Location: Carson Peak
Summit Elevation: 10,909′
Elevation Change: 3600′
Map: Tom Harrison – Mammoth High Country
Carson Peak is the beautiful crown-like mountain above June Lake, and very nearby to June Mountain Ski Resort. You could even traverse over from there, but it won’t save you time. There are some sweet long descents to be made by car shuttle in the terrain that joins June Lake Ski Area to Carson Peak called the “Negatives”. Grab the Mingori Ski touring guidebook from our shop and book your family a room at the Double Eagle Resort. Ski with the kids on the lifts at June and dodge out for some ski touring right behind your cabin. They have a spa and serve dinner as well. Or sleep next to your truck tires and get back to work and family the next day like I usually do. I have wanted to explore this area more, there is a lot of great looking skiing all packed into one nice little spot. And check out our Tahoe transplant friends who have recently opened the T Social Club and June Pie for pizza and live music.
Carson Peak has an unreal and closeup view of Mt. Ritter and Banner from the summit; a standalone reason to go up there. I skied Carson Peak a few times in the 2003-2005 range and haven’t been back, but at that time we just parked on the June Lake rd near the Fern Creek Trailhead. We skinned up through the trees and traversed a narrow path into Carson Bowl. Before finishing the climb up Carson Bowl, we booted a short extra bonus couloir in my pictures that was really fun and completely in line with your travel. We skied back the way we came, peeling off into Devil’s Slide Couloir. I have no beta to offer on the steeper and sketchier north face of Carson Peak called Pete’s Dream. You need a lot of snow and confidence in your route finding and billy-goat technique to ski over there. It gets done all the time however. If you are worried about avalanche danger, This is probably not the mountain for you. I’ve been there when the snow is new and suspect, and there is no way to sneak up there on a ridge or a low angle route.
Carson Peak’s Devil’s Slide Couloir is a draw in itself. You can skin right up this from the base, but I like to leave tracks out of my ski descents if possible. Drive into the tiny neighborhood on the north side of Carson Peak and you’ll look up it. It’s pretty wide and maybe reaches 35 degrees max. Devil’s Slide is a gem of a mountain feature to ski through. There are oddly plenty of home lots to buy at the base of the mountain over here. Maybe building costs are too high, but I could sure move right to this spot! Sweet ski touring out the back door, great pizza and music down the street hosted by the one and only Jamie Schectman, the huge June and Gull Lakes are beautiful. June Mountain is a quiet ski area to teach your kids at, and you get summer access to the High Sierra’s Ansel Adams Wilderness just up the hill a little through the trees. If you buy a place, please invite me or let’s trade time in my Tahoe House!