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Mike’s Ski Tours

Hi there BackCountry Customers! This blog is dedicated to helping everyone get into the exciting and rewarding sport of backcountry ski touring.

If you have questions or feedback, email me – mike@thebackcountry.net. Please don’t take anything I’ve said as 100% accurate. I’m just trying to help and have fun going off of memory and looking at pictures I take. There is no precise measuring or complicated computer mapping going on here.

PLEASE READ THIS WARNING BEFORE CONTINUING!

  • These maps were not created with GPS accuracy – they are just my notes based on experience.
  • There are inherent risks in going into the backcountry to ski, snowboard, snowshoe or climb. The routes on these maps may be dangerous and even deadly depending on many variables such as current avalanche danger, weather, snowpack depth, skill and experience level, and time of day.
  • If you are not an expert and experienced backcountry skier, snowboarder, snowshoer, or climber with proper backcountry training we highly recommend you hire a professional guide. We recommend excellent local guides and backcountry skills classes from local pro guide companies Alpine Skills and Alpenglow Expeditions. We also highly recommend Sierra Mountain Guides out of Bishop, and Shasta Mountain Guides if your going up there.
  • You take FULL responsibility for yourself and your party when using this website for advice and the author disclaims any liability for injury or any other damage by anyone traveling in the areas described. 
  • Please be patient if our guidebook recommendations end up being wrong for you – we don’t know you and your skill level and experience. We are just showing you where we like to go enjoy the backcountry.

Have a great time and please be safe!
– Mike, Owner of The BackCountry

Dunderberg Peak

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...

Mt. Thompson

Location: Near Bishop, CA - East Side of the Sierras Elevation Change: 3726' Recomended Map: Tom Harrison Maps - Bishop Pass Mt. Thompson 13,494’ - Be prepared for steep couloirs with potential cornices to navigate if you want to ski Mt. Thompson. This beautiful ski...

Mt. Gilbert

Location: Near Bishop, CA - East Side of the Sierra Elevation Change: 3,338' Recommended Map: Tom Harrison Maps – Bishop Pass Mt. Gilbert 13,106’ - I love Mt. Gilbert for its friendly terrain, easily skied in a half day by competent backcountry skiers. It’s a big peak...

Deerhorn Mountain

Location: Independence, CA Elevation Change: 6300' Recommended Map: Kearsarge Pass- Rae Lakes Trail Map by Tom Harrison and Mt. Whitney High Country Map by Tom Harrison Deerhorn Mountain is an overnight ski tour is one you are likely to have all to yourself. The top...

Mt. Lassen, CA

Location: Mt. Lassen National Park Elevation Change: 2-4000' Recomended Map: National Geographic - Lassen National Park Mt. Lassen 10,457' is a friendly Northern California peak to ski. There are small sub peaks surrounding it and a nice view to the north of Mt....

Bishop Bowl

Location: Bishop, CA Elevation Change: 3,700' total vertical   8,300' - 12,000' I have only skied Bishop Bowl in the springtime looking for corn. This is a high elevation peak, mostly facing east. The sun and wind rough up the surface a bit, but you'll find the south...

Matterhorn Peak – Sawtooth Ridge

Location: Bridgeport, CA Elevation Change: 7100' to 12,264' (summit) Recomended Map: Hoover Wilderness - Tom Harrison Maps The Sawtooth Mountain Range of Bridgeport, CA are only 2.5 hours by car from our store in Truckee. Whoo Hooooo! Drive 13 miles or so towards the...

Crater Crest and Monument Ridge

Location: Bridgeport, CA Duration: All Day Elevation Change: Twin Lakes is 7100'. Crater Crest Summit is 11,200'. Recomended Map: Hoover Wilderness Map by Tom Harrison The ski tour to the summit of Crater Crest in the Sawtooths above Bridgeport is the absolute best...

Mt. Shasta, CA

Location: Northern border of California Duration: 5-10 hours Elevation Change: 6860' - 14,179' Recomended Map: Mt. Shasta - Tom Harrison "She's a big dog", Jamie Schectman told us all as he rallied my friends and I onto our first climb of Mt. Shasta in the mid 90's. I...

Mt. Tallac

Location: South Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 2-3 hours Elevation Change: 3,200' - from 6,535' to 9,735' Recommended Map: Emerald Bay, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Mt. Tallac is the best thing Tahoe has to offer. I say this because of the...

Jake’s Peak

Location: West Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1-2 hours Elevation Change: 2,357' - from 6,830' to 9,187 Recommended Map: Emerald Bay, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: With some real sweat and skilled skinning, you can wind your way up to one of...

Rubicon Peak

Location: West Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1-2 hours Elevation Change: 2,200' - from 6,800' to 9,000' Recommended Map: Rockbound Valley & Meeks Bay, California Elevation Profile:   Map of General Route: A Tahoe classic, this is the peak you can’t take your eyes...

Bliss Peak

Location: West Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1.5-2 hours Elevation Change: 2,400' - from 6,600' to 9,000' Recommended Map: Emerald Bay, California & Rockbound Valley, California Map of General Route: Bliss Peak, also known as Hidden Peak, is the short tour Tahoe...

