Tag Archives: eastern sierra

Still skiing!

The season really fizzled out in the Sierra, but I still had a great winter and progressed as a skier. Total stats to date – 121 days on snow, 70 at a resort and 51 backcountry, plus hoping to get at least one more on Shasta before the official end of the season. I threw a number of back flips and landed most of them to my feet though I would like more style and confidence. I passed my PSIA Level 3 Telemark Exam at the end of April in Mammoth, which I feel was a huge accomplishment. Despite the reputation of PSIA, the process has helped my skiing immensely and I am grateful to have “coaches” like Aaron Pearlman, Urmas Franosch, and Steve McDonald. Oh yeah… and I went skiing in Alaska!!! If what economist Malcolm Gladwell says is true and it takes 10,000 hours to truly become great at something, I’m not even halfway to becoming a great telemark skier. However, I can’t wait to see what the next 5,000+ hours bring (hopefully more snow and less carbon!).

Here are a few photos from my recent ski adventures in the Eastern Sierra.

The drop in to Solstice Couloir off Mt. Dana

Nicole had to drop in on one ski after accidentally dropping one down the couloir. Backcountry lessons.

My sister pointing at Solstice

Greg on his way out to Leavitt Peak

dropping into the Leavitt Y Couloir (Photo by Greg Marsden).

Fun turns in the Y Couloir off Leavitt Peak (Photo by Greg Marsden)

But the pull of summer in Lake Tahoe is strong…

Julie tearing up Tahoe in front of Mt. Tallac on May 12th!

Julie tearing up Tahoe in front of Mt. Tallac on May 12th!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing, Tahoe

Incredible Hulk Take 3

I’ve tried to ski the Incredible Hulk 3 times this season. The first time, it was -17 degrees F, and we simply went up the wrong drainage and ended up on the other side of it, but didn’t know it. The 2nd time, the couloir was firm, bordering on icy, and the people who had skied it the day before us did not help the conditions by sideslipping the whole thing. I was relieved when my touring partner and former King of the Hill champion Will B wanted to turn around too. Sometime early last week, I decided I was due for an ass kicking and so I rallied my friend Greg to head back to the Hulk. We started hiking around 9:30 AM Saturday on the dry trail out towards Barney Lake from Twin Lakes.

The hike in was sporty at times. Here is Greg crossing the beaver dams.

Greg is happy to be on snow with skis on the feet

The Incredible Hulk comes into view. Still no sign of it turning green. (Photo by Greg Marsden)

Greg making the stairway to heaven or something like that.

Grunting my way up the couloir… incredible photo by Greg Marsden! NO FILTER!

Smiling because he’s within steps of the top!

The view from the top was stunning and inspiring

The author getting into the wider portion of the chute. Photo by Greg Marsden

Opening it up more after the crux. Photo by Greg Marsden

The only reasonable pic I snapped of Greg! Poor photography skills today!

We got to open it up a bit after the couloir and ski out an additional 1,000 vertical feet or so and then it was back to walking.

A hop, skip, and a jump and back to the 2 mile trail out

By the time we reached the car, we were exhausted and ready to get out of our ski boots! The best part of skiing in the Eastern Sierras are the nearby hotsprings so we headed to Travertine Pools to soak and take in the sunset!

Sunset over the Sawtooths. What a place! Photo by Greg

Thanks to Greg for being such a great touring partner and capturing the moment with his photography skills! Hopefully the snow sticks around long enough for us to check off more lines this spring!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing