At the end of the day yesterday me and my back country partner, Josh Senning, kept repeating phrases like, “duh, winning”, “killed it”, and “slayed it” in a very serious tone.
Now rewind to 4:30 am, I woke up in Truckee got my things together and made my way down the West Shore. After a mandatory stop at the Tahoe House we were fueled up and ready to go. We parked our car at the upper gate of Emerald Bay, our objective Emerald Bay Chute # 1. It’s always a gamble to hike exclusively for corn, especially when there may still be powder out there. The night before I had spent hours combing the Internet for beta. I studied the NOAA web-site and remote weather stations. I concluded that the conditions should be perfect for corn but I wasn’t 100% sure.
We began hiking around 6:45, it was still pretty cold and firm out but perfect hiking weather. A slight breeze picked up at the top, which was nice since the temperature was projected to get to about 50. At the top of the E-Bay Chute we took a few pole whacks and determined it was perfect corn, the kind that is like sugar candy crystals suspended above oiled ball bearings. We rested for about 10 minutes and dropped into the skiers’ right-hand entrance
My first few turns were on a 50 degree spine with Emerald Bay directly below. The corn was perfect, normally you wouldn’t ski something that steep in non powder but the corn was so good it was really ideal. The corn made odd “shushing and hissing” sounds as it sloughed on either side of me. We made our way down the chute working to the right to avoid some re-frozen chunder that was in the middle. We were able to ski the entire chute right down to the Eagle Falls Trail Head. I was able to hitch back to my truck within 15 minutes and it was only 11:00 am.
With the slight breeze still blowing we both agreed that the epic corn conditions would continue for the rest of the day. So, we opted for a second lap on Jake’s South Ramp. On the whole hike up we were thinking that the corn had passed and it would be all slop. As we stepped out on the top of the south ramp at about 1:00pm, it was still all time corn! It was perfectly smooth and fast you could really open it up and shred. We made about 100 perfect turns each with Lake Tahoe directly on your horizon the whole way down, what an unbelievable pitch!
The West Shore of Lake Tahoe has some of the best skiing anywhere in the world! This is a truly unique area, very accessible and great in all types of conditions. The snow pack is holding up very well and I think there is great skiing to be had for the next 4-6 weeks. Josh and I had two epic runs, 200 plus turns, and about 5,000 vertical directly back to my truck, duh, winning!