Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lassen's "Bowloir" and Reading Peak

Lassen Peak from Highway 89 (photo by Galen Carrico)
Shasta was our first choice for last weekend's ski mountaineering destination. However, with forecasts for 95 mph winds at 11,000 feet Saturday and snow showers Sunday, it was clear by late last week that summiting Shasta wasn't going to be an option. So instead of battling extreme winds and snow at Shasta, Galen and I decided to head further south, and knock out a couple of projects at Lassen Volcanic National Park: the "Bowloir" (as coined on the Earn Your Turns message boards-- not exactly a bowl, and not exactly couloir), and Reading Peak, an eroded plug dome volcano to the southeast of Lassen.

I'll have more details to follow, but here are a few photos for now:
Friday evening entertainment at Emigrant Pass. The outline of Lassen is visible on the left

We left Emigrant Pass at 6:30 AM. Here, Galen is stepping onto skinnable snow less than a mile into the Devastated Area

We headed straight for the Bowloir

Closeup of the Bowloir. There had been a lot of wet slide action earlier in the week following last weekend's snow and rapid warmup.

Relaxing in the Devastated Area

Shasta to the north above the Chaos Crags

Looking back to the northeast. Emigrant Pass is just right of the hill at the top of this photo. 

Nearing the top of the Bowloir

Yours truly climbing the Bowloir-- Reading Peak is visible in the background (photo by Galen Carrico)

Gearing up near the top of the Bowloir

Galen drops in...

... for some excellent corn turns.

After skiing the Bowloir, we took a hard right, traversing southeast across Lassen toward Reading Peak

At the base of Lassen we dropped into this gully heading east

At gully's terminus we put skins on and headed south toward the main ridge of Reading Peak

We followed this ridge above the open bowls of Reading Peak
Looking north from the Reading Peak ridgline toward Lassen

Galen about to drop in on Reading Peak

The north facing aspects were still excellent skiing. Everything else was mush by 1 PM.

My turn to drop in (Photo by Galen Carrico)

North bowl of Reading Peak (Photo by Galen Carrico)

Looking back at our turns on Reading Peak

One of the more "interesting" parts of  our descent

Galen fording a stream on our three-mile ski/hike/bushwhack back to Emigrant Pass from Reading Peak

Our approximate route

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