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!
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!
We summited unceremoniously and I regretted having told Zach that Freel had “the best view in Tahoe.” At the moment, we could hardly see a hundred feet.
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.