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Backcountry ski and snowboard gear, camping

May 2002 


Note:  clicking on any photograph will present a full screen version.

Lee Vining Creek.  I started by skiing up the broad valley of Lee Vining Creek from the Junction campground on the Tioga Road.  The Saddlebag dam is in the gap at the far right of this photo.  The Saddlebag road was reported to have several patches of bare asphalt, so I opted for the more scenic kick and glide up the valley.  This, however, required a dicey creek crossing and a bushwack to get back up to the dam.  The east ridge of Mount Conness is at left in the clouds.

Mount Dana.  Higher up in the Lee Vining drainage, I turned around to capture this view of the storm clouds clearing from the summit of Mount Dana.  The Dana Couloir is the thin line of snow visible to the left of the long summit buttress.

False White Mountain.  Another beautiful ski descent from Tioga Pass is the east face of False White Mountain (12,002').  As I wound my way up to the dam, I looked up at False White for telemarktips regulars Walter Sobchack and MattR, who were skiing the peak on Saturday (link #1) (link#2).


Click here to see a panorama from the East Ridge of Mount Conness to False White.

Excelsior Mountain.  At Saddlebag Lake, the views open up towards the Lundy/Virginia Lakes area to the north.   The broad hulk of Excelsior Mountain dominates the view to the north.

North Peak.  Skinning up from the shore of Saddlebag Lake, I got this view of my goal for the day, North Peak (12,242').  The north couloirs of the peak, which are to the right of the massive cliff in the center of the photo, offer excellent ice climbing (see link).  I was hoping to ski the SE face, to the left of the cliffs. 


(photo note:  gratuitous self timer with tripod)


Shepherd Crest.  Halfway along the Sierra Crest between Excelsior Mountain and North Peak is the Shepherd Crest, a knife-edged summit sticking out into Yosemite National Park.

East Ridge Chute.  Climbing up towards the Conness Lakes from Saddlebag, the bowls and chutes of the east ridge of Conness become visible.  Crossing Greenstone Lake, I saw a lone skier's tracks descending this very steep chute from the east ridge (the chute is located here).  Mr. Lone Skier guy, if you are reading this, nice turns.



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