PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe on 05/09/2011 13:03:55 MDT Print View

Cross Country Ski Season Opens in California

A friend and I jumped on our cross country skis at Carson Pass, then went north in the direction of Lake Tahoe. When we reached the right place next to a PCT marker, we camped with a view of the lake near 38d 44.5'N, 120d 2'W.

view of Lake Tahoe

For a shelter we had a BD Betamid. Using the Sierra Nevada Snow Shelter design, we constructed the wind wall with the Betamid within it, supported by two extended ski poles.

BD Betamid

The rest of the equipment was pretty standard for early May, MSR Simmerlite stove. We hadn't seen any open water for a mile or two, so we had to melt a good deal of snow.

By morning, we had an additional two inches of fresh snow on top of the base. The fresh snow showed an abundance of furry mammal tracks. The snow condition would best be described as "heavy powder."

--B.G.--

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 15:15:01 MDT Print View

I want to be there.

Is there good skiing right now? Where to go?

Not knowing what I'm doing, I dumped those coordinates into Google Maps and came up with a neighborhood in Manila in the Philippines. Not snow country.

I would love to get out to the snow again, but now I don't think I can work it into the schedule.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: "PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 15:22:18 MDT Print View

Showers Lake David

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: "PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 15:26:39 MDT Print View

More like the outskirts of Showers Lake. Out in the suburbs.

--B.G.--

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: "PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 15:56:32 MDT Print View

Nice Bob! How was the snow conditions...thinking about going this weekend up in that area

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
"PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 16:00:50 MDT Print View

from the PCT Forum this morning. The poster lives in South Lake Tahoe.


"Woke up this morning to another 4 to 6 inches of snow on our back porch at 6300 feet!

...and they're talking about another storm next weekend!"



Go prepared.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: "PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 16:12:55 MDT Print View

If those coordinates are correct that's 94.58 yards from the shoreline.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: "PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 16:47:56 MDT Print View

It's storming up there right now. For the Crystal Range to Tahoe's west, the predicted high is 31F and the low, 25. No need to ask in what form the precipitation is being delivered.

We had a heat wave last week--honest. :-)

Cheers,

Rick

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: "PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 16:58:53 MDT Print View

At Showers Lake, the PCT goes around one side, and there is a summer backpackers camp on the other side. It actually had bare ground. However, we needed to get a little farther away and behind some trees to avoid more wind. I could have sworn that we were at least 95 yards away. I was using a new GPS receiver, and I'll have to check to see which datum it is using.

The snow conditions were normal for this time of year. It was a bit slushy out in the direct sunlight of the meadows, and it was a bit icy back in the woods. The two inches of new snow was good, but the wind was blowing it off quickly. Overall, I have to say that it is good if I can ski in and out and never have to put on climbing skins or Maxiglide. Nor were the skis freezing up much. One adjustable ski pole decided to come apart, and I found only two of the three pieces, so I had to tape it together without the plastic adjuster and ski out that way. It could have been worse.

The snow cornices along the crest a few hundred yards west of us were big, but they were beginning to crumble and tumble.

--B.G.--

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: "PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 17:47:55 MDT Print View

Thanks for the beta Bob. We might head up towards Ebbetts Pass on Hwy 4 or 88 depending on how much I want to drive

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: "PCT in early May -- near Lake Tahoe" on 05/09/2011 18:19:50 MDT Print View

I think that Highway 88 has a better reputation for accessibility and good snow, but not by much. Highway 4 is good up to the Mount Reba turnoff, but only as long as the ski resort is open. Highway 50 is supposed to be closed sometime soon for reconstruction, so supposedly Highway 88 was improved in advance for extra traffic.

Of course, Highways 108 and 120 may be closed until mid-June or so.

Now, a good ski trip is to start at the end of Highway 4 near Lake Alpine, and ski up to the Red Lake Turnoff on Highway 88. Camp out one night in the middle around Deer Valley, which is south of Blue Lakes. Or the opposite direction. It works best to have another party to ski the opposite direction and do a car key exchange.

--B.G.--