The Vitals elev.-10,663
Rock-Shale like scree Part of the Carson Range
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1/21/04-Today we decide to take a tour from the top of Heavenly Valley
to Job's Sister, and then out to High
Meadows Trail.. It's been about 30 hours since Heavenly received six
inches from a backside storm. This was by far the largest storm total
in the basin so we decided to keep it close to the Heave. Additionally,
dropping off the backside of Monument
Peak is something best experienced after an east wind. After a few
delays we made it to the top of Monument Peak by about 10:45. Here we
drop into about 1200 feet of great fall line through wind stunted trees.
The snow is great but opening it up completely is scary as its a bit of
a mine field. From here, we follow the Rim Trail (sort of) to Star
Lake. Directly across the damn we head up the ridgeline keeping on
the windpack near the edge of the drop down to the lake. We make it to
the top of the bowl between Jobs Sister and Freel Peak, but opt for the
tree line we passed a couple hundred
yards before. It was an excellent choice, 2,200 hundred feet of beautifully
spaced trees in bottomless powder. Here we begin a series of traverses
to skiers left combined with sweet shots with another 1,100 feet of vertical.
We finish it up with a speed run down well used path with about an inch
on top of ice. As tired as we were, and with the sun already behind the
Crystal Range, this was the hardest part of the day. The tour took 6.5
hours and we were rewarded with about 4,500 vertical feet of downhill
skiing for about 2,500 of fairly easy mostly non-technical (okay, somehow
I was able to find some bushwahcking even with a 100+ inch base) climbing.
When entering the backcountry, proper precautions should be taken, including
avalanche beacon and the know-how to use it, shovel, compass or GPS, friend, weather information, and common sense. Click here for the latest avalanche advisory info. You can also find more info on our gear pages.
Ski Aware, It's Big out there.