Skiing Tahoe in spring 2017

After a heavy-snowfall winter, we arrived in Tahoe in mid March for spring skiing.  We based ourselves in South Lake Tahoe and skied mainly at Heavenly Ski Resort but with  visits to  Sierra, North Star and Kirkwood.  There are also other ski fields nearby.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, at an altitude of 1897 m (6200 ft), is the largest alpine lake in North America. It straddles the stateline between California and Nevada. (Click any image to enlarge.) Continue reading

Tamarack Cross Country Ski Area, California

In January, cross country skiers  are usually enjoying the beauty and solitude of the Sierra back country at Tamarack Cross Country Ski Area.  But in January 2012, when we visited, there was limited snow on the ground.  Most of the  November snow had long since disappeared, and in the areas where people usually ski, it was only possible to walk.

Located in the Inyo National Forest, about a five hour drive north of Los Angeles, Tamarack offers  30 kilometres of trail network.  In mid January we spent a day walking amongst the trails and picturesque lakes in the area.  A few days after our walk, there was a 1.5 metre snow fall, which kick-started the cross country ski season.  These photos show the area prior to the snow dump, with patches of ice on the roadways and patches of snow under the trees.  At an altitude of between 2500 and 2800 metres, these lakes are frozen at this time of the year.

One of the frozen Twin Lakes, near Tamarack Lodge

Continue reading

The Sierra Nevada Minarets

The Minarets are grand pinnacles of granite, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.  Their needle-like spires resemble the minarets of mosques, hence their name.  They are a popular destination for climbers, with the highest Minaret being 3,738 metres (12,264 feet).

In January 2012 we skied at nearby Mammoth Mountain, and photographed The Minarets from various parts of the ski area, on different days and under different lighting and snow conditions.

Famous American adventurer Steve Fossett was killed while flying solo near The Minarets in 2007.  The wreckage was not found until a year later.

Continue reading

Ski Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Ski Resort is the largest ski area in California, about a five hour drive north of Los Angeles.  It is on the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the Inyo National Forest.  The town of Mammoth Lakes (population 7,000) provides accommodation for skiers and boarders.  We spent two weeks enjoying the Mammoth slopes in January 2012.

Lower slopes at 2,400 metres (8,000 feet)

When we arrived in mid January, there had been no substantial snowfall since November, though the average winter snowfall is 10 metres (400 inches).  The runs were only open because of extensive use of snow guns.

Continue reading