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North Cascades Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update

Camp on the Coleman Deming Route of Mount Baker.  Photo: Doug Bernard North Cascades Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update 2024-06-11  |  Mt Shuksan & Mt Baker Lead Blackbird Mountain Guide and AMGA Ski Guide, Doug Bernard, just returned...

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    Mt Shasta Access & Conditions Update

    The Hotlam-Bolam Route on Mt Shasta as of 5-20-2024.  Photo: Mt Shasta Avalanche Center   Mt Shasta Access & Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update 2024-05-21  |  Mt Shasta Roads & Trailheads ✅ Bunny Flat - Open Still skinnable to and from the trailhead!  And...

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    Lassen Peak Backcountry Ski Conditions Update

    Our guides on Lassen Peak have been finding excellent snow on all aspects. Photo: Jason Smith.   Lassen Peak Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update 2024-05-19  |  Lassen Peak / Devastated Area Lassen Peak is holding excellent snow on...

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      Tioga Pass Road Open & Conditions Update!

      Eastern Sierra Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update 2024-05-21  |  Tioga Pass / Mt Dana  The Eastern Sierra is firing on all cylinders.  The snow quality is excellent, and the access just gained a massive boost with Tioga Pass opening...

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        Mt Baker & North Cascades Access & Conditions

        Skiers skinning up Mt Baker in Coleman Glacier.  Photo: Brandon Seymore.   Mt Baker / North Cascades Access & Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update 2024-05-21  |  Mt Baker / Cascade River Road / HWY 20 The North Cascades and Mt...

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          North Cascades Backcountry Ski Conditions Update

          Here's a report from IFMGA Guide Brandon Seymore on our latest ski mountaineering trip to Eldorado Peak

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            Lassen National Park - Open to Devastated Area

            The road to the devastated area is clear and open to vehicles in Lassen National Park! Photo: Lassen National Park Lassen National Park Road Status 2024-05-12  |  Lassen National Park The road has opened to the Devastated...

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              Eastern Sierra Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update

              Guided skiers in the Rock Creek zone in the Eastern Sierra Backcountry. Photo: Bob Newcomb    Eastern Sierra Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update 2024-05-11  |  Bloody Couloir, Rock Creek  The Eastern Sierra has some good snow right now, but...

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              Mt Shasta Ski & Climbing Conditions Update

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                Lassen National Park Road Openings

                 2024-05-01 | Lassen National Park Road clearing operations are underway.  The park has made significant progress, but there are still closures in place and major snow removal operations ongoing.
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                  Mt Shasta Backcountry Ski Conditions

                  2024-04-28 | MT SHASTA BACKCOUNTRY SKI CONDITIONS Avalanche Gulch. Fresh snow and cold conditions made for some great powder skiing on Mt Shasta this weekend!  The new snow piled in and made for some great skiing, but it also created a hazard with wind slabs building in Avalanche Gulch.
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                  Eastern Sierra Backcountry Ski Conditions

                  Bishop & Lee Vining Areas Eastern Sierra Backcountry Ski Conditions. The bottom line is that conditions on both northerly and southerly aspects are skiing well right now.   New cold snow on high norths and corn on all other aspects were glorious this weekend!  Many areas in the range received no snow at all, so the skiing there was largely unchanged, other than getting a deeper freeze this weekend. 
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                    New FKT on Mt Shasta 2024 by David Sinclair

                    Wow, this is absolutely incredible!  A new Fastest Known Time was just set on Mt Shasta by ultra-athlete David Sinclair.  Sinclair set the record on skis on April 23rd, 2024, blowing the previous FKT up by almost 15 minutes.  Here's what David had to say about the day, as well as pictures and video:
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                      Eastern Sierra Backcountry Ski Conditions

                      Backcountry Skiing in the Eastern Sierra, April 2024 Conditions update: Mt. Emerson, Mt. Dade, Mt. Gibbs.
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                        South Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Conditions

