Thursday, February 10, 2011

AT Skiing - Mammoth

Cary heading up to Lake Mary

Taking a break near the old mine shafts

Cary taking off his skins and about to ski down

My new K2 Wayback AT Skis
Just above Lake Mary
Last week I flew up to Mammoth to meet up with Cary to try out "at skiing" and my new gear.  Both Cary and I have decided to take up backcountry skiing/mountaineering.  Yes, we have a LONG way to go before we attempt anything serious.  First, I need to learn how to ski.  Luckily, Cary is a good skier who is more than willing to give me tips.  Regardless I plan to get use to skiing and touring on the skis over the next few months.  After this trip I quickly realized I need to purchase a helmet, there are just too many trees around!

On Friday we headed up to the Obsidian Dome area just north, off the 395.  Marking our first "at skiing" experience we traveled about 4 miles  climbing just a hair over 500 feet.  It was slow going at first getting use to hiking in skis.  After a while we slowly but surely started to get the hang of it.  One person led while the other followed in their tracks.  Around 3:30 we arrived back at the truck and we headed back to the Mammoth area.  Since we didn't climb any hills to ski down we decided to find a mellow hill off the road to climb and ski down.  Off the Scenic Road near Mammoth we found our spot.  We climbed up a few hundred feet, took off our skins (which enable us to climb up hill) and skied down.  I quickly learned that I really need to spend a few days at a ski resort to practice my skiing, just getting the general technique down.  Anyway, it was still a ton of fun.

On Sat we headed out to the Tamarack side of Mammoth.  We skied to the old mining shafts near Lake Mary.  On our way, we found a great place to practice our down hill skiing.  It was also nice to get the practice of taking off and putting on our skins.  After the 6 mile trip we headed back to town.  We both really enjoyed our first "at skiing" experience.  I'm relieved considering I've spent a ton of money on my set up!  Over the next few weeks we plan on doing day trips whenever we get an opportunity.  Then by April or May we will attempt to climb a somewhat mellow peak.

View Mammoth Feb, 2011 in a larger map


Holly Teetzel said...

Beautiful county! Your opening shots in the video are awesome - looks like it was taken from an airplane you're so high up. Looks like you're getting a handle on the whole skiing thing, but I agree, a helmet would be a GOOD idea. What about your bouldering helmet? Glad you enjoyed the new AT experience. Looks like a lot of fun :-)

CalBadger said...

No thinking about it: Get a helmet before your next trip--I recommend a motorcycle helmet! Trees are the biggest killer of snow boarders and skiers in the USA, so no fooling around please! (I can't help being a Dad, sorry!). I agree with Holly, great scenery and well-done photography. I can hardily wait until you climb Mt. Rainier then ski down!

Holly Teetzel said...

Todd, you HAVE motorcycle helmet here at my house. I also have 2 loaners in basic black :-)