Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: Sluff-Race Down Ripper Chute + Banana Chute | Tioga Pass

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from June 15th, 2018

Brought to you by Scott Sports

Skis Used:  Scott Super Guide 105

Yesterday morning, Greggy and I headed back up to Tioga Pass, CA.

This was my 6th trip to Tioga Pass this month.

The skiing off Tioga Pass has simply been fantastic this month.

Greggy above Ripper Chute and Mono Lake. image: snowbrains

We’d set our sights on Ripper Chute off the Dana Plateau.

We skinned and booted up Ellery Bowl then crossed the long Plateau.

On top of Ellery Bowl, we watched the large cornice hanging over the corner partially break off and nearly hit some guys skinning up below with debris.

Miles deep in Ripper Chute. image: Greggy

We saw that same cornice break again in the afternoon when we returned to Ellery Bowl.

We also saw a big cornice fall just west of Unknown Chute on Mt. Dana today.

Be extra careful around cornice in the Sierra Nevada at all times, but especially right now.

Mono Lake from the Dana Plateau. image: snowbrains

The amount of life up on the Plateau is impressive.

There must be 100,000 flowers up there right now along with marmots, pikas, ground squirrels, crickets, spiders, and more.

Ripper Chute was gorgeous.

Greggy nosing up Cocaine Chute. image: snowbrains

Big walls on each side, not too steep, smooth snow, and it appears it hasn’t seen much traffic this year.

I skied down fast to beat my sluff down and was blown away by how fun the conditions were.

Soft, splashy snow.

Miles dropping into Ripper Chute. image: Greggy

At the bottom, we skied around a rocky spine to our right and entered the drainage below Cocaine Chute.

We climbed up Cocaine Chute and scooted back across the Dana Plateau to Ellery Bowl.

As mentioned before, we saw another large cornice failure off Ellery Bowl.

More goregous flowers. image: snowbrains

I worked west on the rim of Ellery Bowl to Banana Chute and the skiing in there was amazing.

The choke isn’t too tight nor steep so you can blast right through and have a hoot.

I did try to get into Chute Out but that chute was guarded by steep snow and a cornice/rock combo that I wasn’t able to climb down safely without ropes.

Yesterday was a spectacular day on Tioga Pass.

Greggy and Ripper Chute. image: snowbrains


June 13th: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: Huge Cornice, Unknown Chute Off Mt. Dana Is Steep & Scary… | Tioga Pass

June 11th: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: Mt. Dana’s Solstice Couloir + Powerhouse Chutes | Tioga Pass

June 6th:  Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: Mt. Dana → Dana Couloir → Power House Chutes | Tioga Pass

June 5th: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: Power House Chutes | Tioga Pass, CA

June 4th: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: 12,500′ North Couloir of Mt. Emerson

June 2nd: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: The Third Pillar Chute | Tioga Pass, CA

June 1st: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: 1″ of Snow in 20-Minutes at 12,300′ in Zebra Chute


Greggy on the final pitch of Ellery Bowl. image: snowbrains
Banana Chute. We skied down this to the car. image: snowbrains
Greggy ripping up Cocaine Chute.
The right wall of Ripper Chute and the 14,000′ White Mountains. image: snowbrains
You know you’re tired when… image: snowbrains
Rest time at the top of Cocaine Chute. image: snowbrains
These spiders have very long legs to keep them off the cold snow and they run around and eat dying bugs who have been blown onto the snowfields. image: snowbrains
Greggy in Ripper Chute. image: snowbrains
White flowers, yellow flower, and florescent lichen. image: snowbrains
Top of Cocaine Chute. image: snowbrains
Greggy and Cocaine Chute. image: snowbrains
Unknown Chute. image: snowbrains
13,057′ Mt Dana. image: snowbrains
See that big cornice on the horizon? Parts of that came down yesterday. Ellery Bowl, Tioga Pass. image: snowbrains

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