this messageboard is under construction. Look forward to a new-age version in a few months that requires very little load time, easy researching, easy posting and picture storage, as well as many personal and unique touches to put you in touch with backcountry people and backcountry information.
For now, here's me playing with a panoramic picture making program Eric turned me onto called HUGIN. I went back to previous files of pictures and found quite a few times where I took many pictures INTENDING to piece them together in pano form. Well now I can do it in about 2 minutes.
If you are geeky like me and scour pictures for future ski touring ideas, all of these peaks can be found in trip reports on our messageboard. To speed up your search, include "backcountry" as the author. The search command simply is just the word "search" near the top of your screen.
Here's what I used to do. gets the point across, I love this shot of the entire Palisades area.
I took this from Two Eagle Peak. Going out toward Mt. Sill, Barry Durbin and I were turned around by high winds. I curved around to the right and found soft corn on a south facing slope with a nice summit to view the area.
Here's what I can do with Hugin with just a few clicks. I took these shots sticthed together above Sand Harbor earlier this season on a fun day with Logan, Lynette, and Roger.
This was a 2005 5-day ski tour with Eric. This is taken from the summit of Black Giant looking east. We also skied Mt. Goddard (big guy on the left), Mt. Fiske (white pyramid in center), Mt. Wallace, and Mt. Powell in that amazing trip. Bluebird everyday, perfect corn.
One short windstorm crushed us for an afternoon, forcing a snowcave and temporarily lost sleeping bag. Whoops.
This is from the summit of Mt. Wallace, looking East and NE. You can see the Owens River Valley and Lake Sabrina where we started. The big peak in front of us to the North is Mt. Haeckel. The bowl inbetween Haeckel and Wallace was a really cool terrain feature with steep 500' walls surrounding you, like a giant Meteor crashed there.
I think this was a 2008 day skiing the south side of Bloody Mountain with Jim. Red Slate's N Couloir is the beacon calling you on the right. Mt. Baldwin is just left of center, and Mt. Morgan is on the left.
This is a pieced together pano taken from mid-mountain on the south side of Bloody, looking East at the Sierra Crest. Not sure of names on these peaks, but plenty of cool stuff to do. This terrain is just north of Red Slate.
Last year in 2010 Abe and Michael joined me for Cardinal Peak, above Big Pine. The impressive south face of Split Mountain wasn't something I'd heard of, but since then quite a few friends of mine have hit it. Looks like a warm and steep place for snow to stay put while you get all the way up there to 14k. Timing....
Anyway, Cardinal Peak is awesome. Check out the trip report and go there for a big day.
This is on the summit of Crater Crest I think around 2004 with Scott and John. Gnarly breakable crust that day, but this view made it 100% worth it. All of the peaks you see can be skied in a day from Twin Lakes, averaging around 4000' vert. Matterhorn Peak is the tallest one, left of center.
Twin peaks looks almost as tall on the left. Big Slide Canyon is the sunny terrain in front of our ski tips.
Another shot from Crater Crest showing a bit more of Big slide Canyon.
These stitched pictures are from the top of Mt. Fiske, on that 2005 ski tour of the Evolution Range with Eric. This peak has great skiing on all sides, and we circumnavigated the peak in a crazy way while climbing and descending, seeing practically the whole monster. We started at Sabrina, crossed the Crest next to Mt. Wallace, and slept at about 11k on the other side to get to this one and start our Evolution Loop, all just south of Mt. Darwin (the high rocky south side in view here on the left. Mt. Haeckel is in center, Mt. Wallace just right of that.
There a at least 5 pictures stitched here, showing more than your eyes could see. This is on the top of Mt. Gould, an easy half day climb above the Onion Valley Trailhead. University Peak is the big guy on the left. This is a great trailhead with flat paved parking at 9000', usually accessible by mid April. University peak has a great north facing run also easily done in a day. Kearsarge Pinnacles are in the center of the mountains. I got to ski a line on those and the south face of Mt. Rixford way on the right during a 4 day ski tour in May 2011.
This shot is the entire Humphries Basin. I can't remember where I took these pictures now. Anyone know? I searched my files of peaks I've done around that area and none fit. Weird. Anyway, one time I crossed the basin trying to do the North Lake to Rock Creek ski tour. After being pinned by wind storm below the pass for 2 days, we finally strapped on our ridiculously heavy packs and went all the way across.
