Skiing Escha Peak

Sunday, 20100502.  Bryce and Jeff met me at Mammoth for a weekend of ski mountaineering, to be shown what the Eastern Sierra Nevada is rightly famous for:  big, classic descents.  On Saturday we climbed and skied the east slope of Mt. Wood, near June Lake, getting within 1000' of the summit before turning around as the sun-softened snow started to refreeze.  Bryce brought the only camera for Saturday, so we'll have to wait for his email!

Bryce wasn't feeling 100% on Sunday and decided to sit the day out, so Jeff and I headed into McGee Creek to climb and ski Escha Peak.  It took us nearly 6 hours of skinning and scrambling to climb the 4400' to the summit, and only 45 minutes to ski down!  But the ski down was trully classic - straight from the summit, steep, and endless.  Matched with a light wind and blue skys this couldn't be beat!!  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

steep skinning up the first 2000 feet

then across the north face

 before booting the last bit to the NW ridge

 heading to the summit

a little bit of scrambling

 finally reached the summit a little after 3pm

 the descent starts directly from the summit

 some powder, some wind effected snow

 but definitely a classic descent!

looking back at the line

Statistics:  Escha Peak, 11960'.  North Face, Central Chute.  4400' climbed and skied, 5.5 miles roundtrip.

Today's guiding happened through Sierra Mountain Center of Bishop, California. Look them up at www.sierramountaincenter.com.

Photos from the trip (and all my adventures) can be found on my Picasa account, at picasaweb.google.com/mtnfreak