mt. Location: Little Lakes Valley – Rock Creek near Mammoth
Summit Elevation: 13,754′
Elevation Change: 4,800′
This was another peak I skied with John, Tony, and Aaron Martin in maybe the late 90’s. It was just before Aaron died skiing off the summit of Mt. St. Elias. I think we parked fairly close to the peak and the road was plowed, because I don’t remember a long skin. Aaron had Ramer bindings or something weird, and those early huge heavy, low, sloppy fitting AT boots. John had generation one Fritchis. Tony and I were on light Tua Noodle telemark skis with maybe 75mm waist. I can’t remember why, but we didn’t go up the route pictured in Moynier’s guidebook, which looks friendly. We ended up just walking up the rock scree all way to the top. It was heinous. Aaron had his flip flops on him and did the whole climb wearing those. Looking back at these pictures, we had a fat snowpack in the mountains. I guess it was too steep to skin on the north side of the mountain, and we didn’t have crampons, so we walked up on rock. We must have missed the lower angle wide open slopes on the Northeast side.
The other peaks I have skied in Little Lakes Valley are Mt. Starr aka Pointless Peak, Mt. Dade and Bear Creek Spire. I have also gone over Bear Creek Spire to ski Gabb, Hiilgard, and Julius Ceasar. This is a great valley to base camp ski tour in the spring. The setting is breathtaking and packed with photographers in the summertime, but you’ll have it all to yourself on skis.