Skiing is all about going downhill on skis. That feeling of floating and the dance of turning and linking turns. Paying for a lift ticket is one way; putting a pack on and hiking is another.
These programs focus on the down skiing part of the backcountry experience as we hike for turns. Some programs are partially lift accessed and these trips are ideal for intermediate to advanced alpine skiers who want to get you out and ski the backcountry.
Randonnée or alpine touring equipment is the best way for the downhill skier who wants to get into the backcountry to make the switch over. The gear will feel familiar to the alpine skier but with lighter skis and the softer boots. Release the binding for the uphills and then lock it for the downhills. This course will get you out there and open a whole new vista of skiing away from the lift served areas
For this program we use the easy access provided by the lifts at June Mountain ski area, warm up with a couple of runs and then duck under the boundary rope and head out to San Joaquin Ridge for the untracked snow. Great open bowls, steep chutes and forested glades abound and we will do as many laps as we can before heading back into the ski area or rounding it off with along run all the way back down to the road.
Any skier who has driven Highway 395 has probably looked up at the hundred miles of peaks stretching from Lone Pine to Tioga Pass and marveled at the abundance of opportunities to get out and ski long runs from the mountain tops to the valley floor. Spring is the high point of our ski season and one of our favorite times of the year. These descents range from mere thigh burners to all day undertakings with predawn starts and late afternoon finishes. You choose the length: a good day gets us 4,000’ of vertical and longer runs are possible.
We dream about it and a good powder day is the best reason we can think of to take a day off work and ignore any consequences. A perfect powder day is as close to heaven as you can get here on earth. While the Sierra powder is not as predictable as that of the intermountain states we have some excellent days in the mid winter months of February and March.
Spring is our favorite time to ski the Sierra – the days are long, the weather generally fine, and the snow is fantastic. The snow follows a predictable cycle of firm in the morning to soft and silky in the early afternoon, and we follow the sunny slope aspects as the sun clocks around, seeking out the best runs. We find ourselves constantly in debate as to what is more fun, skiing powder snow, or skiing corn snow. For the pleasant temperatures and ease of skiing, we definitely lean towards corn in the spring.
We ski one day with a full pack but then set up a base camp, day skiing from here for the next several days. We return in the afternoons to a well-stocked camp, great food, and solar showers. Truly a hedonist’s dream ski vacation. We offer two different locations for our camps; the Palisades and Rock Creek Canyon.