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