April 20th-24th: East Bay to the East Side

April 20th: SF to the VL
"Slow-mo morning in SF is the way to start another Sierra adventure with ."


A couple of relaxing days in the Bay Area is about as good as it gets. But JonnyB and I had some long-developing plans to meet up with Howard (of Ostrander fame) and his buddy Art (of lesser Ostrander fame). Art happens to have a cabin near Virginia Lakes in the Eastern Sierra and that would be our destination for a few days of peak-bagging.

Barbed wire and blue skies, for the moment. East Side!

End of the road, strap 'em on, get headlamps ready, are start hiking.

April 21st: Breezy, Breezy, Breezy
Conditions in the cabin were ideal: wood-fire-toasty, pancakey-delicious, and folk-tune-relaxing. Outside the cabin? A bit breezy. Very breezy. Hardpack scouring breezy. Any fresh snow was sure to be blown down the slopes and there wasn't much motivation to head outside in the AM. The afternoon brought about blue skies and slightly calmer winds, so we lapped it up.

Howard, what do you see hiding in the shade of that tree?

Oh, just a few rock ptarmigans.

Have slope, will ski!

Howard leads, we follow.

April 22nd: Dunderberg, oh Dunderberg
The weather was still looking good and Howard led us 2000' to the top of Dunderberg. The ol' African phrase of "po-le, po-le" (slowly, slowly) came to mind as Howard just kept kicking steps to the top o' the mountain. And then led us back down in style.

NorCal, represent. Mono Lake, represent.

Howard surveys his domain. JB absorbs.

April 23rd: When the going ain't all that great, go to Echo Lake.
"34 and snowing... Gotta keep skiing. Tahoe."

Virginia Lakes just wasn't producing the snow and conditions that we had hoped for. Art had left a few days ago and Howard was ready to hit the road, so Jonny and I decided the same should hold true for us. It was a great couple days with Howard, eating pancakes, pasta, and swapping ski stories (or mostly listening to them). But we weren't ready to be done skiing. Tahoe was on the edge of snow and rain, but Echo Lake was getting pure freshies. Heavy as it may have been.

Howard and JB. Classic.

Terrible gas mileage, but it handles like a dream.

BOOM!

Create your own caption.

April 24th: You think you know, but you have no idea...
The snow kept falling, thick and heavy. JonnyB and I went up to the top of Dead Tree Run to take in the scene, but decided to explore a little farther east towards the chalet. We were rewarded justly with a great run all the way down to the lake. The end of the season couldn't have been written any better.

Dead Tree Backside. You like?

Not sure what we ended up naming this one, but it was awesome.

2011. The End.

What's that? You actually read it all? Check out the Backwoods Bay Area version for more pictures and words.


2 comments:

JB said...

Lovely post. Actually gave me chills to think back on that wonderful season. Looking forward to out paths crossing again soon. See you on the skin track!

Bernard Rocca said...

Thanks JB. It was fun to look back through these last shots of 2011. We'll be back at it soon!

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