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Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry

01.22.18

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Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry

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  • Skinning up Alpine Mine Road with Red Lake Peak (10,061 ft) rising in the distance.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • En route to Red Lake Peak's summit.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • North bowl of Red Lake Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Skinning up to Signal Peak ridge with Cisco Bute in the backround.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Aproaching the abondoned Centeral Pacific Railroad Fire Lookout Station on Signal Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Enoying the view on the lower seciton of Signal Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • The Lake Run seen from Donner Lake.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Judah Ridge. - Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Looking down on Old Highway 40 from Donner Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Looking out from one of the summit drop-in options on Lake Run.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Great views of Donner Lake from the Lake Run.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Headed toward the summit of Ralston.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Ejoying the views of Lake Tahoe from the summit of Ralston.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Dropping into Cup Lake from Ralston.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Fast turns on great corn make the south face of Ralston very fun in the spring.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Hidden Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Hidden Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Hidden Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Views of the lake are good motivation to push through to the summit of Hidden Peak. - Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Preparation for the descent on Waterhouse Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Skiing the trees of Waterhouse Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Reaping the rewards of skiing Powerhouse Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Contributor Reed Youngbar in Powderhouse Peak's east bowl.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • The views from Jake's Peak never get old.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Despite dry land at lake level, Jake's upper half is often holding snow. - Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Eastshore vantage of the westshore lineup.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Skiing corn on Castle's south face.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Castle Peak's southern aspect. The main ascent route climbs the left (west facing) shoulder.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Nearing Castle Peak's summit with the Castle Peak-Basin Peak ridgeline behind.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Castle Peak's south face.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Riding powder on the north side of Donner Ridge into Euer Valley.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Checking out cornice debris in Sunrise Bowl.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Dropping into the east-facing Sunrise Bowl.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Sunrise Bowl on Donner Ridge offers a great low-angle descent.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Enjoying fresh turns in the Sunrise Bowl.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • The Donner Ridge area is great for dogs.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Riding the west face of Donner Ridge into Johnson Canyon (formerly called Negro Canyon).- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Standing on the summit of Angora Peak with Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe in the background.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Riding the gully on Angora Peak.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Well-spaced glades on Rubicon Peak's east aspect.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Andesite Peak near Castle Peak in the Donner Pass area.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Castle Peak with Basin Peak in the background.- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
  • Johnson Canyon (previously known as Negro Canyon).- Ski Guide to Lake Tahoe's Backcountry
Article
Contributor

California… the land of strip malls, white sand beaches, and celebrity sightings… or so you thought.

Among skiers and snowboarders, California, and the Tahoe region in particular, is the one of the world’s premier winter sports destinations. The heavy snowpack is colloquially known as “Sierra Cement,” and it provides for comparatively stable snow (depending on conditions). Combine that with a variety of expert terrain, friendly beginning slopes, easy access to the backcountry from major roads, and you have a skier's and splitboarder’s dream come true.

The depth of options throughout the Tahoe region is a huge draw for this area, as well. From South Lake Tahoe all the way to Donner Summit, this region offers a ton of winter backcountry routes. Before going out, be sure to educate yourself on avalanche safety (we highly recommend taking an Avalanche 1 class through AIARE) and checking the avalanche forecast. The Sierra Avalanche Center is a comprehensive and complete resource--there’s no reason to get caught out in sketchy terrain if you learn how to use this tool properly.

Here’s a basic rundown of popular backcountry tours in the different areas within Tahoe and a couple popular options for each.

Donner Lake and Donner Summit

West Shore and Desolation Wilderness

Mount Rose

Carson Pass and South Lake

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