Two Nights in the Backcountry with Record Low Temps

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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Vaca Russ
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Two Nights in the Backcountry with Record Low Temps

Post by Vaca Russ » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:53 am

Last year “Sport” and I posted a report about the “Backcountry Ritz Carlton”. We had such a great time we went back last weekend.

This year we were able to rent some Alpine Touring Skis at the UC Davis Recreation Center. Unfortunately this equipment was a little old. Like, the skis were mammoth tusks and the skins were real seal skins. :D

We learned an important lesson that you really need to have well-fitting boots. We enjoyed our time in the backcountry in spite of the pain caused by the “cruel ill-fitting boots”. :(

We are in the market to purchase new equipment now that we have experienced backcountry skiing. We would welcome any equipment advice from those with backcountry skiing experience.

Both the trip in and out was significantly faster than the year before when we had snow shoes.

Folks, there is a lot of fresh snow in those hills.
1. Pure Snow.JPG
We took our lunch break at the storm shelter.
2 Storm Shelter.JPG
It would be nice if we could get a shelter built up this road.
3 Road to Shadow Lake.JPG
Eventually we made it to our lovely destination.
4 Sport on Deck.JPG
Some law breakin’ yahoo had been up there with his vroom vroom.
5 Snow Mobile.JPG
6 West Meadow.JPG
I’m keeping this location a secret from the bots, but I will clue you in to the country.
7 Flag.JPG
That evening the Crystal Range turned from pink to purple.
8 Crystal Range.JPG
Did I mention the snow was perfect powder?
9 Powder Snow.JPG
It was cold! It was record cold! But I brought along a little something to keep me warm. :littledevil:
10 Smiling Sport.JPG
I had a wonderful time. I am so fortunate to be able to share such a great experience with such a great person! :)

Thanks for reading our TR.

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Re: Two Nights in the Backcountry with Record Low Temps

Post by maverick » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:50 pm

Thanks for the TR, looks like a lot of fun in the snow.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member:

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Re: Two Nights in the Backcountry with Record Low Temps

Post by oldranger » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:16 pm

Vaca Russ

Re: new equipment. As you have learned comfortable boots are the key and every foot is different. So rent different boots until you find a pair good for 5 or more miles with no wear and tear on your feet. When you find the boots then you will know the binding you need. My preference is the backcountry Nordic Norm Binding--I can get in and out without bending over which is a big advantage at my age. I also like the support of the boots that match up to the BCNN binding. I have BCNN bindings on all of my skis whether track or backcountry because I like my boots so much. A metal edge nowax (a misnomer because you still need a good glide wax) ski, relatively wide with a sidecut enables me to do some easy telly turns, parallel turns, and wedge turns in both soft and hard snow conditions. I like nowax because of the extreme temperature variations on the west coast. A 20 degree change up and back down is not unusual and that can make for some significant downtime waxing and dewaxing (removing klister has got to be one of the worst tasks in the world.) If you are anticipating getting into heavyduty backcountry skiing then the traditional 3 pin set up might be appropriate.


Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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