Twin Peaks/Grouse Rock/Stanford Rock

Twin Peaks/Grouse Rock Location: West Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1 - 2 hours Elevation Change: 1,678' - from 7,200' to 8,878' Recommended Map: Ward Peak & Sunnyside, California If you’ve skied Alpine Meadows, you may have wondered how to get over to this nearby...

Silver Peak

Location: Sierra Crest - Squaw Valley, CA Duration: 2.5 - 4 hours from Hwy 89 Elevation Change: 2,328' - from 6,020' to 8,348' Recommended Map: Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Visible from the Squaw Valley parking lot, and also near the 7-11 on Highway 89,...

Mt Rose

Location: Mt. Rose Wilderness - Lake Tahoe, NV Duration: 2 - 3 hours Elevation Change: 2,176' - from 8,600' to 10,776' Recommended Map: Mt. Rose, Nevada Elevation Profile:   Map of General Route: The Mount Rose Wilderness Area is a backcountry winter wonderland....

Freel Peak

Location: South Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 4 - 5 hours Elevation Change: 3,681' - from 7,200' to 10,881' Recommended Map: Freel Peak, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Skiing Freel Peak is generally something you do for your tick list, or just...

Job’s Peak

Location: South Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 4 - 5 hours Elevation Change: 3,633' - from 7,000' to 10,633' Recommended Map: Job's Peak & South Lake Tahoe, California Map of General Route: Heading out to Job’s Peak means you’re going to be busy for the entire day....

Steven’s Peak

Location: Carson Pass - Hope Valley, CA Duration: 2 hours Elevation Change: 2,611' - from 7,430' to 10,041' Recommended Map: Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Steven’s Peak’s south side offers rolling, wide-open slopes to cruise for a long way back to you car....

Red Lake Peak

Location: Carson Pass - Kirkwood, CA Duration: 1 - 2 hours Elevation Change: 2,663' - from 7,400' to 10,063' Recomended Map: Caples Lake & Carson Pass, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Not well known, this high elevation giant is an easy one to ski...

Roundtop

Location: Carson Pass - Kirkwood, CA Duration: 1.5 - 2.5 hours Elevation Change: 1,781' - from 8,600' to 10,381' Recomended Map: Caples Lake & Carson Pass, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Drive a mile west of Carson Pass, or a mile east of Kirkwood...

Waterhouse Peak

Location: Luther Pass - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1 - 1.5 hours Elevation Change: 1,781' - from 7,716' to 9,497' Recomended Map: Waterhouse Peak & South Lake Tahoe, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Hit Waterhouse Peak if you’re short on time, or...

Pyramid Peak

Location: Desolation Wilderness - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 3 - 4 hours Elevation Change: 3,806' - from 6,177' to 9,983' Recomended Map: Pyramid Peak Trailhead, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: When viewed from Sierra-at-Tahoe ski area or the summit...

Ralston Peak

Location: Desolation Wilderness- Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 2 - 3 hours Elevation Change: 2,697' - from 6,538' to 9,235' Recomended Map: Pyramid Peak & Echo Lake, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Ralston Peak is not a well-known backcountry ski...

Echo Peak

Location: South Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1.5-2 hours Elevation Change: 2,289' - from 6,606' to 8,895' Recomended Map: Echo Lake, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Echo Peak is has a lot of terrain to ski, with very few visitors. Probably...

Angora Peak

Location: South Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1 - 2 hours Elevation Change: 2,188' - from 6,400' to 8,588' Recomended Map: Desolation Wilderness Trail Map by Tom Harrison, USGS Topographic Map 7.5 Minute Series: Echo Lake, CA Elevation Profile: Map of General...

Dick’s Peak

Location: Desolation Wilderness - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 4 - 6 hours Elevation Change: 3,474' - from 6,500' to 9,974' Recomended Map: Desolation Wilderness Trail Map by Tom Harrison, USGS Topographic Map 7.5 Minute Series: Emerald Bay, California & Rockbound Valley,...

Rose Knob Jr. Peak

Location: Mt. Rose Wilderness - Lake Tahoe, NV Duration: 1.5-2 hours Elevation Change: 2,000' - from 7,600' to 9,600' Recomended Map: Mt. Rose, Nevada Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Rose Knob Jr. is a quick ski tour for north shore locals who know you don’t...

Maggie’s Peaks

Location: Emerald Bay - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1 - 1.5 hours Elevation Change: 1,822' - from 6,837' to 8,659' Recomended Map: Emerald Bay, California & Rockbound Valley, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Maggies has two summits, split by the summer...

Castle Peak

Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Castle Peak is popular due to easy access from Hwy 80, high elevation start, and mellow terrain. Get a CA Sno-Park permit at our shop ($5/day or $25/season). You'll find the parking area adjacent to the Boreal Ski Area Parking...

Donner Peak

Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Donner Peak is the sweet little mountain that dominates your view as you drive up old hwy 40 over Donner Pass. It is on your left above Donner Lake. Donner Peak is interesting, in that it offers extreme terrain on the north...

Bear Claw

Location: Near Incline Village, Above Sand Harbor State Park Vertical: about 2000' Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: This is a small area of terrain to ski, but the view is absolutely the most incredible thing you will ever experience. If you have ridden your...

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