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Welcome to the Porters Sports Blog. We will try to keep you up to date with our Lake Tahoe thoughts and also rants about other stuff too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pyramid Peak


After nine winters living in Tahoe and skiing the backcountry I am always stoked to get out and do something new. Since I'm somewhat of a creature of habit there are way more things that I haven't done out there than things I have. I suppose that I tend to get into a groove with the places I ski, and I often find that I just do what is easier, or closer. This was not the case yesterday. A friend of Lynn and I suggested that we go ski Pyramid Peak in Desolation Wilderness. In the photograph above, Pyramid is on the left, Mt. Price is on the right, and Jack's peak is in the foreground, pictured from the summit of Dick's Peak. At 9,983 feet, Pyramid Peak is the highest point in the wilderness and one of the most aesthetic mountains in the region. We chose to access this peak from the closest main road, and we parked our car around 6,000 feet at the Horsetail Falls parking area off of Highway 50. The hike brings you up a southeast facing ridge to start and at that elevation the snow was a little thin... We had a bit of an interesting bushwack to start out our day.After ascending about 500 feet or so we were out of the thinly covered rocks and bushes and up onto a prominent ridge that would lead us all the way to the top of Pyramid Peak. While the summit isn't very close to where we parked getting there was quite straightforward and the navigation was simple, once you were out of the bushes. In the photo below Lynn approaches the Southeast side of Pyramid Peak about 3 hours into our hike...
After hanging out at the summit for a while we dropped in on our objective, the north face of Pyramid. Having only viewed this face from a distance I always thought that it was way longer and steeper than it actually was. The snow on the north side was still nice and powdery despite the unseasonably warm temperatures that we've had lately and the skiing was great. Here's a shot of the north side of Pyramid with good coverage, many seasons this doesn't fill in well enough to be able to ski it without walking over rocks...
After skiing the north side we traversed back around and skied a variety of terrain and snow conditions near the route that we came up. Coverage was great and the terrain interesting most of the way back down to the car. Things got a little spicy once we got back down below 6500 feet or so, but with some good route finding, a little bit of bush skiing, and some questionable creek crossings we made it out of there with no problems at all.
It was a beautiful day in tahoe yesterday and going out to try something new with a mellow crew made for a fun and relaxing day in the backcountry. Its always fun to ski something you've never skied before and a mountain like this that stares you in the face is nice to check off the list. This peak is deep so if you plan to head out there be prepared for a long day or take it easy and make it an overnight...

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Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous
way to go buddy ...you should write a book about all your travels.....such a fascinating fact about living in tahoe for nine years
 
Blogger Gaines
aka Team Extreme Green, aka No Man Benson, aka The Lone Wolf. I like this story, but you still cannot melt Henry into butter and make sugar cookies out of him.
 
Blogger Jeremy Benson
I am so happy that people are "fascinated" by what I have to say. I may write a book, and if I do I'll be sure to blog about it so people have a place to anonymously try and clown on me on the internet...
 
Blogger Eric Asistin
i need to get out there one of these days with ya Benson & eat some granola
 
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Triple Down

Today I headed into the Lake Tahoe Backcountry with my friends Dave and Oscar.  Since the past week has been off the hook, we decided to continue the trend and go big.  A desolation mission was in order and our plan did not dissappoint.  We started at Eagle Falls around 9:00 am.  After the past week, starting a little later was no problem.  We hiked to our first destination of the day, Dick's Peak.  At almost 10,000 feet, it one of the highest peaks around, and only 4 hours from the car!  Here's a shot of Oscar shredding windbuff off the summit of Dicks.  It was wind affected, but still pretty good.  
After skiing Dicks Peak we decided to head for Janine's peak.  Often skied by the coolest of backcountry weenies, we figured it was right up our alley.  This next shot is of the boys skining towards the summit of Janine's with Dicks in the background.  Janine's peak is pretty far out there and surprisingly mellow.  I've only seen it from a distance and the up close view truly showed the benchy roll-ness of the whole deal.  In any event, I'd never skied it before, so it was cool to check out.  There was a lot of sweet mini-golf lines around to check out some time in the future.

