Here are some pics of another mellow tour connecting Mt. Judah and Donner Peak. Pretty good coverage up there as this is largely north facing terrain. Trees and gullies dominate this zone above Donner Pass Rd (at the summit). It's a fun place to play, but there is no open shot to make a lot of turns in a row.
Today was a quick office guy ski tour. Tony is Bela's office manager for ASI. Eli is our office manager at The Back Country. Ben and Chris graduated college last year and were smart enough to move to the mountains and join our team as well.
Here's the view from our shop at Donner Peak. This is the east and north sides of the mountain. You can see some of the "lake run" from Donner Peak to Donner Lake. The bowls up on the right are the actual Sierra Crest, provide nice powder skiing when the storm snow settles.
Closer view from Donner Pass Rd, alongside Donner Lake.
Mt. Judah on the right is usually the goal of your climb if you start near the Sugar Bowl Ski Academy, across the street from Donner Ski Ranch. This is an easy hour climb or so to a nice view and short powder shots to ski at the Sierra Crest. Donner Peak is on the left. You can easily hit both summits in a half day ski tour. We skied the low angle treed run inbetween to get home.
Looking south along the Sierra Crest.
You want to know where you are going up here if you don't follow the skin track back. The ski area obviously borders you to the west ,you can see people skiing on the groomers through the trees. You just want to make sure you don't head over to Donner Peak's north side, which is expert terrain and even extreme in times of low snow (now). You can skirt Donner's north face and ski East down to Donner Lake in a nice long car shuttle. Car shuttles are rarely worth your time however unless you live in the area.
Here we are near the top of Mt. Judah on it's north side, beneath the radio Towers. You can see Donner Peak behind us. To do a "Lake Run", or donner peak car shuttle down to Donner Lake, you skirt the right side of the peak (in the sun). There are some cliffs along this route too, so hiring an ASI guide or going with friends is advised for beginners.
Eli's unconventional method for taking a break.
Tony from ASI shredding with Castle Peak and Frog Lake Cliff in the background, and across I-80.
I put this shot in here to show you the terrain in the middle of this short Donner Peak Northside descent. It's not that straightforward, but low angle until the bottom.
Here's the steep few hundred vertical feet at the bottom that is tricky for beginner skiers.
A Donner Peak northside skitour doesn't dump you out at your car. You have to go find it uphill.
We went through the tunnel, which takes you too far west. Still a fun adventure if you haven't done it, skinning on the ice floor through the dark.
A 10 minute skin along Donner Pass Road back to our car and we are back to work!