Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm Posts: 1620 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Hmm. Powerhouse probably won't be good too much longer, unless you just want to drop the upper chute and climb back out. It will be getting pretty burnt down low soon. When I went it was already pretty manky and thin down low. Ellery will probably last a little longer. Ellery bowl is a little mellower entrance, and it's nice and wide.
For comparison, here's what Powerhouse and Ellery looked like at the time of last year's Saddlebag splitfest (6/11). I would guess things will be kinda similar this year.
This is what the Ellery bowl entrance looked like back at the beginning of April (our TPR trip)
There was a lot more snow then... here's Powerhouse at the same time
You know what I would do? Check out Mt. Dana and Dana couloir. The chute is nice and wide, at a consistent 40 degrees or so. If you get the snow right it can be a great run. Not to mention great views off Mt. Dana. It's higher up so the snow will probably be better. And then I would climb up onto the plateau. Even if you don't descend anything, it would be worth it just for the views. Just account for the time it will take to hike around on the plateau, it's pretty big and those views suck you in. Looking off the end of 3rd Pillar is worth a trip in itself. Then go check out Ellery (assuming it looked good from below on the way in), and drop that if it looks good. I think when the road opens a lot of people do the car shuttle thing where you leave a car at Ellery, drive up to Tioga lake, climb Dana from there, down Dana couloir, up onto the plateau and down Ellery bowl. You get some free vert that way. Never done that myself but maybe this weekend if we get lucky...