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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Anonymous Anonymous
way to go buddy 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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