February 13th-15th, 2013: Return to the Scene of the Crime

No sooner than Andrew and I left Ostrander and Yosemite, we started heading north for Echo Lake. The drive was long, but our Escape was up to the task - even if the new car smell was quickly being overpowered by old boot smell. In the interest of giving Andrew the true Echo Lake experience, we didn't start skiing into the cabin until 10 or 11 PM. The sky and lake cooperated and we slid to the cabin in quick time. We didn't even have to unpack our shovels to get in the front door, which was actually rather sad. Where is the snow?!?

Our first morning was spent hiking to the top of Talking Mountain, with the classic view of Tahoe, Sierra at Tahoe, and the Crystal Range. Boom! It never gets old. The ski up, on the other hand, got old quickly. Ice, hard pack, more ice, and a bit of crust, frustrated us on the way up. We did manage to find a few pockets of good snow on the way down, working further west along the ridge towards Mt. Ralston.

Another Rock-Solid View
The Talking Dead (Tree)
Talking Mountain gives a solid view of the surrounding lay of the land. Across Upper Lake, Keith's Dome called to us, with a south facing slope that looked to be full of spring corn. Nevermind that it is mid-winter. Andrew and I made for the top of Keith's Dome to get ours. It turns out, Keith's Dome is the dome that keeps on doming. Just when you think you've reached the top, it keeps growing at an annoyingly slow rate. We never did make it to the real summit. Damn.

From the top of Keith's we skied down to Tamarack Lake and back up to Talking Mountain, passing Saucer Lake on the way up. This was certainly a new route for me and I liked it a lot. The skiing on Keith's was good fun and is a definite destination for soft, fun, spring skiing.

It looks flat, but Keith's just keeps going up up up.
Someone is keeping Tahoe blue.
The Crystal Range

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