                        Blackbird Guide Jake Sellinger snooped out some incredible ski conditions on Stevens Peak this weekend.  With just under a foot of settled storm snow, cool temps and cloudy skies preceding the weekend, the snowpack was primed for success.  Our team found excellent skiing in the South Lake Tahoe backcountry around Stevens Peak. 
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                          Mt Shasta Guide Training

                          We assembled our core guide team on Mt Shasta this week to dive into training specific to guiding Mt Shasta.  We covered zones, program flows, techniques and technical skills relevant to guiding our favorite routes on Mt Shasta and the Eastern Sierra.
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                          Eastern Sierra Backcountry Ski Conditions

                          Road from SnoPark to Pack Station had been cleared of snow when we arrived. We used the road flanks to skin up, but walking would have worked as well. Past the Pack Station, the road had not been maintained and had about 2-3 ft of snow coverage. We established basecamp at 10400ft 
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                            Eastern Sierra Backcountry Ski Conditions

                            The Mammoth area received a nice top up over the weekend and the backcountry is skiing great!  Our guides were out in the Sherwins area on Monday finding excellent quality, wintery snow. 
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                              Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Conditions

                              Spring came in like a lamb and turned into a lion! For a second there it seemed like the spring regime was taking over and our powder skiing days were numbered!  Friday night's storm brought about 15" to the mountains above 8,000', last night's storm tacked on another 7" and throughout the day today we eeked out another 3".  So, all in all, we received 2 feet in 2 days, not so bad!
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                                South Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Conditions

                                After a week of storming, the Tahoe area is in much better condition!  Over the last 7 days we've received over 4 feet of snow (125cm!) in the Tahoe area.  With a mix of cold dry snow, rain and more cold dry snow on top, it's been a perfect storm to top off the relatively meager snowpack that existed before this series of storms.
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                                  Donner Summit Conditions

                                  The Judah Ridgeline, looking uncharacteristically devoid of ski tracks.  Donner Summit Backcountry Ski Conditions 2023-12-23 Blackbird Guide Zeb Blais toured up on Donner Summit up to Mt Judah today.  Getting into the backcountry definitely poses a...

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                                    Mt Rose Backcountry Ski Conditions

                                    Blackbird Guides Jan + John toured the Mount Rose area today, Tuesday, December 12, 2023.  Ski quality was reported as very good, with creamy new snow around a foot deep above 8,500'.  Avalanche Conditions were CONSIDERABLE as forecast.
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                                      Castle Peak Tahoe Backcountry Conditions

                                      We cannot complain about yesterday's storm in North Lake Tahoe!  We got close to a foot of new snow out of it, dramatically improving the coverage and surface conditions in the Tahoe Backcountry.  Before you celebrate too much, remember that overall, the coverage is still thin.  

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                                        North Tahoe Backcountry Ski Conditions

                                        It's still early season in the North Lake Tahoe Backcountry, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few good turns to be made!  Blackbird Mountain Guides John Littleton and Jan Czyzewski went to Andesite Peak in the North Lake Tahoe Backcountry to check current conditions there.  While the snowpack is certainly thin still, there were some nice turns to be had!  Here are some photos and video from the excursion.
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                                          Mt Baker Backcountry Ski Conditions

                                          Things are shaping up in the Mt Baker backcountry!  Above 4,200' in the Mt Baker backcountry, things are looking great.  We have multiple teams in the field this weekend touring in the Heather Meadows area and reports are of great snow coverage and conditions.
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                                            Mt Rose Backcountry Ski Conditions

                                            Despite a fall season that has been a little drier than most backcountry skiers and riders would like, there are decent turns to be had in the Tahoe backcountry right now.  The high terrain in Mount Rose backcountry is holding supportable snow with coverage that makes for some good turns!
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                                              Snowfall Lodge: Openings in January 2024!

