Sugar Bowl to Palisades Ski Tour

Sugar Bowl to Palisades is the classic, challenging traverse between two of Tahoe's great ski resorts. This high ridge route often follows the Pacific Crest Trail and offers options for fun ski descents. It is long, around 13 miles, and involves a fair amount of vertical gain and loss throughout this long day.
Overview
Itinerary
Prerequisites
Inclusions
Gear

One of North Lake Tahoe's premier ski tours, Sugar Bowl to Palisades is a ski touring odyssey that covers nearly 14 miles with roughly 3,000' of elevation gain, ending about 1,000' lower than it starts. This is NOT an easy day and is a fairly committing undertaking. This trip is often done over two days, camping in the middle.

  • Refresh gear and technique skills including ice axe and crampons

  • Avalanche safety skills review throughout the day

**This program runs with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 participants

  • 8:00am - Meet your guide in the field at the designated trailhead

  • 8:15am - Review avalanche hazard rating, gear check, trailhead departure check

  • 8:45am - Begin the course / tour - with lessons and teachable moments along the way

  • 12pm - Lunch on the go

  • 4:30 - Finish tour at the trailhead. Debrief of the day and discuss strengths, areas for improvement, goals, and next steps in your backcountry progression.

Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

  • Advanced Resort Riding skills - Including off-piste terrain in challenging snow conditions

  • Intermediate Backcountry Experience - Including efficient gear management and skinning, transition technique, with 20+ days spent in the backcountry.

  • Excellent Fitness - Able to spend 12-16 continuous hours outside, moving uphill at over 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-2 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 12-15 miles, climbing 3,000-6,000 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with excellent fitness typically have a strenuous workout 4-6 days per week. Be ready for a sufferfest!

  • Ski/Split Touring, Avalanche, and Ski Mountaineering Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from us
Shop Recommended Gear OR Visit our Rentals Page

  • AMGA Trained Guide
  • Group Safety Gear: Guide will be equipped with snow science tools and a first aid kit
  • Leave No Trace Materials: wag bag

Not included: ski/splitboard gear, avalanche gear - rentals available!

Ski/Split Touring Gear

  • Alpine Touring Ski or Splitboard Setup - No snowshoes
  • Alpine Touring or Splitboard Boots
  • Climbing Skins
  • Touring Backpack - with pockets for avalanche gear
  • Adjustable Touring Poles
Avalanche Safety Gear
  • Avalanche Beacon
  • Avalanche Shovel
  • Avalanche Probe
Ski Mountaineering Gear
  • Ice Axe
  • Crampons
Clothing & Accessories
  • Technical Outerwear (jacket, bibs/pants)
  • Multiple Midlayer Options
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Beanie
  • Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle / Hydration Pack (2L)
  • Lunch and Snacks

  • Know Before you go

    SKILL LEVELIntermediate Advanced
    ELEVATION6,000’-9,000’
    LocationTahoe - North Lake

    Price $375.00
    Private Programs
    Duration: 1 Day
    View Full Itinerary
    Private Programs

    Blackbird Mountain Guides offers both scheduled group programs and private programs.

    Private programs are simply above and beyond what Blackbird Mountain Guides currently has scheduled. Scheduled courses are not always less expensive. Before booking a trip with Blackbird Mountain Guides, clients are encouraged to review the differences between these types of programs, and to decide what works best for them.

    SCHEDULED PROGRAMS

    Scheduled Programs have fixed dates, itineraries, objectives, curriculum, and costs. They typically appeal to solo individuals or small groups or who are looking to share the cost of their program with a larger group. Correspondingly, scheduled programs are less expensive for smaller groups (1-2), and they provide the opportunity to meet others with similar interests. If you have a large group (3+), Scheduled programs will often be more expensive. They can fill up quickly, and scheduling flexibility is obviously limited.

    Scheduled programs will have advertised dates. All scheduled programs can be run as private programs with private dates/rates as well.

    PRIVATE PROGRAMS

    Private programs have scheduling freedom. They typically appeal to those who would like some flexibility in planning their own trip or course. In this regard, Itineraries and objectives can be tailored to suit current conditions as well as client goals. Private programs are normally less expensive for larger groups (3+). If you have a small group (1-2) private programs will be more expensive.

    Contact us
    Full Itinerary

    8:00 am  Meet your guide at the trailhead and review the plan for the day. The guide will discuss the avalanche problem for the day, the proposed route up and options for the ascent and descent.  The guide will conduct a Trailhead Departure Check/Beacon Check.

    8:30 am  Set off on the 13 mile traverse between Sugar Bowl and Palisades, with multiple zones to tour up and ski down along the way. We'll review avalanche skills and practice with an ice axe and crampons

    4:30 pm  Return to the trailhead with enough daylight to have a margin to get back safely.

     

     

    One of North Lake Tahoe's premier ski tours, Sugar Bowl to Palisades is a ski touring odyssey that covers nearly 14 miles with roughly 3,000' of elevation gain, ending about 1,000' lower than it starts. This is NOT an easy day and is a fairly committing undertaking. This trip is often done over two days, camping in the middle.

    • Refresh gear and technique skills including ice axe and crampons

    • Avalanche safety skills review throughout the day

    **This program runs with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 participants

    • 8:00am - Meet your guide in the field at the designated trailhead

    • 8:15am - Review avalanche hazard rating, gear check, trailhead departure check

    • 8:45am - Begin the course / tour - with lessons and teachable moments along the way

    • 12pm - Lunch on the go

    • 4:30 - Finish tour at the trailhead. Debrief of the day and discuss strengths, areas for improvement, goals, and next steps in your backcountry progression.

    Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

    • Advanced Resort Riding skills - Including off-piste terrain in challenging snow conditions

    • Intermediate Backcountry Experience - Including efficient gear management and skinning, transition technique, with 20+ days spent in the backcountry.

    • Excellent Fitness - Able to spend 12-16 continuous hours outside, moving uphill at over 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-2 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 12-15 miles, climbing 3,000-6,000 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with excellent fitness typically have a strenuous workout 4-6 days per week. Be ready for a sufferfest!

    • Ski/Split Touring, Avalanche, and Ski Mountaineering Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from us
    Shop Recommended Gear OR Visit our Rentals Page

    • AMGA Trained Guide
    • Group Safety Gear: Guide will be equipped with snow science tools and a first aid kit
    • Leave No Trace Materials: wag bag

    Not included: ski/splitboard gear, avalanche gear - rentals available!

    Ski/Split Touring Gear

    • Alpine Touring Ski or Splitboard Setup - No snowshoes
    • Alpine Touring or Splitboard Boots
    • Climbing Skins
    • Touring Backpack - with pockets for avalanche gear
    • Adjustable Touring Poles
    Avalanche Safety Gear
    • Avalanche Beacon
    • Avalanche Shovel
    • Avalanche Probe
    Ski Mountaineering Gear
    • Ice Axe
    • Crampons
    Clothing & Accessories
  • Technical Outerwear (jacket, bibs/pants)
  • Multiple Midlayer Options
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Beanie
  • Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle / Hydration Pack (2L)
  • Lunch and Snacks
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