I noticed that they had crampons and axes and realized that they were indeed more prepared than I for such conditions — apparently they’ve been doing laps on the trail every day to try to help it melt out! What heroes!
We met up at our designated tree which had just enough shade for the four of us. We put our skins out in the sun to dry as much as possible and had a pleasant lunch, enjoying the fine spring weather. All across Lake Aloha, small teardrops of brilliant azure snowmelt accumulated in various low spots.
To follow a long day of hiking with mediocre skiing, I wanted to give Zach a more standard Tahoe backcountry experience: good snow, challenging terrain, and exceptional views!
After thirty feet the couloir widened, but the snow covered granite wall still towered above on either side. Below me gleamed Lake Tahoe and the north end of Fallen Leaf Lake. There can’t be many ski descents in the world to equal this!
The top of the peak appeared as if cast from a single piece of granite, with wonderfully bubbly and creative shapes.
Underwear notwithstanding, the view from Flagpole Peak is quite spectacular. Not only does the peak tower above Lower Echo Lake, but it also soars high above the north side of Echo Pass.
Richard’s goal for the day was to swim in every lake we passed. I wasn’t so keen on swimming in every lake, but I was more than happy to test the waters.