Lake Tahoe, CA, Backcountry Report: Powder & Backflips Above Stunning Lake Tahoe

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from March 3, 2023

Yesterday was the last powder day of the monstrous 12-foot snow cycle here in Tahoe.

Why the last day you say?

Mostly because a 4-6 foot storm is forecast to hit Tahoe hard Saturday – Monday…

We got out early, found no other humans, and skied shady, high quality powder.

The views of Lake Tahoe as we skied down were downright distracting.

“Don’t look at the lake, don’t look at the lake, don’t look at the lake…,” my brain echoed as I swooshed down the steep, gladed slope.

Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains

The skiing was steep, the snow was spongey and responsive, the views were problematic.

After airing the mini road bergschrund we found ourselves quaffing in an impressive view with only one thing in between us and the lake: a perfect backflip lip…

Fox pushed for it and he began working on the kicker as I stepped out an inrun.

Fox crushing image: snowbrains

It was his turn to go first and he stomped a perfect, textbook backflip.

I waited in horror as he skinned back up to the jump.

I was nervous…

Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains

Waiting for him to return only made my nerves worse…

Once he was in position, I stepped up to the top of the inrun and did not take my time.

I was anxious to get it over with, to nail it, to not fall.

Fox and a shit eating grin. image: snowbrains


“3, 2, 1, Dropping…”

I blacked out.

Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains

I remember thinking about getting as much speed as possible on the inrun then it went black.

I came back quickly noting that the landing looked further away than desired and my landing gear was already down.


Miles happy. image: snowbrains

Nope, just about right!

I touched down, left elevens, hooted in ecstasy, barreled a powder turn, then screamed and shook all over out of pure relief.

We did it.

Stop. image: snowbrains

We swam and luxuriated in the moment.

The walk home was an easy one with smiles, exclamations, and satisfaction.

Thanks for getting me to hit that jump and showing the way, Fox.


image: sierra avalanche center, 3/3/23


image: noaa, 3/5/23


Skinner. image: snowbrains
Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains

Fox. image: snowbrains
Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains
Fox up. image: snowbrains
Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains
Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains
Miles likes it. image: snowbrains
Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains
Fox on a log. image: snowbrains
Avalanche bend the hell out of the guard rail. image: snowbrains
Avalache. image: snowbrains
Fox avalanche. image: snowbrains
Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains
Lake Tahoe. image: snowbrains
Miles happy. image: snowbrains
Tahoe is buried. image: snowbrains
Buried. image: snowbrains

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