Ski Mountaineering

Mammoth-June Traverse

Mar 31, 1990

Reiner Stenzel

Owen said, "it can be done".

Owen said, "it has been done".

Nancy said, "let's just do it".

I thought, "the trouble with trouble is, it always starts out as fun".

Skiing from Mammoth to June through the backcountry is not trivial. On Sat, 3/31, at the crack of dawn, four brave souls started out at Mammoth Mtn Ski Lodge. They were Steve Thaw, Pete Yamagata, Nancy Gordon and Reiner Stenzel. After an hour we were down to three. But Pete graciously offered to pick us up at June.

The first part of the route was straightforward: We skied up the road to Minaret Vista, then XC up the roller-coaster San Joaquin Ridge over Deadman Pass, between the Two Teats all the way up to San Joaquin Pk (11,680').

The descent from the peak to the east was a bit challenging and so became the route finding. We tried to follow the ridge over Peak 9872 to Peak 10,135', one of June Mtns summits. Steve wanted to take a short-cut out, but we convinced him to stay together.

On June Mtn it was suspiciously empty. We had the slopes to ourselves for a great run down. No wonder, the last lifts had departed and we faced an hour-long walk down to the road since there was no snow below. But we were lucky and were offered a ride down with the service crew.

We were happy to be picked up by faithful Pete. He gave us a ride back to our cars at Mammoth. The traverse was quite a workout. At the end of the trip we looked like you look after skiing for 12 hours. But we felt great to have done it.

On Sunday, 4/1, we took it easy and skied to Glass Mtn. It is a place for finding great pieces of obsidian.

By mid-day we drove home after a fine ski trip with good friends.

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