Friday, January 8, 2010

FROG LAKE MISSION WITH TRAVIS GANONG & DR. ROBB GAFFNEY

Elevated Image Photography
(View from ridge North of Donner Lake)

Recently, I got a chance to go out Sled Skiing with Dr. Robb Gaffney & Travis Ganong. Our goal was to sled out to frog lake and hope to ski something off Frog Cliff Peak. I've learned to to expect the worst and hope for the best when embarking on new adventures. I've found that by looking at missions with this approach you are able to think positively through out your journey.

We began our day just outside Truckee at the Donner interchange exit just off I-80 at Sunrise. Fog surrounded us in all direction which made figuring out were we needed to be a bit difficult. None of us had ever been back to Frog Lake in the winter, so finding the safest route up a mountain you had never been to was kind of sketchy. We new once we made it past the fog layer we would be able to successfully figure out our route. With careful and wise decision making we made it past the fog layer with relative ease.

Elevated Image Photography
(View of Frog Cliff "What we came to ski")

Once we made it to the top of the first ridge above the fog layer we got our first glimpse of Frog Cliff. Above the fog layer now we noticed that it was still very low tide out here as you can see from the picture above. Not only did this mean that skiing the face would be more difficult, but also getting to the frog lake zone by snowmobile was almost impossible. We decided that it would be best to leave our sleds behind and skin up to the 9,000ft Peak. Although the skin up proved to be rather difficult I was happy to ascend the mountain by foot. I enjoy the exercise and I find that hiking makes the mountain experience complete.

Elevated Image Photography
(Travis & Robb on top of Frog Cliff Peak Psyched!)

Standing on top of Frog Cliff Peak we new there was only one route down that was somewhat skiable. We skied the narrow couloir down in marginal snow. Although the condition were not ideal we still managed to find pockets of nice snow & we were successful descending the couloir in probably the lowest snow level it's ever been skied. The adventure was a success in my mind. We skied the peak we set out to ski, got first hand knowledge of a one of the more interesting backcountry zones in Tahoe, & we had a blast. I'm looking forward to returning to Frog Lake when the snow level is much higher.

Elevated Image Photography
(Travis Skiing Through The Crux of the Couloir)

Elevated Image Photography
(Dr. Gaffney Dropping In)

Elevated Image Photography
(Travis getting some in a mini golf zone we found near Frog Lake)

Elevated Image Photography
(Dr. Gaffney grabbing a little early season air time)

2 comments:

  1. Looks sketchy. Travis needs to see a shrink! Mom

    ReplyDelete