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| |-+  April 2005 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 9, 2005, Mt. Tallac, CA (Lk. Tahoe area)
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Author Topic: April 9, 2005, Mt. Tallac, CA (Lk. Tahoe area)  (Read 6056 times)
Bill f

Posts: 17

April 9, 2005, Mt. Tallac, CA (Lk. Tahoe area)
« on: 04/11/05, 02:10 PM »

A group of Seattlites visited the Lake Tahoe region to investigate their snowpack.  After two stormy but epic in-area days at Kirkwood, four of us (Jason R, philfort, savaiusini, and I) decided to rest our downhill muscles and exercise our uphill muscles.  

I had skied Mt. Tallac in Jan. 2003 and suggested that as a destination.  The others quickly agreed.  

From the South Lake Tahoe region we drove north on 89, poking around for something that looked like a trailhead.  We drove past a sign for a Mt. Tallac trailhead looking for something closer.  We reached the closed gate at the Emerald Bay park without seeing an obvious trailhead.  We turned our car around and headed back south.  We passed by a Tallac Springs road and drove about another mile back to the Mt Tallac trailhead sign and followed the signs to the trailhead.  We later found out that we could have parked at the end of the Tallac Springs road.

From the trailhead, we began following a skin track headed south.  After a few minutes of following this, it was obvious the trail was not headed in the direction we wanted to go.  So we turned our skis west directly towards Mt Tallac and began bushwacking through some somewhat dense trees up and over a minor rib.  After an hour or so of this rambling path, we spotted some cabins, a road, and a skin track at - what we found later to be- the end of the Tallac Springs road.  

The skin track led up what appears to be the north fork of the Tallac creek drainage.  The clouds that had been dumping snow on the region disappeared as we left the forest for the open slopes above and the warm California sun shone down on us and the snow.  After climbing for maybe 30mins in the open trees, we reached the bottom of a huge bowl that stretched up to the N-S ridge. From here we gained the prominent NE ridge on the climbers' right, climbed to the upper N-S ridge and then eventually ascended along the ridge towards the summit.

We took a couple of laps on the summit bowl.  Jason R and I skied off the top and caught several turns of wind scoured ice before reaching the soft fluff below while Sam and Phil skied from the ridge a little below the summit to catch the better snow.  While the new snow was not as deep as what we had been skiing at Kirkwood the two previous days, the 6-8" of fresh had us all hooting and hollering.

The skiing got better as we left the upper bowl and headed into the Tallac Cr. bowl whose northern ridge we had earlier ascended.  We stuck to the northern aspects on the way down and had some amazing turns.  I had expected sun baked mush but found nearly 12" of powder.  Only at the bottom, did the sun really affect the snow.

We skied out to the Tallac Springs huts and caught another pair of skiers on their way out.  The gave Sam a ride to our car and he looped around to pick us up while we enjoyed the warm spring California sun.

Mt Tallac, CA, South Lake Tahoe area
Trailhead:  ~6500ft
Summit:   9735ft
topozone link:

« Last Edit: 04/11/05, 02:12 PM by Bill_f » Logged

Posts: 2422

Re: April 9, 2005, Mt. Tallac, CA (Lk. Tahoe area)
« Reply #1 on: 04/11/05, 03:39 PM »

Bill,   Jill and I were at the Mt. Tallac TH on Sunday afternoon.  For those looking for the TH, you turn north on Hwy 89 at the "Y" junction with hwy 50. Go north 4 miles to Spring Creek Rd. and turn left, go .6 miles and turn right on Pomo Rd.and go to end about .3 miles.  I was checking out TH for future trips to Tallac, Maggies Peak,.. From the gate along hwy 89, I could see some great lines,yours Smiley, on Mt. Tallac in the upper bowl, down the cliffs and trees.  Glad to hear you caught the powder days at Kirkwood. We were at Sierra at Tahoe.  We're presently in the RV parking lot at Kirkwood enjoying the corn.  A small storm is expected Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning.The terrain in and outside the Kirkwood ski area boundary is extensive.  Being  retired  ski bums, we bought our 2005/2006 midweek pass for $147 and received a Spring Pass for this year.  The Tahoe area has some incredible inbound and backcountry terrain. We're trying to get to the Bishop area for some touring but it's still too good near Tahoe  to leave.  Zap

Posts: 517

Re: April 9, 2005, Mt. Tallac, CA (Lk. Tahoe area)
« Reply #2 on: 04/11/05, 04:27 PM »


Just returned from Bishop.  Awesome.  Skied Basin to 7,400' in the sagebrush, Birch right to Mc Murray Meadows and Mc Gee, of course, with bomber corn.

Conditions in NE couloirs were touchy and the tragedy of the skiers dieing on Mt Tom has the town a little spooked, but my 14,000 Vf in three days confirmed: the eastern Sierra is open for business, get it while the snowpack is deep.  
« Last Edit: 04/11/05, 04:29 PM by MW88888888 » Logged

Posts: 628

Re: April 9, 2005, Mt. Tallac, CA (Lk. Tahoe area)
« Reply #3 on: 04/11/05, 04:54 PM »

Bill f enjoying the powder on Mt Tallac:
Jeff Huber

Posts: 771

Re: April 9, 2005, Mt. Tallac, CA (Lk. Tahoe area)
« Reply #4 on: 04/11/05, 06:30 PM »

What Zap said, though I have skied on Tallac via the Summer TH before. It was during a period of low snow coverage. We hiked the summer trail to the base of Tallac's southern bowls. The trail is longer then access from Spring Creek, but it was a quick hike devoid of snow.

This flash presentation on The Backcountry Store's site has other tour directions:

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