It’s been a hectic week, coming back from traveling and trying to regain some semblance of control at work and at life. A couple of surprises, with such key things like employment and health insurance, added uninvited excitement. Because of this I wasn’t all that focused on the snow, but I was surprised at the oddly warm temps we encountered when we got back home. While N kept telling me snow conditions at Heavenly were still wintery in north facing aspects, I found that hard to believe when I was sweating at lake level just walking from my car (though maybe the down jacket, gloves, hat & scarf were overkill).
Since conditions are at that in between stage at anything not north facing (not quite corn and most definitely not winter snow), we had agreed that ski touring was the call for Saturday, if only to get a bit of exercise. N had been trying to ski tour with a friend of his, and he and his girlfriend were free. We don’t usually ski tour with others, primarily because of most of our friends either don’t live near us or are parents of small children. So it was sort of a novelty to meet and ski with another couple.
We ended up going up towards Emerald Bay to ski Jake’s Peak, a mountain at the north end of the bay. We’d skied it once before, but had never done it from the south side. It ended up being a rather athletic climb, as it was steep in places, and firm enough to require either ski crampons (which I had) or experience skinning (which I did not have). Due to the boniness of the originally planned descent, we ended up skiing across the ridge of Jake’s to another slope that had more snow, garnering some cool views along the way.
The payoff for the uphill work was on the descent, which was on a slope that appeared to lead directly into Lake Tahoe. That snow conditions were optimal (an inch or two of soft snow on a consolidated base) only made the descent better.
Given my overall ski fitness thus far this season I think I did pretty well. That I was able to go home afterwards and make an awesome chocolate raspberry cake (thanks to Clotilde’s book) and a tasty chicken lima bean mushroom stew for friends was the surprising thing. We’ll see how early I wake up tomorrow though…