Rick's World

Where's Rick now? Check in to find out. Stories from the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and beyond...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Alpine Meadows Birthday Skiing

Today was David's birthday, mine is Monday, so Drew, David, and I hit Alpine Meadows for some birthday skiing before a yummy BBQ over at Mike's place in Truckee. Found some good snow off Lower Saddle and Beaver Bowl. David and I found some great snow at the end of the day off Lower Beaver, worthy of 3 quick laps to finish the day! Pics are from our first run off High Beaver.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tamarack Peak

We started with 5, only 3 made it, but we found some excellent snow. Mary, Rick, Tim, Cole, and I set off this morning to Tamarack Peak. This was Cole's first backcountry experience and he's a Snowboarder/Snow Shoe, didn't quite make it to the top, so he and Mary skied back down to the cars. Rick, Tim, and I headed up to the top of Tamarack, decided to skip the main Hourglass Bowl as the top is really wind hammered, we followed the ridge along to the more east facing trees. First pitch was a bit tracked up, but still really nice snow. We then skated across the flats and skied another pitch through the trees. Great snow, found a nice little gully to follow. We then skinned back up to the ridge and skied the same great east facing trees that I skied the end of yesterday's tour. It's getting warmer out there, we'll see how the snow holds up, tomorrow I'm doing some resort skiing with friends (it's gonna kill me to ski resort runs knowing there's powder still out there :)



Rick and the view from the top of Tamarack Peak.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mt Rose Backcountry

Today I decided to get a little more adventurous, head a bit further out, and find something to ski that I've never skied before. Started with a repeat of yesterday, headed back up to the top of 9210 but this time I skied the powder in the N facing trees down to the creek (~1000 foot run). Great snow, saw 6 other people heading up for a second lap, I decided to leave :)

Turns towards the bottom of my run in the trees

Next I headed up the creek towards this peak (name?). The summer hiking trail to the summit of Mt Rose heads up the gully between the mountain and this peak and I've heard there's good skiing down to the gully and seen possibilities in the summer.

? Peak

Looking back towards my first run

As I headed up the gully and past the cliffs I caught a view of this little chute and decided it would be my goal.

Approaching the peak

It looks like it goes, doesn't it?

Now it does!

Looking back up at my first few turns

More to go!


Snow in the chute had a slight wind crust, but it was all hop turning anyway, easy to break through. The snow in the trees below the chute was fantastic! I had seen this little gully with a couple tracks in it on my way up and found the top of it on my way out.

From here I skinned back below Broken Glass and Hourglass bowl, gained the ridge, and skied back down to the car. I was pleasantly surprised to find the snow was still powder on the way back down to the car, that east facing stuff often starts to crust up.

3000' feet today, but over a few extra miles as skinning out to the peak is largely flat. There's a ton of other lines out there, and less people, I'll be heading back here often!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Peak 9202 - Spark Plug

Didn't have much time today as I had an early AM phone call and a lunch meeting. One of the great things about the Mt Rose area is there are plenty of road side attractions if you only have an a hour or two. Today I decided to hit a run I've never skied before that I've heard called Spark Plug (I've heard this peak referred to as "The Diamond" as well as by its elevation, 9202). It's East facing, right off the road between the Mt Rose Summit and Mt Rose Ski Area, and visible from the main parking area used to access the Mt Rose backcountry area. It usually has tracks in it, and I've been asked many times by people I just picked up at the airport if I've ever skied it. There are some great runs on the North side of this peak and the ridge between it and the next high point that I've skied many times, but never skied the most obvious run until today. Snow was still powder, but getting thicker. Today's sun combined with above freezing temps are gonna wreck a lot of the snow, it was good to get this one in today, on to north faces tomorrow I think!

Peak 9202 and Spark Plug from the parking area.

Looking down from the top


Run viewed from a bit farther down Mt Rose Highway

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rose Knob Peak

Last weekend's storms gave us a nice fresh blanked of snow, especially above 8500' (we had some, uhmm, lots of rain too at the house at 7300' early in the storm). High pressure is moving in, avy danger is lowering, seems like a perfect time to do some skiing in the Mt Rose area (ie. home).

Started from my house at 7300', up to the summit at 9698'(altimeter)/9710'(map), I'll call it 2400' even :). Beautiful day, moderately gusty from the NW on the summit and the ridge. First 700' from the summit was nice powder. I then traversed high and skied the trees facing my first turns, the snow was lighter, the further down I got the more I hit the crust underneath. Bony getting out the last little bit, but overall a great ski run! Nice to ski powder in the South bowl (corn 17 days ago!), now it's time to move onto other aspects (and higher starts).

Skinning up @ home

Heading up the road

Freshies in the South Bowl

I wasn't first

Traversed high to the point on the left

Shadow wave, I love these trees, always good snow