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    With barefoot woman back in town from the PNW asking where the jaggies were we decided a trip to the E. Sierras was in order….not to mention we have been drooling over them in guide books since we moved down to Tahoe.

    Left Truckee around 6:45am, hunger got it’s way on the way down and we made a stop at the Topaz Lake Lodge. This place rules, huge portions, cheap prices, decent food, and they have handy wipes on your way out so there’s no need to visit that pesky bathroom to clean up….straight back to the casino! After acquiring the necessary equipment of wine bottle and corkscrew in Bridgeport we were off towards twin lakes.

    Barefoot’s eyes grow large (there are spikies down here!)

    After Preteen’s lengthy espanol conversation with the Mono Village groundskeeper we were ready to mule up. Azule, aka lunch carrier, aka 4th class summit dog.

    A couple Tahoe locals had just finished the climb and had inspiring words of powder up high, bonfires now under our asses we took off towards horse creek canyon. Skinning was really rough down low, much postholing, dirt patches, etc. had us cussing quite a bit. Once we were in the canyon proper the going got much smoother with the exception of a few small patches of booting/post holing.

    Reason #876 to ride a splitboard, I think I see a kitchen sink somewhere on there.

    Camped at 8,500 ft. at the top of the canyon, nice dry area with a great rock bench and good views.

    Preteen teaches us the ancient art of chinchia (sp.?).

    There was a low pressure system forecasted for Monday night, and clouds looked very ominous Monday morning. There was some fear that we may get shut out but for now, game on. Got our usual alpine start (10 am) and proceeded up.

    A wonderful chute right above camp, we would later get to hit this on the descent.

    Did a little too much booting this trip, really need to invest in some ski crampons. Really need to invest in a new camera as well, the dead bug black blotch is getting really old.

    We planned on ascending/descending the west couloir but we spotted some ice glistening inside so we opted for the east couloir instead.

    After dropping our gear at the e. couloir saddle and a very enjoyable short scramble we reached the top. The best part was watching summit dog climb the 4th class, he was making it to the top regardless of what his owner wanted. Mandatory summit shots, Preteen gets the scummit horns.

    Weather was moving in fast so we high tailed it down, grabbed our stuff from the ski depot and made our way over to ski dreams. We would have liked to do the e. couloir but there just wasn’t enough snow.

    Preteen drops it.

    Followed by Barefoot and the Beast.

    Great spring pow, I even got a couple face shots on ski dreams. Wind buffed pow in the first bowl let us all open ‘er up and bomb across the gully. It’s too bad my legs were pretty noodly at this point, more in survival mode than play mode but it was still a blast. Made our way over to the tributary chute which still had some decent snow as well (though some boot tracks did roughen it a bit)

    Not long after I finished packing camp the clouds puked a small storm for 5 minutes, good timing. The slog out had much cussing as well, the rotten snow was very frustrating (especially for Preteen and his snowshoes). We ended up cutting the switchbacks to the valley floor and I decided I would test my limits in ski mode w/ a full pack on. At one point I got stuck in sit down position going straight down the hill, my elbows were the only things I could dig in enough to slow down. I then tried a couple tele turns, this ended with me on my back facing uphill, skis stuck in various positions.

    Reached the car right at dark, screw the hot springs where’s the hot grub at. Oh yeah, Topaz Lodge has it. Note the 4 half eaten sandwiches, maybe next time we’ll pass on the 3 appetizers (or at least on the small-child sized pork nachos)

    All in all probably my most enjoyable ski mountaineering trip…..impressive mountain, beautiful area, good company, and good snow to blame.


    Well done!! Nice to see another eastside report. I guess I’m not surprised there was ice in the W couloir. It looked good from 395. E couloir is a piece of crap imo. Ski dreams is always hot though!!! You got me stoked for another trip!
    Crazy how little snow there is in the start of the canyon. Awesome that you could build a fire though!


    And I thought I am going to be reading about some rad splitter descent from my home country Switzerland.

    That’s the real Matterhorn:

    Anyway…… cool TR none the less, but where is the Matterhorn in your TR?
    Or is that the region or something?


    Oh well aware, every route description you read has some sort of disclaimer about how it shouldn’t be called the Matterhorn as it only resembles it from one side….and really it’s got nothing on the real deal.

    Matterhorn is down in the Toiyobe (?) national forest about 2.5 hours southeast of Lake Tahoe.


    @snownskate wrote:

    Matterhorn is down in the Toiyobe (?) national forest about 2.5 hours southeast of Lake Tahoe.

    OK…. might have to check this out some day.


    Great report!! :thatrocks:

    Matterhorn Peak:

    (Photo credit: Someone on

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.




    That’s the real Matterhorn:

    Yeah, Yeah we all have one. Besides hasn’t Al Gore melted your’s yet?


    ahhh, zeee Matterhorn! (cali version)

    Nice! I love that place.
    Can’t believe how dry the canyon looks but the upper reaches look great. Gotta love that exit couloir back to camp too. Always a fun one!

    Thanks for sharing! :thatrocks:

    ps. bonus TR points for the food pic!


    I was thinking about heading down there tonight. Looks like the area might have gotten a half foot or so 3/20. Anyone interested?


    Nice. This is what, the 2nd eastern Sierra TR this season?? Good to see someone out there getting the goods before they’re gone. Topaz Lodge is a trip. I had to spend the night there last spring when my car broke down on the way back from an eastside trip. If you spend the night, you get $10 in free tokens. Woohoo! Not that I won anything…


    nice pics and way to climb it. was in horse creek 3/16-18, went over and climbed twin peaks sat. and toured under z matt sunday a.m. before getting to the hotsprings. someone really hammered the skin track over the weekend in snowshoes/postholing. brutal. beautiful for May, er, I mean Marrrrrrch?!

    1st attempted vidi coming soon ❗


    Get it while you can down there, I’m watching the snowpack in Tahoe recede daily! The skint was pretty much nonexistent when we went up as well, and it was definitely hammered by a postholin’ shoer (not by our’s though, he’s courteous and knows what’s up)

    I did some research re: the campfire, I really couldn’t find any restrictions except the need for a campfire permit (oops). Though I’m still not positive on this, can anyone shed some light on which national forest the sawtooth ridge belongs to?

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