Saturday, April 9, 2011

High Sierra: Laurel Mountain - The Pinner Chute

Pic of pic from Sierra BC skiing guide
Day three in the Sierra dawned sunny and calm in spite of a forecast that predicted winds gusting up to 85 mph.   We had planned a potential link up in the Convict Lake region, but once started, felt lazy and content with our week thus far.

The objective for the day was the Pinner Chute on Laurel Mountain.  This couloir is roughly 4000 ft of rock lined, moderate worry free fun in an area that reminds me of the Hogum Fork area (on a slightly larger scale) back home.
The impressive Mount Morrison, viewed from across Convict Lake
 We opted for that silly Teton style approach in our ski boots.  It really wasn't too bad as we were skinning just on the other side of the lake.
Going for it Teton style and IN style wearing tights.  Laurel Mountain in background.

JD putting a skinner in the Pinner
During the climb, the Sierra sun was blazing and we shed down to t shirts.  Where was the nasty weather?
On the summit ridge 

JD finding the entrance to the Pinner 
More JD

The upper sections had corned up nicely

Lower down, it was 65 degrees and getting sloppy
 Sunny skis and warm temps mean that skiing and swimming go together.
Convict Lake
Done early, we contemplated staying in the region for another day but the forecast was arguing against that.  We felt a little sheepish about driving home under sunny skies.  But, as we left, large plumes were visible on the high peaks, indicating the winds were picking up.  I would love to have stayed a while longer to explore some of the other amazing lines the region has to offer, but our decision was confirmed the next day when the weather report read poor visibility, high winds, snow, and full on winter conditions.  

To me, the greater ranges of the world include the Alaska Range, the Himalaya, and now the Sierra Nevada.  After this quick trip, I have multiple potential projects brewing in the dark corners of my mind.  Spring road trip anyone?  


  1. How about the Sierra High Route Out & Back in 24 hrs. A new record?

  2. What, the Wasatch isn't a "greater range"? What about the Tushars?