Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tioga Pass

On the third day of our trip down south we headed up to Tioga Pass to ski a line that I've been looking at for years. While this may technically be the end of the Dana Plateau, I refer to this peak as North Gibbs. The line we went to ski is on the lookers left skyline right off the peak. The ascent route to access this line is a little different than climbing up to the plateau like you would to ski the coke chute, the ripper, the third pillar, or kidney lake. Instead of climbing the coke chute we headed up the chute to the lookers left, right above Oscar's head in the photo below.
After skining up to the base of the chute we switched to crampons to boot up the firm snow. After topping out on the chute we still had a ways to go.
Coming out of the chute the pitch eased back a little and we were able to skin to the top of North Gibbs. In the photo below Oscar climbs with Mono Lake and Tioga Pass Road in the background. Another beautiful day!
After several big days in the High Sierra we were wiped out and happy to reach the top of our line. I've been looking at this one for years so I got to ski it fresh. Oscar captured a good shot of me dropping into this one... This line was huge, once it goes out of view it just goes on and on, I'm glad to have finally skied this.
While we were on the top of North Gibbs we looked over at the north side of South Gibbs, and it looks good. I think we may have found a few more things to hit the next time we're down in that area... Another great day down in the High Sierra, spring in California, does it get any better?

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