                                              Openings at Snowfall Lodge in British Columbia this January! We've got a few spots available for this incredible trip of a lifetime!  Read on to see why we love BC lodge trips so much!
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                                                Summit Success on Mont Blanc

                                                Blackbird teams led by IFMGA Mountain Guide Zeb Blais scored 100% success on Mont Blanc this month.  All members from each team made it to the top and back down safely.  Read on for routes and pictures!
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                                                  Solo Summit of the Matterhorn via Hornli Ridge

                                                  A jagged tusk of gneiss towering at an elevation of 14,692' (4,478m), the Matterhorn might be the most recognizable mountain in the world. From Zermatt, the small Swiss town below, it looks impossibly steep.  Surprising as it might seem, the Matterhorn is relatively easy in terms of technical difficulty.  But let's be real, it's no cakewalk. Read on for the lowdown!
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                                                    Mt Shasta Ski & Climbing Conditions 2023-06-19

                                                    Summit season is in full swing up on Mt. Shasta. Conditions around the mountain are highly variable by aspect & changing quickly.  It pays to know some of the link ups to connect the best snow to avoid volcanic scree scrambling. Record snowfall came with high winds on the upper mountain adding some challenges to skiing & climbing.
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                                                      Mt Shasta Ski & Climbing Conditions - 2023-06-13

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                                                        Mt Shasta Ski & Climbing Conditions - 2023-06-05

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                                                          Lassen Peak Ski Conditions 2023-06-02

                                                          Lassen from just below tree line in the Devastated Area.  Photo: Zeb Blais.  On Friday we skied the North Side of Lassen Peak from the Devastated Area.  The trip began with a bang, or rather...

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                                                            Mt Baker Squak Glacier Single Push Ski Descent 2023-06-02

                                                            We returned to Mt Baker just after the Easton Glacier to tackle the Squak Glacier.  Read our trip report for current ski conditions and photos on Mt Baker.
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                                                              Mt Baker Easton Glacier Ski Conditions 2023-06-01

                                                               

                                                              Guide Ian Peterson recently did back-to-back single day summit and ski descents with Blackbird Guests on Mt Baker.  Conditions were surprisingly good given the recent hot conditions. Here's what he had to say about ski conditions on Mt Baker this week.

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                                                                Tahoe Backcountry Conditions - Mt Rose 2023-05-29

                                                                It sounds ludicrous to be posting a conditions report on Memorial day, but all in all there are some good turns to had out there!
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                                                                  Mt Shasta Ski & Climbing Conditions - 2023-05-25

                                                                  Don't believe everything that you read! Some are saying ski conditions are less than optimal on Mt Shasta, but our teams found a different story this week. Read on for current ski and climbing conditions on Mt Shasta.
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                                                                    Mt Shasta Ski Conditions - 2023-05-20

                                                                    Ski conditions are currently 4,000' of AWESOME on the West face!  Despite warm temps throughout the day and night, clear skies have enabled solid freezing down to Hidden Valley. Read on for more details!
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                                                                      Mt Shasta Ski Conditions - 2023-05-03

                                                                      Mt Shasta conditions are incredible and are changing fast.  With new storms blowing in, there was a foot of new snow at the Red Banks on 5/3, there was more the last couple days and there's more on the way. Check out our blog for current conditions and photos from Mt Shasta in the last few days.
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                                                                        Nov 8, 2022 - Current Ski Conditions North Lake Tahoe

                                                                        Wanna know what conditions are like in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe right now?  Our blog fills in the details with video, pictures and description to give you an idea of what conditions are like.
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                                                                          BIPOC and Women's Avalanche Course Scholarships for 2023

                                                                          We're pleased to announce that we are once again offering community focused scholarships for AIARE avalanche courses this season.  In addition to the BIPOC Scholarship that we offered last year, we are including a women's scholarship in both Washington and California. 
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                                                                          Summit of Mt Shuksan via Fisher Chimneys / SE Ridge, Current Climbing Conditions