Nearing Pine Creek, I just felt it was going to dump snow. We were low on food and turned around. We skinned all the way back across the Humphries Basin, and snowplowed down Piute Canyon in a whiteout blizzard. No turns in 3 days, and we barely got our cars out of the snow banks.
After a parking lot Bivy in Mammoth, we woke up to 3 feet of new snow in TOWN. My two friends who joined me on this ski tour were fairly new to the sport, and never did anything like this again.
This is a few pictures put together of the summit of Monument Peak in Bridgeport. You can't see the couloirs, but they are there! This is a longer day tour just a little left (east) of Crater Crest. Try to ski Crater Crest on the way back, with an easy 1000' more climbing if you go to Monument.
I have trip reports on the messageboard doing it both ways. The cool looking complex terrain of smaller peaks on the left is near the Green Creek Trailhead. This was a great day with Vince and Greg.
This was a day last year going up the back (east side) of Pyramid Peak in Mammoth. It snowed 5 feet in the few days leading up to this, right up to 24hours prior. So I thought the steep, narrow, SE facing Parachute couloir would be easy to kick away any avy danger at the top while dangling from a belay.
Although I did this, the snow was fine and I probably didn't need the belay. Fun day with Eric and Logan. In this pic you can see Banner and Ritter on the right, and the Mammoth Crest in the center.
This pano is from the top of Ralston Peak, at the south end of Desolation Wilderness in Tahoe. This was mid winter this year, and we skied a few laps in great shin deep powder on the north facing terrain from the summit down to the little lakes back there. It was an exceptional freshies day for the dogs.
Red Lake Peak is right at Carson Pass near Kirkwood. I'm not on the summit here, but somewhere on the south side. Red Lake Peak is high at 10k, and offers nice 2k runs on both the north and south sides. In this shot you can see Round Top and it's exciting "Crescent Moon Couloir".
Elephants Back is the wave looking mound down lower on the left, with a fat snowy East face. Both peaks form a fun tour with a short car shuttle.
Oh, that tube sticking out of the snow on the right is from old days when avy control was performed somehow. Find that tube and ski a great south facing avy path gully that grows corn snow quickly. This line empties out right at the curviest part of hwy 88 at Carson Pass.
This pieced-together shot looks past Lake Sabrina (above Bishop) at the Sierra Crest. Eric and I walked the highway for a few miles to get to this point, where we started the Evolution ski tour I talked about up high. We went over Haeckel Col, which is kind of dead center.
Okay, I cheated. This shot of Chris Czyz going up the East Side of Shasta last spring is not actually a stitched pano shot. I just cropped it. Gotta have a Shasta picture in a dealio like this of Sierra panos!
This was a great day in 2009 on Mt. Shuksan, behind the Mt. Baker Ski Area. We skied White Salmon Glacier and realized we should have started earlier and tried for the summit. Perfect powder and great coverage. Next time. Not knowing much about the area, we got lucky though.
Bluebird and champagne powder in Washington? and no one around? Toby, John, and another cool guy I forget from up there.
This was a fantastic day. Crappy snow, but great views of the Palisades and a nice "out there" High Sierra day that is fairly easy to do in a day above Big Pine. You can park at the Palisades Trailhead all winter in a nice flat plowed spot at 8000'.
Great access for a hundred different rad adventures. I knew I wanted to try this one seeing it from Kid Mountain, as it has big south facing terrain you can access mid winter during a cold spell.
I've never seen slicker boilerplate than we found on this day. I absolutely needed my crampons and axe to climb the 35 degree slope to the top. Today was Scott, John, Kristen, and Vince.
Back to this pic. South Fork pass is the low spot on the ridge, just left of the center. To the right of that you can see the curvy Norman Clyde Couloir above the steep Norman Clyde Glacier. I got to do that one finally last year with Greg. The center peaks are Middle Palisades. Mt. sill is the big guy on the right.
A different view a little right, taken from the same spot on the summit of Slide Mountain. The mountain on the right partly melted out is Two Eagle Peak I talked about in the first picture of this thread. Mt. Sill is on the far left.
Any thread of Sierra backcountry skiing from a tahoe guy needs to include some Mt. Tallac shots. This is the Janine Ridge and Dick's Peak behind (West) of Mt. Tallac. Price and Agassiz above Lake Aloha are seen in part on the left.
