Options may not abound in the Eastern Sierra right now, but where there is snow it’s ripping! Tioga pass is open up to the park entrance providing easy access to lines off Mount Dana, Gaylor, False White, Conness and North Peak. This is no secret- but while riders are showing up in droves to schralp the goods, the snow is holding up really well.
Despite the low seasonal snowpack, the couloirs that grab the most snow during the winter are still holding beautiful chalk, a pow turn or two and have exits onto perfect corn aprons. With a minimal amount of walking and skinning on rocks, dirt and bushes, the Unknown, Solstice and Dana couloirs are holding amazingly steep, flat, edgable snow. From there gaining the Dana Plateau is pretty mellow, with a short scree walk and piecemeal skinning to all the shots off the plateau.
With a well planned car shuttle, one can ski the Powerhouse chutes and end up within a 10 minute bushwack of the car. It’s a sweet way to get some extra bang for your buck hiking on Dana.
The other options for getting back onto 120 are Ellery Bowl and Chute Out & Banana. Ellery is as thin as I’ve ever seen it, but where there is snow it’s good! The Chute Out needs a little sun to be anything other than a scratchy, slick, punchy adventure ski, but once it warms a bit seems like a good option for escaping the Plateau.
Get it before it’s gone!