Alas, snow came back to the local mountains. A strong winter storm dropped precious powder snow above 5,000'. It has to be used right after the storm before it crusts up. I had Sat Jan 14 free and headed out to Mt Pinos, just an hour and a half of a drive. It was a trip into winter wonderland, just sunshine and powder, a short-lived combination.
I headed up to Mt Pinos on untracked snow. The day was young, so I continued to Sawmill Mtn. The descent into the saddle between Pinos and Sawmill was not ideal, bushes and rocks poked through the snow. But the skiing through the upper forest was a delight since the trees were rimed with tons of snow and ice. It was a photogenic delight. The only tracks on the trail were from a coyote. On the open ridge of Sawmill a cold wind was blowing. The views were excellent from the Sierras to the Sea, over 100 miles visibility. Nearby Mt Abel did not have much snow. Grouse Mtn was looking inviting, but I decided to forgo it since this would have required an earlier start.
Enjoy the pictures below.