We had options. There was an endless list of things we could do for spring break. After much deliberation, and I must admit, hesitation on my end, the plan was to head to the Tahoe area and ski our brains out. Skiing our brains out was a given, it was the trip to California that I needed to be convinced about. In the end, it was probably one of the best weeks I could have asked for.
We began on Friday afternoon. Rolling out of the parking lot, Terminal Cancer was in our sights for the next day. We stopped in Elko for the night and ate a feast at the Star Hotel’s restaurant before going to bed. The next morning came, and we met some snowmobilers that were headed up Lamoille Canyon. Because we were going that way, we offered to show them how to get there form Elko and they gave us a ride up to the base of the Couloir. The whole day was unbelievable, and ended with big smiles all around. I decided to make a separate post for it here. After skiing an unbelievable line, we hit the road once again and drove the six hours we had left to Nevada City, where Eric and Kendra grew up.
The next morning, we prepared for three days of backcountry skiing out of Benson Hut. The Tahoe region has a set of backcountry huts maintained by the Sierra Club. We chose Benson Hut to be our base of operations for a couple days of skiing.
The first day, we skinned up Sugar Bowl and followed the ridge two miles until the hut and found it just after the sun had set. We lit a fire in the wood stove and went to sleep, stoked to spend the whole next day skiing in the sun. After taking a couple laps in the trees, the snow began to get really sticky so we headed back to the hut and built a small jump and hit it as the sun was setting. It was pretty fun landing on pink snow.
After spending the night with another group of people at the hut, they let us know about a much more interesting and fun way to ski out. After following the ridge a ways, we dropped into a drainage with perfectly spaced trees. Once things leveled out, we kicked along the bank of a river with our heels freed and our skins still in our packs. It was a really pleasant way to end a tour. When we returned to the house of Kendra and Eric’s parents, we enjoyed a hearty meal and went to bed.
The next three days we spent exploring Squaw Valley. It lived up to everything I had heard about it. The terrain is unmatched anywhere that I have skied and the vibe is like no other. Exploring Kendra and Eric’s home ski area with their mom and dad, who is a long time ski patroller there, was incredibly fun. The warm weather gave us nice spring conditions to mush around in, and after three days of that and collectively eating the largest burger (known as a GNAR Burger) we had ever seen, it was time to head home.
Before we even packed up the car, I didn’t want to leave. The Tahoe area is a pretty special place. Squaw Valley is probably my new favorite ski area, and Terminal Cancer was a mind blowing line to ski. I guess that’s how every trip ends up being. So much fun that you never want it to stop.