Triumph of Tahoe Turns @ Carson Pass, CA – 06/15/14

Casey Cane | BackcountryBackcountry


What a year in these parts! After one of the driest years on record and in midst of a drought…would my June turns even come to fruition?

It has almost become a yearly ritual in my household…come mid-June, to climb and ski around the Carson Pass area off of Round Top Peak at 10,381 ft and then continue up and the down the chutes of all the Sisters Peaks (10,153 ft) down to Round Top Lake.

The funny thing is that we actually found all the chutes not only to be skiable and holding glorious corn the entire day.

Woods Lake (8,232 ft) is my usual starting point because its a quick 45 mins up to the snow line at Winnemucca Lake. However, this year THAT snow line was a couple hundred feet higher. The temperatures were fairly warm and probably in the 50’s but due to a sustained 30-40mph wind, the snow stayed completely the same for the duration of the day.

After a few days of boating and soaking up the sun on the shores of Lake Tahoe, we headed to the legendary Patch off HWY 88 to not only test the SUV but also to get some Father’s Day fun in the snow. The kids made snowballs, my 5 year old took a few June laps, and dad got his carve on which ended up being a blast of a morning.

Bottom line…Tahoe delivers in even the worst of years and for that I am stoked.


June 12th’s game plan: Round Top and the Sisters…

Mighty Round Top holding onto snow 0 June 12th, 2014

The author pointing out objective numero uno…

An idiot on a trail – photo: Steve

Stairway to the sunny side of Moon Crescent

Exercise route to fun

Time for a shadow selfie! The snow was in perfect hiking and skiing condition since it did not freeze the night before. Gusty winds kept the snow consistent throughout the day.

Moon Crescent alternate

Deadwood Peak holding onto winter…

Mountains with June snow

Nice place to eat a healthy snack…

Looking into East Bowl

Sierra to the South – Leavitt Peak and the Y Couloir (Sonora Pass) in the far distance…we had some fun over there around Easter.

The Sierra – June 12th, 2014

Let’s ski down shall we? Perfect corn and minor suncups provided an awesome ski…

Moon Crescent Alternate

Stev laying down some turns below Round Top…

Stev – the patch skier

Onward to The Sisters (three of them)…each with their own respective line.

The Sisters – June 12th, 2014

Always perfect corn down here…always!

Corned chute…Sisters Peak

Let them run and then traverse out to the left for Sisters #2…

Skiing is fun…even in a drought

Traversing over a bowl…in California…in June…during a drought.

Traversing to Sisters #2

The author ascends the steeps of Sisters #2…snow was getting a bit rotten up there and bit sketchy when finding hollow snow near the rocks.

Hiking in the name of fun – photo: Stev

Other than being a tough spot to put on skis, this is going to be good…

Descending the Middle Sister

Time to wash off that exposure…

Steep and Deep Corn

With suncupping to a minimum, you could actually ski for real…

Skiing above Round Top Lake

Time to head up the last one of the day

The Third Sister

Even with less snow than last year, the chute actually had much better coverage…

Cock Rock chutin’

California drought carving…

Real turns on real snow – photo: Stev

Sisters zone how I love thee so…

Sisters – Carson Pass, CA

The next two days yielded boating to early lunches around the West Shore of Lake Tahoe…

Morning solitude on Lake Tahoe

Throw in some late afternoon golf with the Mrs…

Golfing in South Lake Tahoe

And some amazing sunsets…

Lake Tahoe sky of fire

June 15th, 2014 – Father’s Day morning, the whole family took a ride to check out The Patch.

The Patch – June 15th, 2014

To give perspective, Winnemucca Lake is on the other side of that ridge…

High Alpine on Forestdale Divide

I knew that snowball maker would come in handy…

A family hanging out at the Patch

The author getting June faceshots

Mid June fun

The 5 year old gets in his California June turns

Youngster’s first backcountry lap

After a few laps with the kid, Dad runs up to the Summit for a final run

Up and down the shoulder of the Patch

Father’s Day drought skiing for the win!

Nice ski pants NERD!

Aspen trees? In California? Yep.

Forestdale Road

After a patch session do not forget to visit the Hope Valley Cafe for a piece of pie and a draft beer. Trust me you will not be disappointed.

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6 thoughts on “Triumph of Tahoe Turns @ Carson Pass, CA – 06/15/14

    1. He steps in wearing shorts, one zipper…too damn easy. It was also in the 40s with the windchill that morning…so it wasn’t that nuts, ha.

  1. Awesome photos and story, thanks for sharing. Great to see your little guy getting after it too.

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