words and photos by Matt Bansak
The later it gets into the summer, the harder it gets to find skiable patches of snow. This is especially true for the summer of 2013, following one of the driest winters Tahoe has seen. However, with a little bit of planning and dedication, it’s not impossible. For diehards like myself who are going for a consecutive month skiing streak, this was motivation enough to make it happen.
After hearing from a friend who had scoped the area the day before, September skiing was officially a ‘go’ for the Round Top patches, one of the few areas in Tahoe that holds snow at this time of year. Round Top is a 10,000 foot peak a little east of Kirkwood, down in Carson Pass, and is my favorite place for summer turns for its accessibility and beauty.
My friend Keenan Hawkins, who is always up for an adventure, was onboard for an evening hike up. We had spent the first part of our day with some friends, hucking bikes off a ramp that Keenan had built into an undisclosed lake. Skiing afterwards would be a great way to top the day off. We made it down to the trailhead started hiking around 5:45PM. The timing was perfect, as we got to the patch at around 7, just in time to session the patch during an incredible smoky sunset. The setting was absolutely surreal, and was the perfect reward for an already pleasant hike.
Year round skiing isn’t necessarily about finding quality turns, it’s about the adventure, and this was no exception. The snow really wasn’t bad, though! The sun cups weren’t deep, and despite the bad snow year, it was still a decent sized patch. Skiing on September 1st, surrounded by mountains in complete tranquility, was more than enough to put a smile on our faces.
We hiked back down with headlamps, glad to have motivated for the perfect way to spend an evening. September bagged! Now onto October…
PS: The cell phone don’t do it justice. By accident, I left my real camera at home. Mental snapshots will have to do!