Tioga Pass Reports | May 1st: False White Peak | May 2nd: Kidney Lake Chute & Mt. Gibbs

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The approach to False White
The approach to False White

words and photos by Greg Burnett

On May 1st, we skied False White from the Saddlebag Lake road.  It was a manageable 2 and 1/2 hours from car to summit.  For optimum corn I wish we would’ve dropped in around 10:30 but that aspect was still skiing great when we arrived atnoon – good enough to ski multiple laps!  This is a great tour for a large group who want to do some party skiing, or skiing naked…

2 people dropping into the bowl on False White
2 people dropping into the bowl on False White
A classy BN scoring some backcountry GNAR points!  False White
A classy BN scoring some backcountry GNAR points! False White
Even the exit was holding some sweet skiing at 1:30pm.  False White
Even the exit was holding some sweet skiing at 1:30pm. False White

Yesterday, we got an early start and noticed a few more people up on the pass getting after it!  Since the road opened through the park at noon today it should be a busy weekend.  I spent the day chasing Jeremy Benson from Tioga Lake up and across the Dana Plateau to ski Kidney Lake Chute (KLC).  KLC was holding perfect corn on the top and bottom third, but the middle was a deeper slightly grabby corn.

Because it was so warm today, our 10:30 drop in was probably 30-45 minutes later than ideal.  We then skied across and ascended one of the northern couloirs off of Mount Gibbs. This north facing couloir held the best skiing and snow I’ve found this whole trip: consolidated pow at the top, soft corn on smooth surface mid chute, and soft corn on the run out.  It appears as if the north facing aspects at elevation are finally in a corn cycle!

Jeremy Benson enjoys the bottom of Kidney Lake Chute
Jeremy Benson enjoys the bottom of Kidney Lake Chute

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Beautiful turns on the top apron looking down into Kidney Lake
Beautiful turns on the top apron looking down into Kidney Lake

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The arduous boot pack up the north side of Gibbs
The arduous boot pack up the north side of Gibbs
And a panoramic including Mt Dana and KLC
And a panoramic including Mt Dana and KLC

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Here's a view of the plateau: you could ski the majority of the way across back to Ellery Bowl (which was mashed potatoes at 3:30pm on a hot day)
Here’s a view of the plateau: you could ski the majority of the way across back to Ellery Bowl (which was mashed potatoes at 3:30pm on a hot day)
After a not so quick, extremely hot boot pack up KLC, Benson celebrates an immensely successful mission
After a not so quick, extremely hot boot pack up KLC, Benson celebrates an immensely successful mission
And what's camping on the east side without a perfect sunset to end the day?
And what’s camping on the east side without a perfect sunset to end the day?

And now it’s back to the real world, thanks for reading!


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3 thoughts on “Tioga Pass Reports | May 1st: False White Peak | May 2nd: Kidney Lake Chute & Mt. Gibbs

  1. Sweet report…

    What was your approach back to Plateau & eventually Ellery from Kidney Lake?

    1. he says that he booted back up a hot Kidney Lake Chute, then traversed dana plateau to the top of ellery. but that is a sweet tour – well done!!

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