Bluebird Days, Warm Nights.
We couldn't have timed it better for a trip to Dicks
Peak in the heart of Lake Tahoe's Desolation
Wilderness -- skies were clear, visibility seemed
infinite, a full moon was on the rise, temperatures
in the mountains were springlike, and a three-day
holiday weekend allowed for an overnight getaway.
in January, who would've thought?
summer I embarked on a hike through the high country of the
Desolation Wilderness. That hike -- which I termed the
March" -- covered nearly 26 miles, topped seven major
area summits and involved nearly 12,000 vertical feet of
climbing in two days. In addition to my desire to
experience this awesome territory in summertime on foot, one
of the principal goals of that trip was to scout suitable
routes and peaks for backcountry skiing. One of the
peaks I had my eye on was Dicks Peak. It sits nearly
smack dab in the middle of the Desolation Wilderness.
At 9,974' above sea level, it is the third highest summit in
Desolation -- only nine feet shy of the highest (Pyramid
Peak) -- and looked to harbor some lovely ski lines.
Having admired the views from Dicks Peak in the summer, I
immediately made plans to bag it and ski from its summit in
("bcrider"), my now regular backcountry companion, to sell
him on the plan. Chris was in, and he put the feelers
out on the talk forum at
Not surprisingly, Fred Hochstaedter ("Sierra Fred"),
my bud from our epic
trip, was among the first to respond in the affirmative.
Soon we had a pretty good group pulled together and the
planning and logistics emails started flying back and forth.
and Chris planned to ski in on Friday morning, make camp
near Azure Lake, and enjoy the shots off of the Kalmia
Ridge. They were joined by Charley ("Whiteout"),
Zeke, and Chris's friend and fellow backcountry
splitboarder Mark. Telenater and I rounded out the
group; we planned to ski in and join the others in camp on
Saturday morning. Sunday was all about bagging Dicks
Peak and getting out to the cars.