Here's a shot from the summit of Mt. Tallac looking west at the Crystal Range. Pyramid Peak on the left, Lake Gilmore is the roundish flat white thing, Dicks' Peak is the big guy revealing both it's upper north and south slopes. 25 minutes from my house to the trailhead! Good thing, because Ithere is no 2nd home or lengthy vacation in my future. Whatever I can do in a day, or occasionally a few days will have to do. No prob! The Sierras are over 200 miles long and 50 mile wide! And then there's the Volcanoes north of us...
2 pics stitched together from Tallac Summit looking NE.
This was a great day with John in 2006 skiing The Thumb above Big Pine. Heinous, thin, wind swept snow. John revealed he was hiding the flue halfway up, somehow charging through it. But on boring day in Feb when it hadn't snowed in awhile and snow sucked everywhere, what else are you gonna do?
The view from the top is sweet. This picture sold me on two peaks I went back last year to do with roger. Mt. Bolton Brown on the left (summit is left of the cool looking "Y" Couloir". And the long south facing run from Balcony Peak (basically the left Skyline of Middle Palisades.
We spent a night out there, going over South Fork Pass, approaching from the right out of view.
This is on the top of Mt. Tom looking North. John and I joined Scott for his 30th birthday, 10 years ago. We are all 40 now.
Here's a near 360 degree shot taken from the top of Young's Peak, one of the popular Roger's Pass BC ski tours.
One of the few times I splurged on a ski trip. I went to Ruedi Beglinger's Selkirk Lodge with Roger and Chris in 2007. We skied at Roger's Pass and Whitewater as well for free. Find this trip report and go to Ruedi's. Bring your significant other and plunk down the credit card. The food and location don't get any better than this. Or go with your friends, fall asleep in your guided skin track, and ski a lot of 30 degree powder, eating amazing food, hanging out high in remote BC mountains, while feeling like the richest, most spoiled white guy ever. 2200 bucks.
I just told you to spend 2200 bucks. Forget that. Drive 2 hours south of Tahoe to Bridgeport on a cold mid winter day when the ski areas are rock hard, and climb 5000' to Victoria Peak. Or just 4000' to ski a huge wide S SE facing slide path in perfect corn.
Here Logan and Greg are looking across Big Slide Canyon at peaks left to right: Crater Crest, Twin Peaks, Mt, Walt. Blacksmith Peak, Eocene, Mt. Walt, Kettle Peak, and Crown Point.
This shot is from earlier this year on the north side of Mt. Walt in Bridgeport. Greg is finishing a crazy long couloir climb where we fought every type of snow, including waist deep dry powder barely covering slippery rocks in the steep upper couloir. We bailed on trying to find the summit from this part of the mountain after dragging ourselves to the top of the snow by 2pm. 3700' of climbing with light mileage doesn't normally take 6 hours. Just right of center is Hunewill Peak, near the end of Big Slide Canyon. Kip skied that one this season. I did that one with good ol Mark Sanders one time. Not quite as steep as it looks. Go with good snowdepth so you can skin the 4 miles to the base easily from Twin Lakes Campground.
This shot is from a spot in between the summit of Eocene Peak and Mt. Walt. Steve and Michael from the shop joined me on this day earlier this year. This pic is looking south at Blacksmith Peak . We came up Blacksmith Canyon from Twin Lakes in Bridgeport.
This is an easy, beautiful half day tour back there with some great short couloirs at the end. Eocene Peak is a nice goal, with fairly low angle terrain all the way to the last short steep pitch. We found such hard snow that we needed ski crampons and then boot crampons.
Could have skipped that stuff, but it's way less blisters and concentration required with it. CAMP makes the ultra lightweight stuff you want for ski touring.
This is from the summit of Mt. Whorl taken last year. Greg and I went over Burro Pass next to Matterhorn Peak and skied a nice long, steep east face of this peak and found really fun terrain along the way back in a fairly easy day. Climbing to the summit was exciting 3rd class knife edge for maybe 100'.
In this pic we are looking north, with Matterhorn's South side over on the right. Burro Pass is just out of view to the right.
