This is our ultimate trip: the rarely skied Great Western Divide. Since this our most difficult tour requiring solid skills and confidence on all sorts of terrain we will work closely with participants to ensure that the group is strong and competent. This route takes on all the terrain that the High Route avoids and then keeps on going ending in beautiful Mineral King, the site of a major environmental battle in the 1960’s when the Disney Corporation wanted to build a downhill ski area.
If this trip does not give you the best ski tour experience in the Sierra Nevada we just do not know what will!!
This is a long tour and pack weight needs to be kept as low as possible. We will be carefully selecting equipment to reduce weight and we will work with you to ensure that packs do not weigh more then about 45 pound plus the weight of your skis when we start out. For those coming from the Bay area, or nearby, we will try to arrange a flight prior to the trip. If there are enough people to warrant this you will drive to and meet the plane the evening before the trip starts.
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.