Ski Mountaineering

Never Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Mt Waterman Tour, Jan 10, 1998
Leaders: Paul Harris, Walt Boge

My first thought was, since there is little useful local snow that Mt Pinos was the place. With this Walter Boge agreed. Then the predictions and looking at the sky made us think that a storm of some sort was coming in. What we didn't know was where and how much (if any) the snow would fall. We also began to doubt that plowing the Mt Pinos road was a priority with Kern County, so may be Waterman? Or maybe Pinos? After what might laughingly be called considerable intellectual effort, Walter and I decided on Mt Waterman Friday night. Newcomb's ski report was really optimistic. We called and spoke with or left messages for the people who had indicated that they were interested.

On Saturday morning I went out to Roxford to head off any who missed the message, while Walt went to the Angeles Crest turn-off to meet the rest.

Thin snow and good ice on the road past Three Points, but not a lot of snow in the trees, but skiers like farmers must be optimistic until the truth cannot be refuted. After a little wandering around, the nine of us got organized and walked up the logging road to the first turn. I hadn't seen so little snow in a lot of years, perhaps since my first trip up there with Mark Goebel many years ago. There were groves of buckthorn in the road that I had never seen before.

We skied up on a light crust, with clouds blowing up from the canyons to the south, vaporizing as they crossed the ridges towards the desert. Our hopes of enough sun to soften the crust were never met.

A pleasant conversational lunch on top; the wind had stopped, the clouds were still over us, a beautiful absolute blue sky to the east and north. A glorious day.

Down on an accelerating crust concealing fast snow, rocks, pine needles and dirt. Back country skiing at its classic best. Lots of craters but everybody having a good time.

After a little adjusting of new equipment, we skied back down the road, fast and fun on top of the crust, wedges around the blind corners, tuck and run for the up-hills. Back at the cars by three. A good day. We'd been out on our skis.

Paul Harris

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