                                                                          Blackbird teams reached the summit of Mt Shuksan after climbing the Fisher Chimneys and Southeast Ridge. Led by guides Zeb Blais and Brandon Seymore, the climb went smoothly with fit climbers, excellent weather and a perfect route. Read on for great pictures and a summary of current conditions!
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                                                                          Mount Shasta: Current Climbing and Skiing Conditions 2022-05-15

                                                                          Skiing Mt. Shasta via Hidden Valley and the West Face proves to be a very secluded and highly rewarding adventure! Despite less than ideal skiing conditions, this is an adventure that can't be overlooked! Snow is melting out quick. If you want to ski Mt. Shasta this season, now is the time!
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                                                                          Mount Shasta: Current Climbing and Skiing Conditions 2022-05-06

                                                                          NEW UPDATE May 13, 2022. The corn skiing is in prime condition on Mount Shasta right now, but it might not last long! Our blog details current conditions on Mount Shasta and shows how easy approaches can turn into nightmare descents in just one day!  Check out our most recent Mount Shasta conditions report!
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                                                                          Mount Shasta: Current Climbing and skiing Conditions 2022-04-26

                                                                          Huge snowfall, high winds and extreme cold have been the most defining characteristics recently on California’s Fifth tallest mountain. What has all this stormy weather meant for current skiing and climbing conditions on Mount Shasta? Find out in our Mount Shasta Current Conditions report!

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                                                                          Mount Shasta: Conditions Report

                                                                          More snow in the last 2 weeks than the previous 3 months, winter is back on Mount Shasta!  Our trip report details the current conditions for ski mountaineering and climbing on Mount Shasta. Read on for details on what Mount Shasta looks like right now for skiing and climbing!
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                                                                          Conditions Report : Sugar Bowl to Palisades Traverse - March 25, 2022

                                                                          The Sugar Bowl to Palisades traverse is THE classic Truckee and North Lake Tahoe ski traverse. When conditions get funky, you have to get creative! Our team re-imagined the route and got in a low snow traverse with more turns than the standard route! Read on for the low snow version of the Sugarbowl to Palisades Traverse!
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                                                                            Conditions Report: Frog Lake Huts Backcountry Skiing 2022-03-05

                                                                            We spent a few days at the Frog Lake Backcountry Skiing Huts smack dab in the middle of a snow storm!  The new snow skied...
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                                                                            Conditions Report: Ebbetts Pass 2021-12-04

                                                                            Objective: Hiram Peak North and Northeast Face via Highland Lakes Road When: December 4, 2021 Vertical: 1200 feet of skiable snow Snow Surfaces: Facets, Breakable Crust, Melt Freeze. It’s rare to get to Mt Hiram with such ease in December - apparently there is something good about the low snow conditions right now!
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                                                                              Conditions Report: Mount Shasta Avalanche Gulch 2021-12-03

                                                                              The corn skiing on Mount Shasta over the last two days was some of the best spring skiing I’ve done in a long time.  In California, corn snow can develop in what seems like a matter of minutes and we were there to reap the rewards of this quick changing snowpack.  We skied Avalanche Gulch and the upper Old Ski Bowl on Mount Shasta December 2 & 3.
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                                                                              Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week 2021

                                                                              Look out Tahoe, it's dumping knowledge!  We're psyched to be part of Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week for the second year in a row, December 13-18, 2021. This week-long event is a combination of online content and in-person events designed to inform backcountry users of all experience levels of the hazards the backcountry poses in the Lake Tahoe area.
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                                                                                Where's the Best Skiing in North America Right Now??

