better. Friends and I have been discussing this shift in consciousness and it definitely brings me hope – for both humanity and the earth.

2012 seemed to drastically change the lives of so many people – many, unfortunately, for the worse. As humans though, we can cling to hope, faith, heroic acts, or lessons in the wake of tragedies. I appreciate how all of the skiers involved in the fatal avalanche at Stevens Pass last year have been so forthcoming with their story. Here is an incredibly comprehensive version from the New York Times. No judging, just teaching. I know we’re all better off because they’ve shared this.

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing

Press

We’ve been blessed with some great snow so my friend Canyon and I went out early to take advantage of it and get some shots for the local paper. We’ll, we made the cover and got some other great shots. And if you’re a photographer or know one, check out Canyon’s new company Lite Pro Gear.

Front page of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, weekend edition

Front page of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, weekend edition


Photo by Canyon Florey

Photo by Canyon Florey

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December Get the Girls Out Recap

Yesterday’s SheJumps Get the Girls Out at Kirkwood Mountain Resort was my favorite day of the season so far! Almost twenty women skied with us throughout the course of the day! We skied fast, jumped off stuff, high-fived, pushed each other, and whooped and hollered all day! The next one is January 13th, Chair 6, 1 pm!

Most of the crew at the top of Chair 4.

Rose Daiek is an amazing SheJumper. She encouraged women throughout the day and was a great tour guide!

Juliana, one of my best friends, does her signature move!

Another shot of the crew on top of Chair 6.

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1st Get the Girls Out Day of the Season!

Women and girls, join us at Kirkwood Mountain Resort this Sunday for SheJumps first Get the Girls Out Day of the season! We’ll have two meeting times – 10 AM and 1 PM at Chair 6 and ski all around the mountain. All abilities welcome! Let’s have fun skiing with the girls!
Get the Girls Out!

RSVP at the Facebook event here!

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Get Avy Savvy! Upcoming Avalanche Education Opportunities!

There are a number of really cool and affordable or free avalanche awareness clinics coming up in Lake Tahoe that I’m looking forward to attending. Some of these are women’s only, but others are open to everyone and the price is right – FREE!

Friday, December 7th: Free Community Avalanche Seminar at Alpenglow Sports, 6:30 pm

Saturday, December 8th, 7am – 5pm: S.A.F.E. A.S. Women’s Only Clinic / Squaw Valley
Women’s Intro to Avalanche Safety and FUNdraiser Day, to benefit the High Fives Foundation. Locals Elyse Saugstad, Michelle Parker, Lel Tone, Sherry McConkey, Ingrid Backstrom, and Jackie Paaso are proud to present this one-day event at Squaw Valley that will raise snow safety and avalanche awareness in a comfortable, fun, and welcoming environment. All levels welcome. The price is $80 -includes lift ticket, lunch, and yoga (all money goes to charity). AMAZING DEAL! Limited to 30 so sign up now! For more information and to register go to: http://www.highfivesfoundation.org/index.php/events/2012-11-12-19-50-00

Also, if you’re not a female and still want to get involved with High Fives and become more educated on backcountry travel, check out their B.A.S.I.C.S. program launching this year.

Thursday, December 13th: Greg Hill Slideshow, 7pm, Squaw’s Olympic Village Lodge
FREE and raffle ticket sales benefit the Sierra Avalanche Center! Come hear the man who skied two million feet speak about his journey and the deadly slide on Manaslu this past fall.

Wednesday, January 9th: Avalanche Safety-The Human Factors
Alpenglow Sports, Tahoe City / 6:30-8:30pm
Megan Michelson will share her first hand experiences from last year’s Steven’s Pass avalanche where three people were killed. Megan wrote about this tragedy in this fall’s Outside Magazine. Read the article, Tunnel Vision on her website. Megan will lead a discussion about the human factors of avalanche safety, an ever-growing field of study. What is human nature when traveling in groups? How does group mentality contribute to or hinder safety? We’ll discuss some rules of thumb to follow. Enjoy wine, snacks, and door prizes as well as 20% off everything at Alpenglow Sports (excluding skis, boots, bindings, beacons, skins and poles).

Get educated and have fun all season long! Hope to see everyone there!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Fundraising, Random rambling, Skiing, Tahoe

Woodward Tahoe

In 2010, I met my sister in Colorado for some early season skiing and a SheJumps event at Woodward at Copper. The facility was literally my childhood dream come true. Indoor trampolines, foam pits, a skate park, and ramps with a fake snow surface to send it into foam pits. I asked the director that day if there were any plans to build one in Tahoe, secretly hoping I could convince them to build one in South Lake Tahoe and she casually mentioned a facility in the works at Boreal up on the North Shore. That facility was completed this summer and I immediately thought I should replicate the SheJumps Colorado annual fall Woodward Event.  I got into touch with an energetic female coach there named Monica who works and attends school full time AND works weekends at Woodward Tahoe. She is truly dedicated to snowboarding and action sports. She was fired up enough about the idea to have a “Ladies Night” every Sunday and SheJumps could bring a crew out for the inaugural ski and snowboard session. So, plans were set for November 11th and about 6 of us showed up for 3 hours of sessioning trampolines, park skis and boards, and just generally getting air in a safe environment. I was hooked. I returned the following Wednesday and purchased a season pass. Then I went back last Sunday and sessioned the jumps for the first time with my friend and Kirkwood freeride teammate Will. And this added a whole new level to Woodward’s awesomeness. I went into the first session pretty much terrified of the “park skis” which are roller skis used to hit the ramps in the new Tahoe facility, but the fear went away after the first drop in and I threw back flips, under flips, and flat spins. I think flat spin is my new favorite trick, though I need a few more days on the ramps to really dial it in. I threw my first one trying to throw a Lincoln Loop, so it was totally by accident. But that’s what is so great about throwing tricks into spongy foam pits, it’s a great way to learn how your body will react to different movements without thrashing it in the process. I can’t wait to go back and hit the biggest ramp. Double backs? More style? The opportunities are endless. If only I were 12 years old and this facility was in South Lake (investors, contact me, I have some ideas). Until then, I’ll visit this indoor paradise once a week, enjoying the fun and progressing as much as possible.

Lizet, fellow SheJumper and Woodward season pass holder with the branny

Rachel overcoming her fear of heights and sending it from the Woodward cliff.

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Fun Times Out There Today

I went out to Carson pass with a crew of splitboarders today. The wind kept us from our planned objective, but did not keep us from having fun!

Windbuff on Elephant’s Back – Photo by Justin Befu

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