Thursday, May 28, 2009

Snowboarding Lassen Peak and Reading Peak

23rd of May, 2009. Jim, Nick, and I get our gear ready in the morning hours, and head up the Paradise Meadows trail. Less snow than last time, the sun is up earlier, we're a tad later. Fresh air and snow are intoxicating. This time we follow the trail, skipping the steeper slopes on the southeast side of Lassen Peak.

The road.

We follow it and then climb the southern ridge towards the summer trail.

Easier to walk the switchbacks of the trail than to travel up on the steepening slope next to it.

The top.

On the way down the north-east face, the snow is quite soft. Nick slips and tumbles towards a rock. It's very scary to watch him from below, but except for twisting his knee and some bruises he is OK and skies away from it. We travel down the devastated area until the snow becomes too patchy to make skiing effective, and then stumble the remaining distance to the parking lot. Next day, sweet cherries on the way to Chico.

The Bidwell Mansion in Chico with an old Magnolia tree. No pictures of us floating down the Sacramento River on truck tires and a raft especially designed for carrying beer, an alcoholic substance typically consumed during this activity. My tire is the smallest and looses air as we float, so I swim from the famous "Beer Can Beach" to the end of our journey on the river. Fun times!

Jim and I skip the party and start at the same parking lot in Lassen, with the light of the stars shining on the trail. We reach Paradise Meadows before sunrise.

Pictures can't do this justice.

We make good progress.

Lassen Peak in the morning light.

Shadow Lake.

On my splitboard with skins and crampons.

Lassen Peak again, as we climb Reading Peak.

Jim reaching the top.

The bowl at the top of Reading Peak which we are about to descend. I decide to take off above the little rock in the center of the picture and hike over there.

Looking down the line I'm about to ride.

Jim skiing from the peak.

What a fun bowl of snow.

Another fun little slope below this.

We climb up another hill and descend it towards Paradise Meadows and then follow the trail from there until we encounter lots of summer travelers. What an awesome trip!

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