Tahoe Conditions Report: Sugarbowl to Pole Creek

2021-04-17: Sugarbowl to Squaw

(or at least to Pole Creek - there's no snow to get to Squaw from the North right now)

Yep, it's definitely adventure skiing, but still totally worth it!  Great snow conditions made it worth the bare patches and if you're looking for something to do this weekend it's a great experience on one of Tahoe's classic ski traverses.  I think the conditions will hand in there through this weekend with a bit more walking required.

Apologies for the brief report and typos, but we wanted to put this conditions report out while it was relevant!


Donner Peak overlooking Donner Lake, still good coverage and skiing on North aspects

Donner Peak overlooking Donner Lake, still good coverage and skiing on North aspects.

 

Judah Ridge, same as it ever was! Snow on the Northeast, have to walk over the ridge to traverse to Roller Pass right now.

Judah Ridge, same as it ever was! Snow on the Northeast, have to walk over the ridge to traverse to Roller Pass right now.

 

 

Looking south to Anderson Peak.  Generally good coverage all the way out there right now with good corn conditions.

Looking south to Anderson Peak.  Generally good coverage all the way out there right now with good corn conditions.

 

Looking back from the Mount Anderson Ridgeline toward Lincoln Peak.  Good coverage there!

Looking back from the Mount Anderson Ridgeline toward Lincoln Peak.  Good coverage there.

 

Looking back from the Mount Anderson Ridgeline toward Lincoln Peak.  Things are a little melted out, but still easily passable and where there is snow, the quality has been good!

Another from Mount Anderson Ridgeline toward Lincoln Peak.  Things are a little melted out, but still easily passable and where there is snow, the quality has been good!

 

Crampons and Axe to summit Mount Anderson.  I think this is a more efficient way to do this than following the burned out side hill where the PCT goes.

Crampons and axe to summit Mount Anderson.  I think this is a more efficient way to do this than following the burned out side hill where the PCT goes.

 

The top of Deep Creek Drainage.  Still enough coverage for another week of skiing!

The top of Deep Creek Drainage.  Still enough coverage for another week of skiing!

 

Silver Peak (left) and Gold Peak (right) still have good coverage on the northerly aspects.

Silver Peak (left) and Gold Peak (right) still have good coverage on the northerly aspects.

 

Minimal manzanita skiing required descending into Pole Creek.  Good Navigation skills required to avoid a lot of this!

Minimal manzanita skiing required descending into Pole Creek.  Good Navigation skills required to avoid a lot of this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pole Creek crossing that could be avoided by staying south of the road at the upper part of Pole Creek.  This is just above 7,000', stay south and go off the road to stay on snow.  The road is burned out and requires a creek crossing :/

A Pole Creek crossing that could be avoided by staying south of the road at the upper part of Pole Creek.  This is just above 7,000', stay south and go off the road to stay on snow.  The road is burned out and requires a creek crossing :/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The road below the gate in Pole Creek is burned out in multiple spots.  Still too much snow for running shoes, but too much dirt to ski.  Lots of skis on, skis off here.  Soon this should be melted out enough to use running shoes.

The road below the gate in Pole Creek is burned out in multiple spots.  Still too much snow for running shoes, but too much dirt to ski.  Lots of skis on, skis off here.  Soon this should be melted out enough to use running shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Critical gear list item:  Cold Sierra Nevada at the trailhead!! This makes the manzanita skiing all worth it!

Critical gear list item:  Cold Sierra Nevada at the trailhead!! This makes the manzanita skiing all worth it!
All in all it's a totally worthwhile loop if you can handle a little manzanita skiing and some road walking.  The snow conditions were great and actually made for a goos reward to a long traverse.  All in all we covered 14.25 miles and gained 3,500', mostly with our skis on.
I imagine the lower road in Pole creek will melt out a bit more by this weekend, but I'm sure it won't be a drastically different experience if you're looking for some adventure on skis in the Tahoe area!

2 comments

  • Can’t wait to get back down to Tahoe next season

    Jeremy Voris
  • What’s your favorite Sierra Nevada for the trailhead? Big fan of the Hazy Little Thing myself. It’s the go to for spring conditions.

    Devin

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