Monday, June 2, 2008

NGC 07-08

The 07-08 ski season started out slow. Early adventures were limited to Rose backcountry. Mid winter was excellent and provided enough snow to access the “low snow gems”. Peavine was good to us this season, getting in over 20 days combined hiking and riding between the NGC crew. Many days the conditions were questionable. Whether it was icy or mash potatoes we rode. Even though the marginal or bad days far outnumber the good or great ones, every day hiking to ride is a good day. It’s not about getting the sickest snow and virgin lines. It’s about getting out away from the lifts and people, hiking your ass off up a mountain, chillin on top for a bit, and then rippin down. But we definitely love it when the conditions are good.

Toiyabes (12-12-07)

A trip too early! Snotel data at Big Creek Sum had us stoked about hitting the Toiyabes. The season prior we had seen the Bunker Hill area from Carol Summit (off highway 722). Once again I need to reconsider what my definition of a “day trip” is. We (Dan and myself) left Reno at 5am and drove three and a half hours to the Toiyabes. We started hiking at 9 am. For eight straight hours we hiked in thinly powder covered sage. Sinking up to our waists in sage and snow all day long was exhausting. We returned to the truck as the evening twilight came to an end. And then the three and a half hour drive back, to get home at 10pm. A 17 hour day and bad skiing conditions made this mission only useful for scouting purposes. We got some decent shots but hit a lot of rocks. Dan, after filming my line, cussed his way down a thick mahogany face. Here is a little bit of what we saw.


Peavine is the most underrated backcountry zone in the Reno area. The view from Reno is deceiving with an abundance of mellow rolling hills as well as being a south face of the mountain. The south is often melted out while the north is very rideable. The northern terrain is also a lot more interesting to ride. This side of Peavine has a wealth of riding available for most of the winter and early spring season. Some zones named by NGC are The Crest, Poor Man’s Bowl, and The Vine (see picture at top). NGC has not ridin the middle bowl between the two main peaks but has some great tree and gully riding. The mainstay of NGC for the past three years has been The Vine. This year we did some serious laps on The Vine. February 26th was particularly successful for snow conditions and filming.

Peterson (3-21-08)

The Peterson Range is on the Nevada/California border between Red Rock road and 395. I did Peterson a few years ago in May and it was great. This year Dan and I did the same line and filmed the whole thing. The drive in takes a bit but the hike is quick. The conditions were a bit crusty up top but good corn below. A fun day was had!

Desatoyas (4-5-08)

Bushwacking in the Yota and on foot was the name of the game for this trip with Dan and I. After arriving at Eastgate and the foot of the Desatoyas we spent the better part of two hours to scout (find rideable lines) and route find to what we would ski. The entrance road to our launch point was very difficult to follow as it is rarely driven, covered in thick Junipers, and we were the first of the season to drive it. After loosing the trail once we were able to find the trail again and make it to the end. The hike in was a bushwack the entire way but relatively easy due to our excellent route finding skills. The entire way we could see Mt. Bald and it looked mighty fine and is definitely a place worth coming back to. One of the reasons we were initially drawn to the Desatoyas was the steepness on the West face visible from highway 50. We saw this for the first time on our Toiyabe trip and took a mental note. When we returned this time it was too late in the season for most of the lines we were interested in. But we were going to ride something regardless. We named this line “Bushwack”.

State Line Peak (Ft. Sage) 4-17-08

Ft. Sage was not on our short list at the beginning of the season. Although it had been in the back of our minds for some time as my parents live in Red Rock and have a perfect view of this peak’s south side. Knowing what we do about the “low snow gems”, we knew that the north aspect had to have rideable faces. An April scouting mission with Dan proved this to be true. The day of scouting actually began as a half hearted attempt to ski the north face of the Dogskins (south of Pyramid Lake and Thule Peak). The day turned out to be blown out with wind and we didn’t feel like being blown off the mountain. So we decided to drive Winnemucca Ranch road through to the Honey Lake Valley. After several hours of being tossed around through boulder fields (gingerly because of a lack of a spare tire) we reach Newcome Lake and had the large snowfields of State Line Peak in our site. The closer we got the better it looked. More vertical and better, more extreme lines than Peavine. Yet the summit elevation is 300 ft lower. We had to come back and ride this!

Two trips were made to State Line Peak. The first was Dan and Corey (4-10-08). The second occurred one week later (4-17-08) and was crewed by Dan and myself. This is pretty late in the season considering the poor late season snow. This area has massive potential if timed right. Both missions yielded great footage and fun times.