                                                                                As the self appointed Director of Snow Quality Assessment for Blackbird Mountain Guides, I ventured north to Canada in search of poutine, Caesars, and pow. What I found? All of the aforementioned Canadian specialties! Most importantly, I found what is very likely the best skiing in North America right now is north of the border...
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                                                                                  Conditions Report: Red Lake Peak 2021-11-15

                                                                                  Lesson for the day: early season missions are hard on gear and tough on the body. Lots of dirt walking to reach snow, variable conditions and shallow snowpack are all a big part of the game this time of year. Splitboarding on Red Lake Peak was a humbling reminder that the mountains can always provide the challenge you seek.  The question is… how far are you willing to walk on dirt for your next challenge?
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                                                                                  Gift Guide | Winter 2022

                                                                                  Need ideas for what to get the backcountry skier or splitboarder in your life this holiday season? Wondering how to fill your own winter with adventure? Or maybe you are planning ahead to climbing season? Our Backcountry Gift Guide for Winter 2022 delivers all of the courses, trips, and gear to keep you or your special someone adventuring safely and in style this coming year.
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                                                                                    Conditions Report: Elephant's Back 2021-11-09

                                                                                    Date: 2021-11-09 Location: Elephants Back East Bowl Objective: Assess snow and ski a line! When we arrived mid-day, it was raining lightly and we found 8 inches of new, wet, heavy snow spackling the ridge to our destination, Elephants Back. Despite an unfortunately high snowline, we were happy to see some fresh paint!
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                                                                                    BIPOC AIARE Avalanche Course Scholarship - Deadline extended!

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                                                                                      Free Avalanche Awareness Courses | PT Revolution, South Lake Tahoe

                                                                                      FREE BEER & AVALANCHE INFORMATION. What more do you people want?! Get set to adventure into the backcountry this season with a FREE Avalanche Awareness Course South Lake Tahoe. Partners: Sierra Avalanche Center, Tahoe AleWorx, OutdoorGearLabs, and more. Details: PT Revolution, Nov 11 & Dec 2, 6:30-8:30pm.
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                                                                                      October Powder Skiing: Best October Turns Ever?

                                                                                      The Storm Tahoe just got completely plastered with snow. Typical of many Tahoe storms, this one began warm and wet and got increasingly colder and deeper by the time the storm clouds significantly cleared yesterday.  The...

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                                                                                        Trip Report: Backpacking Virginia Pass

                                                                                        If you're looking for an awesome backpacking loop in the Eastern Sierra near the Bridgeport area, look no further! This lollipop loop has spectacular views, well made trails, incredible camping spots and a moderate to low amount of elevation gain. This post details the route, some quick conditions and a few shots of what it looked like before Monday's storm.
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                                                                                          New Outreach & Public Service Programs

                                                                                          We strive to make a positive impact in our community, beyond the benefits that our services provide to our customers. We're looking for ways to include more people & preserve the incredible places where we work & play for our generation and the future. We're starting with a land acknowledgement and BIPOC Scholarship.
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                                                                                            National Forest Service to close ALL California PSW Forests

                                                                                            USDA Forest Service Temporarily Closing All California National Forests for Public Safety. To better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forests in California.
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                                                                                              Desolation Wilderness Conditions Report: Echo Lake to Ralston Peak & Aloha Lake

                                                                                              2021-04-19: Echo Lake to Ralston Peak and Lake Aloha This Sunday/Monday we toured from Echo Lakes to Lake of the Woods, just southeast of Lake Aloha in Desolation Wilderness.  It was remarkably snowy right from...

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                                                                                              Tahoe Conditions Report: Sugarbowl to Pole Creek

                                                                                              2021-04-17: Sugar Bowl to Palisades (or at least to Pole Creek - there's no snow to get to Palisades from the North right now) Yep, it's definitely adventure skiing, but still totally worth it!  Great snow conditions...

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                                                                                              Eastside Update: Ski Mountaineering Conditions 2021-04-05

                                                                                              "The juice is worth the squeeze."   While conditions are certainly not "all time", there are some great snow surfaces to be found in California's Eastern Sierra right now.  This week I explored the Dana Plateau (Lee...

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