Forums Trip Reports Talking Mt to Flagpole
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  • #567526
    460 Posts

    On Monday 2/20 BC Rider, Yoda, and I met up for a nice tour through Desolation. (Guys feel free to add your pics to this) The couple days before Tahoe had a very cold storm which brought a little under a foot of dry smokey powder. It was a good day.

    On the approach hike, looking over Echo Lake and Flagpole Peak with Tahoe off in the distance.

    bc rider dropping cornice as we started down Talking Mt.

    Yoda making his own entrance.

    bc rider entering a chute. This photo doesn’t capture the sluffing that we experienced here, but it was pretty amazing. A hard turn would release almost all the new snow.

    bc rider with landing gear down.

    yoda minus the top inch of his head.

    Talking Mountain, we basically descended the looker’s left slide path.

    282 Posts

    Come on guys, I’m gonna have to ask you to refrain from posting pics that in anyway resemble light and fluffy snow! I thought you guys only had the sierra cement 😉

    336 Posts

    Nice little TR. Way to get it before the sun does it’s damage this week.. Really wish I could call in sick tomorrow to get out there.. Hope to see some more good TR’s of other people getting the goods…

    And wow, I don’t think I’ve seen as many lines down every ridge, bowl, peak, cirque, etc… So many folks in the backcountry over the weekend, and so little avy activity by noon Monday… Lotta slough and powder point releases, but nothing big. Hope it doesn’t get too sketchy now that the suns getting some time to warm and slab it all up…

    Greg - NoKnees

    4149 Posts

    Thanks for starting the TR Dave!

    Had a super fun day out there on Monday. 8)

    Go get some dawn patrols or something for me this week too. 😀

    61 Posts

    didja find yer whippet? 🙂

    1421 Posts

    Looks great! I was expecting higher avy danger this weekend with the new snow and colder temps but it looks like things were pretty stable. Did you find anything interesting in the pits? I would expect things to get more stable if anything during the week…

    460 Posts

    The Sierra Avi Center actually had avi level as Low for Monday. This made sense b/c everything under the light powder was rock hard (we didn’t dig a pit, but I’m pretty sure this is what we would’ve found).
    The rather massive sluffs we cut loose were still interesting. After I took that pic of bcrider entering the chute an enormous amount of snow sluffed down past me, it was inconsequential but still attention grabbing.
    It’s warming up quickly this week and I would expect avi hazard to remain low. Hopefully the powder will last on North facing slopes.

    1421 Posts

    Yeah, I saw that rating and it surprised me. The Eastern Sierra avy rating was “considerable”. It covers a more southerly region but the received snowfall wasn’t hugely different. Maybe it’s just me but I have been taking the Central Sierra avy ratings with a grain of salt and usually bump them up a notch (I remember some questionable ratings last year… I think that topic may have even come up on one of the forums here). Hopefully the ratings have improved since then and I’m just being an old fart. One concern to me was areas that had been wind-loaded before the storm, and which received extra snow during the storm (which didn’t have much accompanying wind). In any terrain that did happen to be windloaded I would think things would be interesting since the conditions weren’t good for the new snow bonding to the old layer. Anyway, this is all theoretical and probably belongs in the avy forum… sorry for the hijack. Glad you guys found good conditions out there!

    460 Posts

    Hijack away!
    Anyway, I think the greater elevations in the central sierras make everything there more complicated, and the ESA reports are probably trying to reflect that. I love Tahoe, but our mountains here are short compared to the Sierras further south. The Sierra Avi Center is just getting off the ground, but I think I see improvement in their reports (in years past the central sierra reports were a waste of time). As to recent Tahoe history before this storm, I think the two weeks of summer heat pretty much cooked any wind loading. On our trip there was poor bonding, but it was with a strong layer below and a weak dry smoke powder layer on top.

    47 Posts

    nicely done fellas. been up the dawn patrol ‘pole the last 2 days w/ great skiing but not bottomless. monday centerpunched the hollywood/east face line and almost got sluffed out in the tree chute but the snow is so light that it didn’t knock me off my feet and i straightlined out of it. back up on tues and saw your guys’ tracks. sweet lines off talking 8)

    4149 Posts

    Here are my pics from the trip. 🙂

    Dishwasher Dave emerges from the steep, icy woods at the beginning of the tour. You can also see Neblehorn.


    Talking Mountain playground. This is the area I wanted to hit but due to our planned exit we opted for the area on the other side of the lookers right ridgeline.

    Lower Echo Lake, backside of Echo Peak, and the Echo/Flagpole ridge.

    Becker Peak

    Near the summit we were met by a couple of dave’s friends.

    On the ridge.

    On top.

    Finally ran into ja surf too! 🙂
    Thanks for the skintrack man.

    DD pointing to some Deso goods.


    ja surf was on a mission and was the first to drop.

    Shortly after, the other group dropped as well. Christian.


    Next was our group. DD.


    I hit a small cornice on the way in…knee is feeling good. 🙂



    Midway down…yummy.



    Changeover at the lake.

    Next we were off up the south side of Echo/Flagpole ridge. The ridge only has a couple ramps that go up all the way. We took the ramp to the north of the climbing area called Gangsta Rock. I’ve never heard this particular ascent route have a name so I’m calling in Crenshaw Blvd. 🙂

    Looking back at our lines down Talking. We skiing off the top lookers right of the cliff band and then took the middle avy path to the lake.

    Looking over towards the Stonehenge Chutes and my lost whippet from a previous trip with gimpy. No time to retrieve it today. 🙁

    Yoda makes his way up.

    Icefall to flat.

    Then it was to the crux of Crenshaw…the hood and booting section. DD.

    Its short though so don’t fret, soon you’ll have your skis back on and be at the ridge. DD.

    Pretty view of Big Blue too.

    We were just shy of Flagpole proper on the ridge and decided to drop. DD.

    The lower, lower elevation stuff still needs some snow…still fun though.

    Obligatory shot of Lover’s Leap on the way home.

    Great day to bin the mountains, thanks for the company yoda and dishwasher dave.

    Thanks for the crash pad too. 🙂

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