State of the Backcountry By, Brennan Lagasse

State of the Backcountry By, Brennan Lagasse


State of the Backcountry By, Brennan Lagasse




In the Carson Range, I took an early drive over to see what one of our radest peaks in Tahoe was holding. Jobe’s is definitely one of the “monster’s” off Tahoe, as when conditions permit, you can get a 5+K vertical ride down its flanks. You should check the archived footage that Adam put up on the site earlier this year, it’s sick!
Lightning Bolt
But I decided on a different line, what I know as the “Lightning Bolt”. I’ve never heard another name for it, and well, it looks like a lightning bolt. Needless to say, the line is super aesthetic, but the snow was really variable. Definitely skied some porn, but definitely skied some mank as well. Most of the lines around here are looking pretty beat, but I will say the north face of Jobe’s still looks tasty if you don’t mind some slogging at the bottom.

skinning in the sweatwaters

Later in the week I was stoked to hook up with two of my ripper splitboard partners to finally make a few turns in the Sweetwater Range. These are the mountains about 30 minutes north of Bridgeport, which makes a day trip from the North Shore roughly 2-ish hours.

It was a nice big day of over 5 grand of skinning, booting, and slaying, as we topped out on the South Sister at 11,339 feet. As good as some of the turns were, we still found variable conditions all around as we quickly went from chalk, to corn, to mank down low. This place is adventure skiing defined if you’re looking for something new.

Later in the week I had to bust down to the Eastside and see what was going on. Endless options exists, always, but weary of what snow conditions might be, my lady and I opted for a monster peak that in the scheme of things is super mellow compared with what else you can get into on the Eastside. However, we were looking for a long day, and we figured Basin would be the ticket. It was.

post ski fun on the world class bouldering of the buttermilks

Basin Mountain tops out at 13,240’ and offers, roughly, a 6,000 vertical foot descent down to the world class Buttermilk Boulders. I have to mention while we did not run into any other skiers this past weekend, the climbers are out in full force in Bishop! And from what I was told, and the quick sampling I has post-skiing, the climbing is really good right now.
Anyway, Basin ended up being a great choice offering us a little of everything the Eastside has to offer: windboard, chalk, crust, mank and thankfully, epic corn AND a little perfect powder. As we ascended the route just kept going and going. This is one of those lines that it looks like you’ll run right up it in no time, but it takes two, even three times what you initially thought.

Approaching the top of the couloir, which in reality is as big as a bowl, the reason this is one of California’s 50 classics showed itself to us in the all-time view of Mt. Humphrey’s North couloir, the Kindergarten and Checkered Demon couloirs, Mt. Emerson’s Zebra and North couloirs, and the view went on. Couple the view with the huge beautiful amphitheater surrounding us and the classic status was full-on.

After Basin, we made an attempt to ski in the neighboring White Mountains, but weren’t able to go to big as the access roads are still covered in snow. But you should know the potential for some big mountain backcountry is alive and well in this range; I think it’s just about finding a way to get in there.
eastside sunrise
With no dumps on the horizon, get out there and find the hidden pow , or just time your days right and milk the harvest. As our temps show low’s in the 20’s and high’s in the 50’s for most of the week, the harvest is on!

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