For me it is good to be back in California’s High Sierra. It’s been several years since I lived here, but it was amazing how well I still remember the roads, towns, peak names, and choice backcountry spots. The Wildsnow crew, hungry for some turns after many hours of drive time, couldn’t help but have a few well earned Virginia Lakes turns for dinner last night. This morning, more of the same was on the menu for breakfast.
A few flurries spit from the sky as we geared up for a south facing couloir directly above the parking lot. Soon we were on our way up the frozen snow in deteriorating weather.
Normally, I don’t think any of us would be overly excited about earning turns in these icy snow conditions, what with the weather closing in. But with Denali coming up, we can’t really pass up a chance for some exercise. So we continued, the gully steepened, the skins broke traction, and out came the crampons.
Eventually we ran into frozen slough and avy debris, that didn’t appear to have any chance of thawing, which helped make the call to point them downhill.
Soon back at the truck, as the snow changed to drizzle, we packed and headed north. The Sunshine State has not been kind with her weather thus far, but we’ve got a lot of miles ahead of us and I expect somewhere a bluebird corn day awaits (though from the looks of the weather overall western forecast we might be packing in some miles to find clear sky).
WildSnow guest blogger Caleb Wray is a photographer and outdoor adventurer who lives in Colorado and travels worldwide. He enjoys everything from backcountry skiing to surfing.