Northeast Ridge (+ NE Bowl Ski Descent)

Northeast Ridge (+ NE Bowl Ski Descent)

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 38.90610°N / 120.0978°W
Additional Information Route Type: Off-trail hike/backcountry ski descent
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: walk-up, advanced ski descent
Sign the Climber's Log


Thanks to steeleman for the following detailed directions to the trailhead...

"The NE Ridge Ski Descent route uses the Spring Creek trailhead. To get to the Spring Creek trailhead, follow Highway 89 towards Emerald Bay and turn west on Spring Creek Road. Coming from the north, the right-hand turnoff is just past the long Emerald Bay switchback. Coming from the south, it is the first left turn after the "Baldwin Beach/Tallac City Camps" turnoff. Follow the road up into the neighborhood until the road dead ends. Park here."

Route Description


If the tracks are not obvious, make your way through the thick forest, heading southwest. After leaving the initial forest, you'll see another patch of sparser trees on your left (east). Skirt these trees and continue southwest. At the 7400' level, you will hit a "molar-shaped flat", which is obvious if you follow the solid red trail on this map.

At the molar-shaped flat, you are at the bottom of the northeast bowl ski descent. You will follow the north wall of this bowl up the mountain. In winter, on consolidated snow, the route is a steep, but very direct route up the mountain. At 9000', exit the ridge and continue south to the summit. Steeleman wisely advises skiers to be wary for avalanche-prone slopes on the final push to the summit.


You can ski almost directly from the summit, to the north. At 9000', the bowl turns to the northeast and steepens considerably, to the 35-degree range. At 8400', the steepness abates, with a moderate (25-degree) descent to the molar-shaped flat at 7400'. From there, pick your way through the shrubs (their height depends on the snowpack) and back to your car.

For another (more detailed) description of the route, try steeleman's site.

Essential Gear

Warning:Without snowpack, Tahoe's notorious shrubs make any approach in this area a strenuous bushwhack. So this route is definitely a winter-preferred route. In powder or postholing conditions, you will need skis or snowshoes to ascend.

The descent is not for casual skiers, particularly the sections between 9000' and 8400'. Be comfortable skiing black diamond slopes at the resort before you attempt this descent. People unable to arrest a fall at the top of the bowl have died after hitting rocks or trees.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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