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A little ski tour
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Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
A little ski tour on 06/04/2011 15:28:55 MDT Print View

Recently completed a ski tour across the Sierra, 5/18 to 5/26. Started at Huntington Lake on the west side, skiied through part of the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, into Red Rock Basin, Reddy's Hole, Red Mtn. Basin, crossed the LeConte Divide just south of Hell For Sure Pass at a pass above Arctic Lake and dropped into Goddard Canyon; up to Martha Lake, over the ridge to Davis Lake, then to Evolution Basin and Muir Pass, then down through the Evolution Basin to Darwin Bench and out over Lamarck Col to North Lake. Nine days, didn't see anyone else until we saw fishermen at North Lake on the last day. Massive amounts of snow still up there - looks like winter still. Some photos here (will add more later):

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: A little ski tour on 06/04/2011 15:40:11 MDT Print View

Incredible trip. I would like to do a trip similar to that someday. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: A little ski tour on 06/04/2011 15:51:03 MDT Print View

Excellent trip report.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: A little ski tour on 06/04/2011 16:04:57 MDT Print View

Now that's a bit of all right!


David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"A little ski tour" on 06/04/2011 16:37:39 MDT Print View

That looks like an incredible trip. i'm with David, I would to take a trip like that.

I've put the skis you sold me to good use, but I'm still working up to that sort of trip!

Have you ever towed a pulk on your trips?

Edited by davidlutz on 06/04/2011 16:38:16 MDT.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: pulks on 06/04/2011 17:13:37 MDT Print View

David - I've never tried a pulk. From what I have heard they are problematic when traversing or in the woods or on steep downhills, and since just about all my trips involve all of those, I doubt a pulk would work for me. I think If I had a trip where I was going to ski in over easy open terrain or a snow-covered road to set up a base camp, then I might be interested in a pulk so I could bring some luxuries along.

Rick Horne
(Rick778) - M

Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
Re: A little ski tour on 06/05/2011 12:08:01 MDT Print View

Great pictures!
Is your gear list published? I would be interested to see what you took along.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
gearlist on 06/05/2011 21:58:05 MDT Print View

No, don't have a published gear list - I don't know how to do that actually. I could post it here If I knew how to put an Excel spreadsheet into a post. Is there a way to do that?

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
the list on 06/07/2011 17:50:23 MDT Print View

Here's the gearlist:

pack - MYOG 38
modified MSR twin pks 30
padded groundsheet 2.65
6 snow stakes in bag 6.5
NFsuperlight 49.5
3D booties 5.5
overbooties 3.75
2 pr powerstretch liner gloves 3.0
knit mittens 2.75
mitten shells 3.25
black balaclava 1.5
fleece hat 2.5
sun hat 3.25
long johns 4.5
white long sleeve crew 5.5
MYOG EPIC pants 7.5
precip jacket 12.5 12.5
exp. wt zip-t 9.5
MYOG polarguard pullover13.75
MYOG polarguard pants 9.5
shorts 5
Canon digital w/batt, card 5
canon spare batt 0.5
SDcard 0.25
gorillapod 1.5
sunglasses 1
backup sunglasses 1
Goggles 3.5
personal kit 5.5
garbage bag 2.75
sil chair 6
neoAir short 9
closed cell pad 10.25 10.25
20x66x1/8 EVA 1.6
dromlite bag 3.5
24 oz gatorade squeezy bottle 1.25
1/2 liter nalgene 3.25
big spoon 0.4
measuring cup 2.5
plastic bowl w/lid 1.5
2 qt hard anodized pot w/lid 6
pot lifter 1.25
simmerlite 9.4
pint fuel bottle full (stove level) 17
1/2 liter plastic bottle, WG 9.5
princeton tec fuel 2.75
snow shovel 16.5
MP3 player 2
3 extra AAA batts for MP3
little notebook & pencil 2
bandana 1
packtowl 1.5
ski socks - 3 pr 6.75
sunscreen 3.5
reading glasses 1
toilet paper 1.75
thermometer 0.5
rope 2.25
food 8 brek 8 din 9 lunch 206
skins 17.5
crampons 14.25
ice axe 8.5
water - approx 24

Steve Quinne
(outdoorman) - F

Locale: Norhtern California
Re: A little ski tour on 07/06/2011 12:48:47 MDT Print View

Paul , this trip is really great. Did you actually ski over thompson pass ? I am kind of late coming into this . My question is could you judge how many feet of snow up on martha ? we are planning a trip over there and onto Goddard on the 25th of July , its looks like it might be passable by then ... If anyone know the current conditions up there , that would be terrific. It seems that some of the ground you went over ( well snow ) might actually be easier going over artic lake to martha , instead of over hell for sure and back up goddard canyon. IDK , we are in the process of a several year exploration of the area and we love that place.. We are enamorured with lower indian lake and that area ... any advice info from anyone here would be great . I am new here and just looking around... Found you out from the JMT yahoo group .. Thanks again

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Re: A little ski tour on 07/06/2011 13:27:06 MDT Print View

Steve - thanks, it was a fun trip, and everything between Thompson Pass and the LeConte Divide is really nice country - and great ski touring. Yes, we did ski over Thompson Pass. As to current conditions, I know things have changed a lot since I was there, but I expect there is still plenty of snow and the lakes probably have ice still. But there should be some bare spots to camp on. Any trails that have not had tracks on them will likely be hard to follow.
You might find some recent reports here:

As to the route we took instead of HFS pass, IF there is still lots of snow, and IF you are comfortable on steep snow, and IF you have good route finding skills, then "Arctic Lake Pass", as we called it, is a shorter route than HFS.
Where are you starting from?

Steve Quinne
(outdoorman) - F

Locale: Norhtern California
Re: Re: Re: A little ski tour on 07/06/2011 14:49:33 MDT Print View

well actually we are starting from Florence lake and we will going up Goddard canyon towards The main goal of Martha lake... If there is a lot of snow we will not be hiking cross country over anything and I have a feeling that we will be lucky to make it over
hell for sure. This year we will be going the opposite way then our normal route , which our normal route is Courtright to post corral and up to hell for sure , we hiked to florence lake via MTR ... we got a rude suprise ( I actually found it refreshing ) that the trail from Florence lake over to hoebler lake was THERE WAS NO TRAIL !! we used GPS ... let me tell you it was like magic walking over that hill , brutal yes , from 7000
to over 10000 to thompson pass and to hoebler in one day ... I am going back.. but the other way this time , we saw no one , not a soul from florence until we got to the trail junction at courtright. i can route over a lot with my own memory cause we know the place well, but the gps does function the way i want and go cross country for miles. snow is different and I want to avoid it... Then there are the creeks and YES I saw tht video of those guys ... If I get one of those I sit and contemplate the universe for a while. Take the pack off and walk the river for a mile or 2 both ways and WAIT . Your trip is absolutely stunning to see it that way , you guys are off the hook . regards man sq

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"A little ski tour" on 07/11/2011 17:55:45 MDT Print View

Hey Paul -

What ski set up do you use?

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: "A little ski tour" on 07/12/2011 15:39:43 MDT Print View

David - Atomic Rainier skis
Garmont excursion boots
Voile 3-pin bindings