For the experienced backcountry skier this is one of the most interesting and challenging sections of the Sierra Crest. The area is seldom visited in winter and there is a little bit of everything on the tour. The climbs up the passes are often steep and the downhills are exhilarating runs. The intricate route weaves its way along the Sierra Crest, sometimes on the east side, sometimes on the west, but always staying high and contouring the upper reaches of numerous drainages. We have upped the pace of this tour to undertake it in four days so be prepared to move efficiently.
We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000 feet) just prior to the trip. Spending a night or two in Mammoth or camped at the trailhead campground would do the trick. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.
SMC does not rent ski equipment, but we work with Mammoth Mountaineering (760-934-4191) to get you set up on the correct equipment. MMS has a very wide range of rental equipment that is probably the best you will find anywhere in California. All gear is current state of the art, well tuned and rental fees are deductible if you buy a set up from them. (We highly recommend renting before you buy so as to find what suits you best, since a full setup is pretty pricy). We can coordinate the rental and suggest that if you can you arrive Mammoth the night before and get fully set up since boot fitting can take some time.