Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm Posts: 1619 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Just wanted to put out this Public Service Announcement:
CARSON PASS IS GOING OFF RIGHT NOW!!!
After 3 days hanging with a bunch of splitbooters at Lassen(I'll post some pics from that soon too, got a ton to go through), Buffy and I decided to take a much-needed "mental health day" yesterday. Neither of us had been out to Carson pass all year, and apparently there was some dumpage in Tahoe over the weekend, so we decided to go check it out.
It's tough to get up early though after getting unpacked from a 3 day trip at 2 in the morning. Plus it was raining in the morning. So we got a jimw-style alpine start at 2 PM. The nice thing about the pseudo-winter weather with spring sunlight hours is that you can do this.
It rained all the way to the pass, but then right as we got there, it magically changed to snow.
There is enough snow to skin from the parking lot.
It was snowing hard. It snowed pretty much the whole time we were out.
Did I mention it was snowing?? Buffy was stoked. "It's SNOWING!!"
Every once in a while the clouds would lift a tad, and we could see where the hell we were going. Roundtop kinda sorta peeking out.
We had to break trail. At the end of May.
We dug a pit. At the end of May.
The snowpack was looking pretty bomber. In the pit it was about 3 feet to the ground, or the rocks. There was a slight layer about 8 inches down, looked like it was from earlier melt-freeze, and the new snow on top of that. The whole pack though was really quite uniform and the layers were not very pronounced. First CT produced nothing, second one got some movement on the melt-freeze layer at like CT 25 or something. Basically looked totally solid (and, I might add, a lot more stable than what we saw at Lassen this weekend).
So we headed up the bowl toward the chutes.
Nearing the base of the chutes, there was some buried sluff debris in the apron from Crescent. We started up Crescent, but the snow changed. It seemed like much of it had already slid, probably right after the snows over the weekend. It changed from postholing to pushing through maybe 6" or so of fresh over a hard layer, and the layer seemed harder than in the pit. The lookers far left chute looked better, and didn't appear to have shed as much debris, so we headed over there.
At this point it was almost 6 PM, and suddenly the skies started to clear, so we climbed just a bit higher to a little notch and transitioned.
Cool chutelet from the notch:
So then we dropped in at 6 PM, at the end of May, and experienced probably the best powder I've ever had out there!
Buffy approves - look at that huge smile!
Then more great pow down to the lake:
Seriously, it's real pow!
Tracks. Buffy was practicing her powder figure 1. I also like the slight discontinuity in the tracks at the top.
We were stoked! Some of the best pow turns all year on a late May evening, who woulda thought??
The sun kept breaking through and made for some great lighting.
To top it all off, we booted in our own skin track on the way out. Ha!
But this must have pissed off the skin track etiquette gods, because then the clouds returned. We had this crazy thought that we might have time to drop Elephant's Back on the way out. First problem: where is it?
Apparently this is not the optimal skin route...
... cuz we ended up on top of the cliffs in the middle. Oops.
Got to where we intended to be, and the sun poked through once again. We really wanted to drop it, as the snow looked just as good as on Roundtop... but at this point it was about 7:45 PM and time to get outta there.
Instead we got in a little pow split-skiing:
Then the long skin out to the car, where we arrived at 8:30 just as it was getting dark. Didn't see a soul the whole time. Glad I brought the bike this weekend.
Get out there and GIT SOME! Hopefully it'll still be good if it wasn't sunny and warm today. It stayed cold the whole time we were out, and it was snowing when we left.
Thanks so much for being my partner in crime and bailing on work yesterday. It was so worth it. (I hope my boss doesn't read this)
It was snowing, it was beautiful!
Jim doing the CT
Some skinning on snow
Getting ready to ride=happiness!
Jim dropping into the apron
What a good day to be out there, my only regret is that we ran out of daylight and weren't able to ride Elephumps! Oh and maybe my skin track up the talus to the cliff band, that wasn't exactly ideal either. Sorry about that Jim!