Inspired Stone

January 13, 2011, 6:02 am
Filed under: Mountain

I’ve been scheming this adventure for the past couple years. The idea was sparked by reading Galen Rowell’s accounts of ski traversing two Great Basin mountain chains, the White Mountains of California and the Ruby Mountains of Nevada. In his fantastic book, “High and Wild”, he exposed the wildness, adventure and austere beauty of these desert ranges through his typically excellent writing and photos. I was inspired. But the White and Ruby Mountains are more significant endeavors than I’m prepared for. They involve on the order of 50 miles of traversing and peaks over 13,000 feet. I began searching for an alternative that had the same high desert flavor, but would fit my extended weekend time budget and novice skiing ability. The Sweetwater Mountains just north of Bridgeport, CA, fit the bill. An infrequently visited cluster of mountains, they would involve about 10 miles of traversing, 4 peaks, the highest being 11,200, and only about 4 hours driving from Davis. The possibility of spending one night in a hut sealed the deal. I was joined by 3 friends and we embarked on the 4 day adventure.

Of course, a necessary ingredient of any adventure is the unknown, and we discovered, upon arriving at the base of the Sweetwaters, that the two northern most peaks carried so little snow, that the trip would have become 50% hiking. Plan B: ski directly to the cabin (which turned out to be much further than I estimated for my companions and involved much skiing in the dark), and day trip up to the higher elevations. The highlights were the cabin with its blazing wood stove and the day skiing to the higher elevations which produced the best backcountry skiing I’ve experienced.


2 Comments so far
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This is so awesome! I love the photos—they really give the flavor of your trip and the way you displayed them is really beautiful! Great writing too of course!

Comment by Nicole Docimo

Looks like quite the experience! What a fun trek. Awesome job with the photos as well.

Comment by kylesimmons1991

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