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| |-+  April 2005 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 19, 2005, Conway Summit, Hwy 395 CA
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Zap
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April 19, 2005, Conway Summit, Hwy 395 CA
« on: 04/22/05, 11:27 AM »

Finally departed Lake Tahoe after a month of downhill and backcountry skiing.  Drove to Travertine Hot Springs outside of Bridgeport along highway 395 and spent an hour soaking, watching the sun set over Sawtooth Ridge and thinking Big Thoughts.  Drove down to a quiet spot facing the Sierras and as we started to pull the curtains snow showers began falling.  We woke to 3 inches of new powder with strong westerly winds and partly cloudy skies. In the Sierras, partly cloudy means mainly sunny with clouds rolling through the area, aka a sunny day in Seattle. We slept in, read, studied guide books and waited for the snow to melt off the dirt road.  About 3pm it was time to go skiing.  

Drove south on 395 to Conway Summit at 8140 feet.  As most have heard this has been a big snow year in the Sierras. According to Mammoth Mountain they are at 161 of ner cent of normal and the seventh biggest snow pack in recorded history to date.  Besides being fun facts to know, this means skiing from Conway Summit towards Mono Lake is a reality this spring.  We setup a car pool with some CA ski friends and left our vehicle down 395 near the first windsock at 6800 feet. We traveled from Conway Summit west on Virginia Lakes road about one mile to a pullout at 8400 feet and left the other vehicle.  We then skinned in a southwesterly direction up to 8800 feet where the power poles cross the ridge.  The sky was cloudy and we could see snow showers below us at Mono Lake and another front heading our way.  The winds were gusty and our thought was all the fresh powder would be down in the ravine we were skiing towards.  Wrong! All the powder settled in Mono Lake far below.  We chose a ravine that our friends had skied before. It began on an open bowl, descended to a couple of groves of aspen then steepened into a ravine that provided double fall line turns toward the sagebrush below.  The surface was firm until the final 500 vertical which was corn.  The 2000 foot descent ends near some dirt roads which provide a quarter mile hike back to the vehicle at highway 395. There are numerous ravines that lead towards 395. We chose the one to the left of the power poles.  The one to the right is steeper and ideal in corn conditions.  There are possibilities to start low and climb the terrain you want to descend.  We chose the Mature Option of climbing 400 vertical and skiing 2000 vertical. It was 6pm and time to return to Travertine and work on some more Big Thoughts.  Zap
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