Ski Mountaineering

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
no avatar

Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:41 pm
Thanked: 5 times in 2 posts

Ski Mountaineering

by tedryan10 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:15 am

Looking for recommended ski mountaineering routes in the Sierras. Any peaks, routes, or resources are appreciated.

User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4237
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Thanked: 544 times in 286 posts

Re: Ski Mountaineering

by Bob Burd » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:01 am

no avatar

Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:06 am
Thanked: 15 times in 12 posts

Re: Ski Mountaineering

by fogey » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:12 am

There are so many options it's hard to give specific suggestions without knowing the person who's asking. Some places to start:

50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California--Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney by Paul Richins, Jr.

Backcountry Skiing California's Eastern Sierra by Dan Mingori and Nate Greenberg

Both good books. The Eastern Sierra book covers the area roughly from Tioga Pass (eastern entrance to Yosemite) to Bishop. Richins also maintains a website. There is an older book, Backcountry Skiing California's High Sierra by John Moynier, which covers more of the range but with less detail about specifics of routes.

Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding - Lake Tahoe by Brandyn Roth covers Lake Tahoe pretty well.

There are also even older books by Dave Beck and H. J. Burhenne, and a series of more cross-country oriented guidebooks by Marcus Libkind.

And, of course, there is the web--but it's probably easier to get oriented in the better-edited world of publications on paper.

no avatar

Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:41 pm
Thanked: 5 times in 2 posts

Re: Ski Mountaineering

by tedryan10 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:20 am

Perfect, thank you! Did a lot of backcountry back home in New England so just getting acquainted to the stuff out here.

User Avatar

Posts: 1551
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:31 pm
Thanked: 53 times in 43 posts

Re: Ski Mountaineering

by 96avs01 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:08 am

You have received some excellent guidance from Bob and fogey! I own all the recommended texts, and they have all proved useful.

There is another book in the works to cover the area south of Bishop, but haven't heard how its progressing.

no avatar

Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:45 pm
Thanked: 27 times in 24 posts

Re: Ski Mountaineering

by Palisades79 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:42 pm

Take a look at the talk forum at for daily Sierra route and condition updates during the season. H.J Burhenne's "Sierra Spring Ski-Touring"(1971) is a wonderful classic .

User Avatar

Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:00 am
Thanked: 15 times in 9 posts

Re: Ski Mountaineering

by jareds » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:21 pm

agreed - start with the two books mentioned, they include many of the most popular spots and a ton of less-traveled route ideas.

if you're from NE you're gonna flip out, these mtns are gnarly.


no avatar

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:59 pm
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts

Re: Ski Mountaineering

by mchin » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:24 pm

Umm, went down this summer, RIP. In it's place is a forum on Earn your turns which appears to have many of the T-tippers as members. One can assume that there will be snowpack, avy conditions, etc. when the snow begins to fly.
The books that the other posters are very useful for trip planning. I can recommend a few of my favorites:
- Paiute Pass- Lamarck Col - three days of wonder, ski through Darwin Bench, views of Mt Humphreys, Evolution region, challenging passes (not technical, but you will walk and crampons are good idea).
- Tioga to Mammoth - the crest tours of which this is one of them, take a high line on the Sierra crest. Roughly paralleling the Muir Trail, and the Sierra High Route (not to be confused with the High Route, or the High Sierra Route), these tours go over high passes, through remote valleys, and along sharp ridge lines. Tioga to Mammoth is perhaps best done in spring as are many of tours. Long days, temperate weather, stable snow pack, potential for long corn descents.
- High route - "the" trans-Sierra, it goes through some of most remote regions of the Sierra. Passes include Milestone, Shepards, views of the Kaweahs.
- Shasta - IMO, this is one of the best ski mountaineering peaks around. Sure, some of the routes are crowded especially on Memorial day weekend, but if the conditions are right you can get a 4k to nearly 7k ski run after summiting a 14teener.
- Lake Tahoe has several routes and peaks. Most of us do the peaks as day trips. Some of the more popular include Tallac, Jakes, Waterhouse, Castle Peak.

Return to California


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests