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*Left my thin marmot tan gloves on top of Jack's.
Snow is a few feet deep at the end of Fallen Leaf Lake Road, so I thought I'd go out to Desolation this way for a change. Angora Peak and Indian Cliff Chutes are usually what you ski from here. Going beyond that proved to be long and low angle, but beautiful and quite "East Side-Like".
If you're not a peak skier, you should go up to Aloha Lake on whatever ski touring gear you have. Heather and Aloha are really incredible. Unless you're really good with waxless skiing, you'de still want to bring at least kicker skins to make it up there.
Lots of bear tracks down low. These two local criters seem to have met each other. Not sure if they were friends.
First I skied Jack's Peak's Southeast side. It took me a little under 2 hours to get to Heather Lake, which is only about 1400' of gain. I turned north there up really smooth snow to Jack's Summit in about 3.5 hours total from the car. I waited a bit for the snow to soften a little and skied down at noon. Half way down I traversed over to the South Side above Aloha Lake en route to a Crystal Range ski. Last time I went to Jack's I went over Dick's hi col, which probably took about the same amount of time. Other than stopping to take a million pictures, I was solo. Might take you more time in a group.
Indian Cliff Chutes next to Echo Peak didn't fill in well this year. They look skiable here, but the steep ones don't go.
Cracked Crags looked cool. 2 nice chutes as pointed out early this year on the forum. A bit melted out below, but might be possible still for the granjero types.
Heather Lake, a few hundred feet below Aloha Lake. This is where you bang a right to go up Jack's. 2500' moderate climb. I used ski crampons near the top.
Today's tour partner was XM Radio. Record capable. Alti watch. Add my fancy ski touring gear, camera, phone, Spot locator... It's a material world.
Taken from Jack's Peak Summit, looking southwest at Mt. Price and Agassiz in the Crystal Range, above Aloha Lake. The northeast side of Price almost had me, but I feared the snow would be wind crust. It would be a short climb out of there back up to Aloha Lake. Maybe next week.
Looking north along the Crystal Range, into Rockbound Valley.
I started below Angora Peak. The trailhead starts behind the fire station.
Around 12:30 I started up towards the crest somewhere. I choose this little snow patch that seemed to reach the crest, beneath the star in this pic. Last time I went up Price I came down the south west side of Jack's, and angled up beneath the summit. This little passage I did today takes you to the west side where snow is continous to the summit.
It looked about 30 minutes to the top of Mt. Price. I should have gone, I ended up having plenty of time. I went to the crest and back from Aloha Lake in 1.5 hours. It looks far away, but it's only about 1500' to the top of this little mini couloir.
G3's crampons work great and are easy to put on.
Heather Lake and the way home. I bailed on the route I came in on and fooled around beneath Cracked Crag. Didn't prove to be easier to glide back. In another week or two, you might need to go out there along the north facing terrain below Indian Cliff and Cracked Crag. Snow was starting to get patchy along the dirt road I skinned in on.
I looked at all kinds of ways to cross the creek, but ended up taking my chances following it along the south side. Found this sketchy bridge at a cabin. Don't step hard in the middle of those boards!