After skiing Janine's we strapped on the skins one more time and headed up to the south summit of Maggie's.  Maggie's sits right above Emerald Bay and was the lowest of the three peaks we chose to climb today.  The lower elevation provided for the least wind affected snow.  We skied Pow from the top of Maggies down to the car.  Not a bad way to finish a 9 hour backcountry day.  This last shot is of the pillowy line I skied down to the road right above Emerald Bay.  
Welcome to spring in Lake Tahoe.  Bout time to head down to the east side.  Pray for snow!!!.

Jeremy

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Monday, February 2, 2009

First time for everything





I've been skiing in and around the Lake Tahoe backcountry for the past 8 years including this winter. For the past seven seasons I've looked at Crag Peak and wondered what it would be like to ski it. I shall wonder no more after putting in the huge effort to get out there yesterday. With thin cover and high pressure looming I figured it might be a now or never kind of situation.

The approach was daunting, and it involved summiting Jakes skiing the backside and then hiking to the summit of Crag. We made it up there in good time and had a nice drop in the sunshine. With super thin snow conditions we had only one option for our descent, but the possibilities are pretty endless on a big year. There is some pretty good coverage out in desolation wilderness.

The face of Crag Peak is steep, really steep. Even more exciting than the pitch of the face is the three cliff bands that you need to negotiate on a 50 degree slope. After a good ski with some really impressive exposure we were only about halfway there. We had a nice long skin back to the top of Jakes and nice corny run down the south side. Seven hours of hiking and worth every step.

Get yourself some Marker Dukes and get out and ski somewhere you've never been before. The backcountry is still skiing great, nice spring snow on the south faces and sugary cold pow in the shadows. Have fun out there and pray for snow.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

First Dusting of Snow - 10-04-08

Thunderstorms were pretty non-existent this summer, so last night was the first soaking rain we've had since spring that I can remember. If we would've had a little more cold air, this sucker could've produced well over a foot of snow. Instead, snow levels remained about 9,000 feet and never dropped to the 7,500 that were being advertised.

Regardless, snow is snow.....and it got me excited to go see some of it first hand. I had some errands to run in Reno, so I went the long-way around by driving up the Mt. Rose highway. I pulled over about halfway up for a quick shot across to the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe. In the picture below, you can see Mt. Tallac and the Desolation Wilderness way off in the distance.



So then I continued on up Mt. Rose highway to the pass - the highest year-round, open road in the Sierras at almost 9,000 feet. I finally caught up to some white stuff I could actually touch 'n feel...







And then going back down the other side of the Mt. Rose highway, it doesn't quite look like The Chutes are ready to shred yet.....but it was just good to see some white on my little drive, and I can't complain.....kinda like seeing an ol' friend even if briefly



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Comments:
Blogger Zak.Shelhamer
Holy poo that was a good find chappy!
 
Anonymous Anonymous
When does skiing typically start at Mt. Rose? I'll be there on a business trip last week of October and I am hoping for some skiing action...
 
Blogger Porters Tahoe
Anonymous: If you cross your fingers and do the snow dance maybe we might start seeing resorts open but I really doubt they will be open that early. Usually Boreal is the first followed by Northstar and Squaw.
 
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Monday, February 11, 2008

Weatherman Joes Tallc and Desolation Wilderness Shots

Our weatherman Joe just sent me over these photo and I had to post them. Joe's Words "Looking back, we should have skied it from the top of the peak.....the first 50ft was steep but after that is was nothing crazy. Even 5 days after the last storm and all the wind we endured, Annie and I skied binding deep soft wintery snow the entire 1500' ". With some warm days here the backcountry should be running rather nicely.

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