I really had high hopes for getting into the back-country a lot this winter. Hopes that, viewed in retrospect from my current mid-February vantage point, seem to have been perhaps a bit excessive in their breadth of ambition. I started planning back in October for what I at the time expected to be an outdoor season peppered with several vigorous high-country adventures. In my mind’s eye I saw igloos, frozen waterfalls, snow-caves, fresh powder runs down obscure mountain slopes; but then the winter never came. After a little bit of rain in November, the sky offered forth nothing in the way of precipitation until early February; and so plans were delayed accordingly, then emended, and ultimately scrapped altogether. Snowshoe trips in November, December, and January were all dropped from the season’s itinerary; and for awhile it was looking like February might offer more of the same frustrating inertia.
But then the sky opened up for the better part of a week, soaking the Bay Area (and much of the rest of Northern California), and finally dropping some significant snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
And now the time has come to find out just what we have been given to work with up there in the High Sierra; and so to that end I will be heading east in just a few hours, bound for Lake Tahoe and the Desolation Wilderness, in the hopes of finding something of that winter wonderland that Mother Nature has so stubbornly withheld from us these past few months (as if the blame falls entirely at her feet, and not at all with mankind, and all his reckless disregard for the long-term stability of the planet. But that’s a different post altogether.)
The weekend’s forecast looks impeccable; there is reportedly a healthy layer of snow on the ground; and my fingers are crossed that my planned 21-mile loop, from the shore of Lake Tahoe up to and along the Pacific Crest, up and over the summit of Mount Tallac, and then back down to lake level, will prove fruitful and incident-free.
Like I said: fingers crossed. And stay tuned for trip report and details, to follow next week.