(530) 582-0909 | 11400 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161 | Open Daily 8am-6pm! info@thebackcountry.net
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Mike’s Ski Tours

Hi there BackCountry Customers! This blog is dedicated to helping everyone get into the exciting and rewarding sport of backcountry ski touring.

If you have questions or feedback, email me – mike@thebackcountry.net. Please don’t take anything I’ve said as 100% accurate. I’m just trying to help and have fun going off of memory and looking at pictures I take. There is no precise measuring or complicated computer mapping going on here.

PLEASE READ THIS WARNING BEFORE CONTINUING!

  • These ski tours were not created with GPS accuracy – they are just my suggestions based on memory. Some of those experiences were many years ago. I suggest that you buy the newer guidebooks from our shop for extra beta and opinions. Backcountry Skiing CA’s Eastern Sierra by Nate Greenberg/Dan Mingori. 50 Classic Descents in California: Paul Richins. Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes in California: Jeremy Benson. Backcountry skiing Ca’s High Sierra: John Moynier (out of print but find one!)
  • There are inherent risks in going into the backcountry to ski, snowboard, snowshoe or climb. The routes on these maps may be dangerous and even deadly depending on many variables such as current avalanche danger, weather, snowpack depth, skill and experience level, and time of day. Plan on 1000′ vertical gain per hour. Add time for low angle miles, high elevation, poor equipment and lame partners. Subtract time by starting early, travelling light, and strategic tour planning.
  • If you are not an expert and experienced backcountry skier, snowboarder, snowshoer, or climber we highly recommend you hire a professional guide. We recommend excellent local guides and backcountry skills classes from local pro guide companies Alpine Skills and Alpenglow Expeditions. We also highly recommend Sierra Mountain Guides out of Bishop, and Shasta Mountain Guides if your going up there. There are  a lot of great Sierra Ski guides. Skip the learning curve and help these guys make a living.
  • You take FULL responsibility for yourself and your party when using this website for advice and the author disclaims any liability for injury or any other damage by anyone traveling in the areas described. 
  • Please be patient if our guidebook recommendations end up being wrong for you – we don’t know you and your skill level and experience. We are just showing you where we like to go enjoy the backcountry.

Have a great time and please be safe!
– Mike, Owner of The BackCountry

Featured Tours

Virginia Peak

Virginia Peak

Location: Pyramid LakeSummit Elevation: 8,370Base Elevation: 4,870Elevation Change: 3,500Recommended Map: Hoover Wilderness by Tom Harrison These pics are from 5/20/19 which has been a big winter and is still snowing every other day. The east face of Virginia Peak...

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Mt. Whitney

Mt. Whitney

Location: Lone Pine, CASummit Elevation: 14,494Base Elevation: 8,340Elevation Change: 6,154Recommended Map: Mt. Whitney High Country - Tom Harrison These pictures are from March in 2005, which was my first and only time Skiing the Mountaineers Gully on Mt. Whitney...

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Mt. Goode

Mt. Goode

Location:  South Lake above Bishop, CAElevation: 13,085'Elevation Change: 3,317'Recommended Map: Bishop Pass - Tom Harrison The view of Mt. Goode from Long Lake is one you'll never forget, and quite easy to reach from your car. What you don't see is the HUGE south...

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Tahoe Area

Twin Peaks/Grouse Rock/Stanford Rock

Twin Peaks/Grouse Rock/Stanford Rock

Twin Peaks/Grouse Rock Location: West Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 1 - 2 hours Elevation Change: 1,678' - from 7,200' to 8,878' Recommended Map: Ward Peak & Sunnyside, California If you’ve skied Alpine Meadows, you may have wondered how to get over to this...

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Silver Peak

Silver Peak

Location: Sierra Crest - Squaw Valley, CA Duration: 2.5 - 4 hours from Hwy 89 Elevation Change: 2,328' - from 6,020' to 8,348' Recommended Map: Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Visible from the Squaw Valley parking lot, and also near the 7-11 on Highway 89,...

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Mt Rose

Mt Rose

Location: Mt. Rose Wilderness - Lake Tahoe, NV Duration: 2 - 3 hours Elevation Change: 2,176' - from 8,600' to 10,776' Recommended Map: Mt. Rose, Nevada Elevation Profile:   Map of General Route: The Mount Rose Wilderness Area is a backcountry winter wonderland....

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Freel Peak

Freel Peak

Location: South Shore - Lake Tahoe, CA Duration: 4 - 5 hours Elevation Change: 3,681' - from 7,200' to 10,881' Recommended Map: Freel Peak, California Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Skiing Freel Peak is generally something you do for your tick list, or just...

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Job’s Peak

Job’s Peak

Location: South Shore - Lake Tahoe, CADuration: 4 - 5 hoursElevation Change: 3,633' - from 7,000' to 10,633'Recommended Map: Job's Peak & South Lake Tahoe, California Map of General Route: Heading out to Job’s Peak means you’re going to be busy for the entire day....

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Steven’s Peak

Steven’s Peak

Location: Carson Pass - Hope Valley, CA Duration: 2 hours Elevation Change: 2,611' - from 7,430' to 10,041' Recommended Map: Elevation Profile: Map of General Route: Steven’s Peak’s south side offers rolling, wide-open slopes to cruise for a long way back to you car....

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Volcanoes

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Eastern Sierras

Mt. Sill

Mt. Sill

Location:  Palisades above Big Pine, CA Elevation: 14,153' Elevation Change: 5,900' Recommended Map: kings Canyon High Country - Tom Harrison Mt. Sill is the BIG guy you see from hwy 395 in Big Pine, CA. This 14er sits proud in the center of the infamous Palisade...

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Kearsarge Peak

Kearsarge Peak

Location: Independence, CAElevation: 12,618'Elevation Change: 3,433'Recommended Map: Kings Canyon High Country - Tom Harrison Although you could ski this peak from the highway wherever the snowline is, you might as well wait until the Onion Valley Trailhead at 9200'...

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Mt. Darwin and Lamarck

Mt. Darwin and Lamarck

Location: North Lake above Bishop, CAElevation: ...Elevation Change: 4200' for Lamarck. 5700' for Darwin. add 500' to connect bothRecommended Map: Bishop Pass - Tom Harrison These pics are from May 2002, when I was ticking off the ski tours in John Moynier's...

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Mt. Emerson

Mt. Emerson

Location: Buttermilks above Bishop, CA or access from Aspendale Elevation: 13,225' Elevation Change: ... Recommended Map: Mono Divide - Tom Harrison The North Couloir of this peak starts the butterflies twirling in your stomach when you see it from the top of Peak...

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Feather Peak

Feather Peak

Location: Pine Creek Trailhead above town of Rovana, north of BishopElevation: 13,242'Elevation Change: 5,500'Recommended Map: Mono Divide - Tom Harrison This is another one of the peaks where you know your doin' it as soon as you see it. For me that was while ticking...

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Esha Peak

Esha Peak

Location: McGee Creek Trailhead near Mammoth LakesElevation: 12,200'Elevation Change: 4,500'Recommended Map: ... Esha is a picturesque little peak that is easy to see and access right off hwy 395 with an ideal layout. Park on pavement where the snow ends near the...

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