| On PCT, getting close to our goal in back |
It was October 2016 & a small group of us were heading up towards Wright Mountain, the first of three peaks on our North Backbone Trail hike. Just before the summit, there is a place with hundred mile views in all directions to the desert & mountain ranges far beyond. This was the moment Ben turned to us & said we should snowboard off this peak when winter comes...
Fast forward to New Years 2017. Snow had fallen twice in almost the same week & that meant a decent amount of coverage for us locally. While Ben was taxiing down a runway in Colorado, I was driving south on the 395 from Bishop with my girlfriend, somehow trying to pull this off the very next morning. Alas, the sun rose, fairly rested, we were driving out to Wrightwood under grey skies.
| Straight up the ridge |Ben had scouted a neighborhood for us to leave the "exit" car since were not going to be ending near our start point. Shuffling all the gear to the other car we headed for the ever popular Acorn Trail. Since you can't park at the actual trailhead here, we dropped our boards at the top, drove back down & made the icy & slippery ascent of the private road.
| Acorn Trail |
Right from the beginning there was lots of snow & perfect conditions. Ben would break trail & skin with his splitboard for portions of the ascent, while I postholed behind, getting my winter legs in shape. The setting was magnificent all around as we gained elevation on the ridge, at times catching a glimpse of the open basin we were shooting for.
| Pausing to look at the basin |
| About to Send It! |
| Final look at the basin before ascending |
| Acorn Trail & PCT Junction |
| Pine Mountain - 9,648ft |
| Windy! |
| Deep snow, beautiful views |
Coming to a rest we both high fived & looked back up at our lines. I was elated to have a friend push me to go the extra mile & get out of my comfort zone. The snow in the lower portions of the basin looked thin to continue, but would be exhilarating come the right time. Next, the ice axes came out & we side-hilled into the canyon on the southern edge of the basin.
| Obstacles |
| Transition to hike in main canyon |
| Hiking out |