A ski touring buddy had shown me a guidebook with this tour as the premier ski route above North Lake Tahoe, CA. It had been a good snow year, so we scheduled it for the chapter ski people. I was pretty excited, so didn’t get to sleep the night before. I drove my car solo, with a shuttle then provided. This was the only time that the winter sports section ever ran this trip.
We congregated at the roadhead parking just down the highway from the old Mt. Rose trailhead. There were private property signs, but no one came by to say that we’d be arrested if we crossed the land. A large group of skiers had assembled, and the Club sometimes chose to make a demonstration of freedom. The law goes, if no one asks you to leave the property, by them, you are O.K. to go through. A large tract of public land is located further than the private land, so we may have had some access rights. If there has been historical public access, there are some usage rights.
Skiing up towards the high ridge, we used various waxes. It was fresh powder, excellent for the tour. It became awhile before gaining the high crest, and we soon had great vistas of the Lake. The tour is said to be about 13 miles. We plodded along, and I snapped plenty of photos. Soon, we were about the highest part of the ridge. It was calm, so we had a lunch with a spectacular view.
Some skiers chose to bag a couple high rocks along the ridge. There was a north facing bowl that a few of us made some runs. Finally, we reached the Martis Peak lookout building. The sun was setting, and it was truly glorious! We had a fast run down the road, with one regrouping. One skier nearly crashed into me, as he didn’t know how to stop. We came to Highway CA 276, all safe with a fun day. Some perhaps were exhausted, but I felt great. The shuttle was completed, and the skiers were all returned to their cars. Perhaps some had a traditional dinner on the way back home, but I recall, being alone, had a fine feast somewhere by myself.
It had been an excellent time of adventure, touring for me almost every weekend. I had also completed a longer, 5 day tour through Northern Yosemite at about this time. The height of my ski touring career, we enjoyed it so immensely. I was O.K. with my low paying job, and needed no more studies at the U. Some legislator had also resigned to become a guide, being it was the 1970’s. If I could tour forever, it’d be my happiness!
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