From White Lines to Tight Lines, Shifting Seasonal Gears w/ Mikey Weir & Friends
What looks to be the last winter storm of the season has just pulled out of the area and winter seems to be drawing to a close in the Sierra. It's time to shift gears. No doubt we'll eat those words with a final flurry of crop-crushing cold, but still, now's the time to reflect on a season that's been epic for many (ahem, Colorado) and surprisingly not-so-bad for others (uh, yeah, that'd be us).
So here's one for all the pow-hounds out there. Pour yourself a barley-pop and enjoy some images of tasty Sierra lines. They come to us courtesy of Patagonia Ambassador Mikey Weir, who has every bit as much fun hitting the water when it's frozen as he does when it's flowing. When he's not earning his living as a professional fishing guide and filmmaker, Mikey (who's also a pro snowboarer) turns his keen eye toward some of Tahoe's choice pickings. Mikey actually sent us these shots earlier in the season, but the mostly rider-less images seemed like a perfect way to cap off the season. After all, sometimes the best part of a run is looking back the turns you've carved. Feel free to share your reflections on the season in our comments section.
Oh! And to help complete the transition, stay tuned for an upcoming story about Mikey's adventures taimen hunting in Mongolia. For now, here's Mikey on those Tahoe lines:
Just wanted to share a few photos of some lines. If I find a fun one, I like to sometimes take a photo. These are some of my favorite places around where I grew up off HWY 88. Bro Bowl, Wier Bowl, Lost Lakes, Mini AK, 4th of July . . . Some are hike spots, some require a snow mo shuttle. I haven't been able to ride as much this season as I usually do, been busy being responsible and getting stuff done. But that doesn't mean I haven't made it out for the best days. With limited time I head to my favorite lines and just try to ride them with precision. Been riding some of them for years.
Most of our hills around this part of the Sierra are pretty short. You get a couple steep turns then a drop or shoot and run out. My favorite lines are the ones you can ride like a wave. Like the first shot: Air drop, set up turn, barrel (chute), shoulder slash, then exit. Nothing beats the feel of Lib-Tech's skate banana in the pow and nothing keeps me more comfortable and dry then my Patagonia Rubicon Rider Jacket. Good times!!
Also wanted to share this shot that Corey Rich took last season. He posted it on his blog because it won a photo contest. Corey was hanging out of the heli to get this angle.
Hope everyone is doing well. Hope this gets you stoked to get away from the resorts, explore the backcountry and slash some turns.
[Ed note: Shortly before publishing this post, I put the call out to our Reno and Ventura peeps to see if they had any favorite lines they wanted to share from the 2008-2009. Their responses follow - photos with quick captions explaining what made the lines memorable. I'll update accordingly as they trickle in. If you're dying to share a shot of your favorite line from the season, shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a link to your online photo in the comments section.]
Photo: Maggie Mroczkowski, Mail Order Customer Service.
Alpine Meadows - one of the side hikes. I call it "That Wednesday."
Photo: Kevin Lyons, Mail Order Customer Service. Skier: Elijah L.
Third day of spring, Elijah and I skied up at Donner Camp before the snowmobillies woke up. About 10" of new snow. We were going to ride bikes but this seemed the wise decision.
Photo: Rob Flesher, Call Center Manager. Rider: Prescott Fields
Welcome to Mt Baker, Washington. Another good day for a stroll.
Photo: CC Salfen. Skier: Chris Salfen, Web Team.
End of a great powder day at Mammoth.
Photo: Gary Peterson, Returns. Rider: Gary Hurst, Returns
Laying down a cleanly carved line at the local resort.
Photo: Tim Kipp, Mail Order Task Team
Desolation Wilderness's Pyramid Peak delivers fine spring conditions.
Photo: localcrew. Skiers: Some very happy ones.
A secret Eastern NV stash delivers the goods. The online talk from area locals belied their suspicion that this generous mid-February snowpack had gone untouched. Oh, touch it we did . . . another reason to smile.
Photo: Gregor Finke Skier: Erica Olsen
Still skinning at 7 pm on Hogback Glacier, Chugach, AK. Backcountry heli-drop in perfect blue-bird, did not see a single person all day and skied 9k of powder all the way back to Valdez. Got to the car at dusk at 9:30 pm. Arguably one of, if not the best, ski day of our lives...