Here's a really wide Pano stitch shot with about 6 photos in it. This pano practically wraps 360 degrees. Last year John and I found success in a long day "dark to dark" skiing from the summit of Mt. Williamson. This shot shows way more than your eyes could see standing still. Mt. Tyndall is on the left.
This is from 2009 on top of Mt. Wood with shop guys KT and Greg, and Vince, John, and Peter from ASI. Awesome day, good corn snow, and the Eastern Sierras seemingly all to ourselves as usual.
This pano was taken on the top of Mt. Baldwin last year, an exciting steep climb halfway between Convict Lake and Red Slate Mountain, just south of Mammoth. The big guy is Red Slate in this pic just right of center. Roger, Chris, and Susan joined me on this one. Great day, powder, skied across Convict Lake (probably shouldn't have on the way back).
This was a great 4 day ski tour I went on in May 2011 with Dan Molnar. No tracks or people anywhere and perfect snow. This first shot is on our last day, camped on the west side of Kearsarge Pass. Weather was moving in and we were totally satisfied with the previous 3 days of beautiful ski touring. In the morning we did a run on one of the Kearsarge Pinnacles in the morning, and skied over Mt. Gould's summit back to the car.
Day two and after skiing Dragon Peak's North Couloir, we went up for an evening ski from the summit of Painted Lady.
The view from the top of Painted Lady looking north towards Mt. Clarence King and the Rae Lakes where we camped.
The summit view on top of our 3rd day ski over Mt. Rixford, looking south. Kearsarge Pass is just out of the frame on the left. Vidette Canyon is in the center and a few miles away (one of my next ski tours to do!)
Last April I had a great epic snowstorm experience that finally lead to a sunny powder day on Feather Peak. Luca Adriani and Matt Lund joined me up Pine Creek Trailhead, near the base of Mt. Tom in Bishop. We went for over 5 hours with big packs up to Royce Lakes here and camped in seemingly perfect weather. We left a good tent at home and brought some beer instead. Read my trip report if you want to see a snow cave epic and story of how to deal when you are soaking wet in conditions like this.
This shot is from the top of the Feather Peak Couloir looking west. My original goal was to go out to Gemeni and 7 Gables in this shot. Next time!
On this spring day of 2011 Roger Slavin, Andrew Eisenstark and I found good corn snow on the huge southeast facing gully of Mt. Laurel above Convict Lake. This is a Mammoth Local tick list peak that is hard to time for safety and snow coverage. Of course being proud of ourselves seemed like nonsense when we ran into Dave Turner in the parking lot that afternoon, who has been "speed flying" off all the surrounding peaks as a warm DOWN from way bigger adventures. Speed Flying for him means skinning and climbing to a peak and then keeping the skis on for the landing. A small winged hang glider type thing gets him going to 60mph, and he stays near the mountain and even touches skis down at times. He actually escaped serious injury by inches on this day in a crash landing. Look it up on youtube
This is a really cool free place to camp just above the Eastern Sierra town of Lone Pine, in the Alabama Hills. I haven't climbed Lone Pine Peak's massive 5.6 north ridge yet, seen between these boulders. On this trip we did go up high and climb some of the 14ers in the Whitney Zone. Alabama hills are warm, friendly, and really need. A great place to take kids for biking, climbing, bb gun shooting, and marshmallow roasting.
This was a summer 2011 climb I did with Tim Dobbins of Aguille Extra, just left of Mt. Whitney. This was a fantastic 8 pitch dihedral climb with some tricky sections and loose rock to manage, but also some of the best pitches I've done too. A great 2 days for us!
Eric Perlman, local famous climber and action sports filmmaker joined me on a trip to Mt. Whitney. With his expertise, we flew up Keeler Needle in 15 pitches on one day and then Mt. Russell's Fish Hook Arete the next. Okay, we didn't fly by his standards, but certainly went faster than me and my friends would have gone! Fish Hook's 8 pitch 5.9 route is one that I will hopefully do many times in my life. Normally I wouldn't think I would repeat any of these alpine routes, as there are only so many days for me to spend at this pursuit. But this climb is unreal in every way. Quality rock, views, interesting formations, and camp setting.
This summer Eric and I climbed the East Ridge of Mt. Conness in a fun easy day un-roped. There is one low 5th class moment near the ground. Then we ran back through fields of mosquitos, easily ignoring them with the incredible backcountry scenery of late summer snowfields, flowers, meadows, and silence.