Location: Near Bridgeport, CA – East Side of the Sierras
Elevation Change: 2700’ south side, 4400’ North Side Green Creek car shuttle
Recommended Map: Tom Harrison Maps – Hoover Wilderness
Dunderberg Peak 12,374’ – Dunderberg Peak is a popular and easy Eastern Sierra Peak to ski that doesn’t require a huge drive from home in Tahoe. Drive up to Conway Summit on hwy 395 south of Bridgeport, CA, and then 6 miles up to the Virginia Lakes Trailhead. You’ll want the road to be plowed and gate opened obviously. Or ride a snowmobile if you have one of those things. When the road gets plowed in spring there will still be plenty of snow to skin from the car to ski Dunderberg Peak, South Peak, Black Mountain, and Excelsior Mountain. Climbing Dunderberg usually requires ski crampons or boot crampons due to the exposure to wind, steepness, and high elevation. A ski descent of the south side will likely be soft however by the time you get to the top if there is no wind due to it’s mostly south facing terrain. The top few turns are a little more east facing and likely to be firm.
There is a steep Couloir or two on the SW side of the peak if you look for them, and also a longer north side to ski with a car left at the Green Creek Campground. Getting into the campground involves about 10 miles of dirt road travel from hwy 395. This road is graded dirt and melts out in late April or early May, so you’ll have to investigate before counting on this option. Dropping off the north side of the West Summit provides a 4400’ descent split into two separate aesthetic 35 degree couloirs. This car shuttle tour is a long day due to extra walking on rock from the east summit to the west summit, and then the march across the hidden plateau in between the two couloirs.
In times of long dry spells, the Virginia Lakes Road is sometimes plowed to the trailhead during the winter or in early spring. The cabin owners want to get up there. There is now a yurt you can rent and receive a snowmobile ride from the operator during the winter. As with all terrain similar to this area, beware of avalanche danger. It is all above treeline and exposed to high winds and sun.
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