The other Eastside, March 2012


As Vermont began for a March Meltdown, Winter in California seemed like it was just getting started. Rumor was a big storm was approaching not long after Max Power and myself were to arrive in Mammoth Lakes.

Mt Morrison and Mt Laurel in the background looking really bare for this time of year.  Its been a long dry Winter in the Sierra, but as you can see the clouds started filling the desert sky.

Hot springs, scoping out dream lines in the mountains, some off-roading, consuming of beer and plenty of safety meetings were had in preparation.

We randomly decided to drive out to the Dana Plateau right before the storm was to start since neither one of us had been riding or climbing there before. Figured we would use our down time to explore some new territory.. The plan was to just climb/skin up V-bowl (bottom right) and get a closer look at the lines coming down, but we were quickly drawn toward the Cocaine Chute and kept going (big wide chute on left, that narrows toward top) .

I can’t wait to come back and play one Spring, fun looking lines every where I look.

Max Power coming down Cocaine Chute

And headed back down V-bowl with Mono-Lake in the background.

And here it comes.

It snowed 3-5 ft over 48 hours depending on elevation. This was down at the condo by the first morning.

Two full days of storm riding with constant refills .

We took a quick break and headed over to June to escape from all the powder starved Californians over at Mammoth.  Surprised to see some blue sky and much less wind.

But the Powder was just as nice!

This is what Mammoth looked like the next morning, which happened to be a Monday.  Bluebird, no tracks on the upper mountain and no wind… mmmmm!

We got the 2nd gondi to the top when it opened and couldn’t resist Climax after seeing it on the way up.. It was go time.

A few pov shots from the day here. Most the footage was washed out from the sun reflecting on the snow.  This is what I salvaged. Less then 2 mins.

Things looking good from chair 23.

Since our run down Climax followed by a long run down Monument were so good, we had to go back up for some left overs in the Paranoids, at this time we met up with our friend Greg who was happy to have the day off from work to enjoy some tasty powder.

Greg is somewhere in this picture.

Me splashing around in the pow pow..

Then ventured toward the Dragons back & tail, where it was also very good.

Greg getting deep out on the tail….

Heard about a couple slides that occurred the day before in the Sherwins, so we were a little concerned about the Punta Bardini chutes as well as we headed out there the day after the reported slides. The sun was quickly baking all the new snow adding weight to the already weak layers below, we used extreme caution. 

Max Power in the skinner with mammoth mtn in the background.

inside a log on the way up, maybe this was a warning.

After observing this pit and some really loud scary whoomfing noises in the low angle trees on the way up, we decided to stay away from the steeper Bardini Chutes and just traverse over to the tele-bowls and pick a safe line to head down and out.  The results in the pit were sort of sketch and we figured that there were multiple red flags to not go any further up.

Max Power dropping into the tele-bowls.

My turn.

Greg in the blue jacket.

The sun and wind worked the powder pretty good, but Max Power and myself needed some more exercise.  The forecast was suppose to clear up and be nice this day, so our original plan was to head out into the Mammoth Crest. On our way out we couldn’t see a thing as it was all socked in.  To our left at the time the Sherwins were not in the clouds at all, so we headed into that direction.

Until we neared the upper section and the clouds began to make their way over there also..

We hunkered down just below the ridge, hoping the clouds would pass.

The ridge began to clear after about 30 mins and we quickly headed up.

The way down was very variable, but we did find some nice snow that was protected from the wind.

Then it snowed again the night before we were leaving town. It only snowed about 6-10″ but we were hungry for some more and Mrs Max Power was in town and wanted to get a powder fix as well..

Mrs Max Power getting hers.

Max Power getting all NINJA in the shadows here.

Greg gets in on the action before going to work.

And a couple other shots from an awesome couple of weeks in the Eastern Sierra… Until next year my friends…


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  1. Dave

    Exceptional re-cap of this past week in CA. Awesome. Living the dream in the sierras and the greens!

  2. Adrian

    Awesome shots! Glad to see ya had a good time out west.

  3. Silvia

    I can’t say I’ve been to those hotsprings. Now I’m intrigued. There’s a secret one that you need a special vehicle to get to that I never went to…

    1. Chris


      The hot springs at the start of the TR are in Mammoth and are pretty far out there. On bigger snow years it could be hard to get to. The ones at the end of the TR are in Bridgeport. -Chris

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