Camp Aloha 2017 – Skiing Desolation Wilderness from Lake Aloha

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer if they’re happy.”

-Anton Chekhov

April, 2017

For years I’ve stood atop South Tahoe’s peaks and looked down at Lake Aloha saying, “Someday we should winter camp back there and ski everything we can!” Well, this year, we decided to give that plan a go. Zack and I skied in from Echo Lakes earlier in the day while Peter and his buddies Lucas and John would follow later in the day or early the next morning.

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Zack and Ralston Peak

As Zack and I plodded along with our heavy packs we came across some perfectly soft and smooth corn snow on Keith’s Dome’s southwest aspect. We dropped our loaded packs and spun a quick lap of excellent skiing. Eventually we dropped down to Lake Aloha and set up camp along its northeast shore

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Our new home for the next four days, Lake Aloha

The weather was forecast to be perfect Tahoe spring weather with daytime highs in the 60’s and clear skies with little wind. The forecast held true on our day of arrival as Zack and I set up camp and lounged in the sun. We built sun shelters and listened to some Grateful Dead talking about goals of not getting to sunburnt over the next few days out here.

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Sunset laps over camp on Cracked Crag
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Pyramid Peak
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Breakfast in bed
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Windy on the summit of Pyramid Peak

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The next morning we awoke to strong winds and fairly cloudy skies (at least by Tahoe standards). With winds on the ridge tops, we toured across Lake Aloha, up to the summit of Pyramid Peak. Then we skied down to the lake shore and climbed back up to the ridge leading up to Mt Price and had some warm slow motion powder turns all the way back down again.

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Zack with Jack’s and Dick’s Peaks in the background rising up from Lake Aloha
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Peter and Lucas preparing to drop in off of Pyramid Peak
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Lucas with Mt Price in the background

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…up for another lap off the Pyramid – Price ridgeline

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Wind wall in full effect!

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We dug down and built our wall up to deal with winds and cool temps in the kitchen space

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High winds with cloud cover characterized the remainder of our second day on Lake Aloha. We used the rest of our daylight and energy to build walls made up of blocks of snow to offer us some shelter from the winds.

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Day 3. Fewer clouds and a little less wind, things were looking up!
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Zack looking up at our tracks on Pyramid (to the left) and off the ridge (straight ahead)
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An older roller ball nearly the size of Zack!

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Climbing up to the ridge of Mt Price

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…on to the next objective
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Peter headed up Jack’s Peak

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Perfect corn skiing back down Jack’s Peak!

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After a gorgeous last night on Lake Aloha I awoke in the morning to strong winds and snow drifted up onto the outside of my tent. Our weekend of lakeside Hawaiian luau was even further put to bed by about 4-6 inches of snow on the tents with high winds and more snow coming down! So much for 60 degrees and sunny! Nonetheless we packed up our snowy gear, got out our compass and maps, and slowly poked our way back towards Echo Lakes.

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Touring out Echo Lakes in the with the late April snow falling…

 

Camp Aloha 2017 photos-10Sunset Aloha

2 Comments

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  1. Carolyn Hogan May 12, 2017 — 5:19 am

    Amazing Ben. Great photos and well written narrative. I can only imagine the peace and tranquility as well…truly off the grid! Glad you found your way out…I would have trouble with that! Love, Mom
    Sent from my iPhone
    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. More amazing pictures. I need to move to Lake Tahoe!!

    Liked by 1 person

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