Tag: Issue #47

An original, firsthand account of the remarkable first ski crossing of Tioga Pass

Editor’s Note: This account, previously never published, was written by Dennis Jones in the late 1950s, and is provided courtesy of Starr Walton Hurley, niece of Dennis Jones, and Norm Sayler, president of the Donner Summit Historical Society. The story below contains some added detail from that was merged into the story from another typed retelling of the adventure that Jones wrote some time later.

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The Truly Great Ski Race

So, Mr. or Ms. Backcountry Skier, you want to be a nordic ski racer, you say? Maybe you watched the last Olympics, and marveled at the athletes and their amazing oxygen uptake and strength. Or perhaps a friend dragged you over to your local cross country ski area, and you – with your mega-wide boards and heavy tele boots – kept getting buzzed by a bunch of folks wearing colorful skin-tight lycra, leaving you feeling like you were standing still as they powered up the hill. OK, maybe you can live without the spandex; but still, it looked like fun. Those skinny little skate skis can sure fly over the trails.

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A Slackcountry Attitude

Paul Oelerich slays the Mt. Reba slackcountry during last year’s Bear Valley Tele Fest. A lot of folks are taking issue with the label “slackcountry” recently for its derogatory attitude. Get over it. Keep in mind I say that with a full measure of self-deprecation. There’s no point in lying, it’s my favorite kind of tour. Usually. I still love revving the meter full tilt when the tilt is at the edge of reason, but not all the time, and admittedly, not at the same RPM as 20 years ago. You too? Thought so.

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Backcountry Skiers: Make Room on Your Bookshelf

In conversations the past month with avid local Sierra backcountry skiers about Dan Mingori and Nate Greenburg’s new guidebook Backcountry Skiing California’s Eastern Sierra, 166 Ski and Snowboard Descents in the Range of Light between Tioga Pass and Bishop Creek (Wolverine Publishing 2008) immediate comments from those newly aware of the book fell cleanly into two camps. A majority exclaimed, “Really? That’s awesome!” While others grumbled, “Really? That sucks!”

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C’mon in and Shut the Door!

Whether you’re a seasoned winter explorer or a four-season greenhorn, there are few feelings as joyous as skiing to the door of a snowbound backcountry hut. Just as the natural world is at its most inhospitable, wind and snow swirling in the air, here you are at the threshold of a magical landscape with little more than a sleeping bag, playing cards, and flask in hand. At night, you lounge under the coziness of a roof, warmed by a wood stove and shared with good friends. By day, you shred lonely backcountry peaks until exhaustion. Can it get any better?

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    FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @ADVENTURESPORTSJOURNAL

    The @ca_enduro Round 2 recap is now up on our website (🔗 in bio). The Georgetown Enduro was put on by @mtbexp and @californiaexpeditions , and dished out quite the wild course for its intrepid racers!

    📸: Georgetown Enduro pro champ @jakekellr by @bixxel.media.

    #georgetownenduro #californiaenduroseries #californiaenduroseries #enduro #eduro @iamspecialized @iamspecialized_mtb
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    Lupine motherlode in the Eastern Sierra. Just ... WOW 🤯 ⁠

    📸: @mikemcdermottphoto⁠

    @visitbishop #lupine #superbloom #bishop #lonepine #inyonationalforest #easternsierra
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    There's big water flowing all over California, including the Kern. Be safe out there! 🌊⁠

    This is a good time to brush up on wilderness first aid and outdoor safety training — @survivalmedonline is offering 20% off all Survival Med courses. Use the code SPIRIT at checkout. ⛑️⁠

    📸 Anthea Raymond
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    Spotted in our latest issue. ...

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    Have you ever thought of hiking the PCT? 🥾⁠

    Our latest issue has the first of five stories in a series by Matt Johanson who has been sectioning the PCT for the past twenty plus years. ⁠

    Matt recently took a one-year leave from teaching at Castro Valley High School to complete the remaining 2,250 miles.⁠

    Lucky for Matt, his wife Karen has encouraged him to live his dream and has been providing support along the way. ⁠

    📸 Matt is pictured here with his wife Karen, and their two dogs Sam and Elliot. ⁠

    You can read his story "Sierra Splendor" via the link in our bio (🔗💕).⁠

    OR better yet, pick up our latest issue at your favorite outdoor shop or become a member to have ASJ delivered 🗞️ to your home. 🏡
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    In case you missed it, Yosemite announced yesterday that Big Oak Flat Road (continuation of Highway 120 west into Yosemite) is closed from just inside the park boundary to Merced Grove.⁠

    "The road has a crack that is about 200 feet long and up to four feet deep. The road surface has moved two to three inches vertically and horizontally and is continuing to move.⁠

    The embankment below the road has moved as much as 15 feet downslope and has significant water flow through it."⁠

    The road will be closed at least until mid-June and possibly into July. ⁠

    Learn more via the link in our bio (🔗⬆️). ⁠

    📸 NPS
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