Post subject: Echo Lakes patch skiing and Whippet hunting 6/30/06
Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:24 pm
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 4956 Location: California
Date: June 30, 2006
Location: Desolation Wilderness, CA
Weather: Sunny and warm.
Participants: Geoff, bcrider
Gameplan: Late season turns, Whippet hunting
Beta: hiking shoes, deet, start sooner than 10am
Pics: bcrider, Geoff
Friday was one of those days at work where you basically just have to make an appearance, take care of a few things, and you can leave. The wife and kids were out of town so naturally my mind started thinking about the mountains and NOT doing work around the house. I've be meaning to go look for the Whippet I lost with gimpy back in January and wanted to make some more late season turns tooÃ¢â‚¬Â¦with a little luck I was able to do both. Thanks for coming along too Geoff!
***************************************************************************************** I left work at 8am after getting in at 6:30am and met Geoff at Echo Lakes around 9:30am. This was our first blind ski date and after a quick introduction we were on our way to boat taxi.
And on the water.
Then it's through the channel between the two lakes.
A few minutes later and we were on the public dock at Upper Echo Lake.
From there we stayed on the fisherman's trail along the shore to the picnic area and hung a right.
Lots of snow melt, creeks running, and soggy ground.
Now the Ralston Creek comes into view. The log crossing is in the middle of a mini-gorge section that stretches a hundred yards or so.
Geoff makes jis way across.
After crossing Ralston Creek we scrambled up a few hundred feet and finally see snow.
I switched over to skin mode.
Friggen skiers booting the skintrack.
Tamarack lake with Dicks and Jacks peaks in the distance.
Soon we were on top.
Looking towards the bowl between Baldy and Ralston with the Crystal range beyond. This bowl offers some steep lines but requires a good amount of rock hopping to get there along the ridge from Baldy. If this is your objective aim towards this drainage from the lower snowline.
Lake Aloha still frozen. You can also see 1500ft of continuous snow on the flanks of Mt Price. Its only 5 miles of dry trail each way.
Getting paid and enjoying every second of it.
Time to drop.
Geoff cuts some nice tele turns.
This one should be a Desolation Wilderness postcard.
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 8:42 pm Posts: 60 Location: Salinas, Ca
Up at 3:30am and on my way to Baldy for some July turns. The 4 hour drive went by quickly and before I knew it I was the first and only one waiting for the first boat taxi. My taxi operator recognizing me from many prior trips got me out on the lake quickly. It helps to tip the taxi drivers well. He mentioned that a few "boarders" had been up recently. Not thinking too much about it I could hardly wait to catch my first look at Baldy and surrounding area. Of course the first thing I noticed was that there were splitboard tracks in every one of my personal niches and then some. When the driver said they were looking for a lost pole I had a good idea who it might be. I continued on straight to the log and mosquito country and bushwacked and skinned to the top admiring all those tracks. I found myself about 2 boards widths of untracked snow and hit it to the bottom. After some precarious cliff down climbing I was back at the dock enjoying the view with about 40 people waiting for the taxi. Of course eveyone on the dock wanted to know where I had been so I did the proper thing and told them that I had made all those tracks and they all bought it even after seeing all my gray hair. Thanks for lending me your tracks Chris.......jim
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2387 Location: California
You got up at what time, bushwacked how many miles, for how many feet of vert?
Wished I could have joined you. Stoked on the whippet, good job on finding it. Just a bit of rust.
I've got a funny little story about Echo lakes. In grad school (pre-snowboarding) I took a side job as a tech for a biologist. We freakin cross country skied across both lakes stopping along the way to core through the ice to take water samples. I didn't know how to ski worth a shit and had to carry a bunch of fucking equipment, ice auger, etc. Not a bad gig but I remember watching a few skiers climbing the surrounding peaks and was thouroughly impressed. That was the first time I KNEW I needed to slid on snow (with my heels attached).