San Joaquin Ridge

With June Mountain closed this season getting to certain backcountry locations such as the Negatives will take a lot more work than in the past. You can still get there from June, but the approach is much longer without the help from the lift. Instead of getting there from June, Nick and I decided we would traverse The San Joaquin Ridge between Mammoth Mountain and June Lake. Our objective was to leave from Main Lodge at Mammoth Mtn, skin to Minaret Vista where we would connect with the San Joaquin Ridge, camp out, then snowboard down the Negatives the next day, and back to June where we left a car. Many have done this trip in a loooong day trip. We decided to take our time, absorb the views and bring heavy packs and supplies to spend the night up high on the ridge. I love a new adventure and couldn’t think of anything else I would rather be doing for my 34th birthday. Here are a TON of pics from the trip..

Spotted this guy on the side of the road on my way to pick Nick up and drop his truck off in the parking lot at June Mtn.

From Mammoth Mtn we skinned up to Minaret Vista to the start of the ridge.

And off we went.

But not without catching some tubes first.

The views were stunning the entire trip.

Some scary cracking.

Some pole whacking

Mammoth in the background. Nick battling the cold wind on this section.


Here is the spot we came up with to spend the night, which had great views and plenty of rock to block us from any wind.

Here is what home looked like all set up.

And the evening went like this.

Some HDR layering

Nick’s oatmeal didn’t even come close to my bacon and cheese stick breakfast.

We had some nice sunshine in the morning to warm us up and thaw our water while we packed our gear and got ready to head out for the day.

Back in the skinner.

Mono Lake

We came to some wind scoured ridges with no snow, meaning we had to boot for an hour or so. Super stoked! lol

We had to do a lot scrambling on rocks today.

The negatives were in our sites. Notice Mono Lake in the background.

The wind was whipping very hard when we arrived on top of the Negatives.

We stood on top of a couple awesome lines that looked super fun, steep, and had really nice snow, almost to nice. It was obvious that the slope was super wind loaded which made me very nervous.

Here is one of the lines that we wanted to drop in on, but didn’t.

I would have loved to drop in, but things just didn’t feel right, so I pulled the plug and we headed over to the main line which was a little less steep and much better options for escaping any kind of wind slap that could break off from all the wind loading that we noticed.

I did a test cut and made some fun turns down to a safe area to wait for Nick to drop in.

Nick drops in

He breaks off a little wind slab. Not huge, but enough to make us very cautious of every turn.

And down we go.

Nick broke off one other little wind slap, but again wasn’t very big at all. Just enough to keep us on our toes and want to get down safely. You can see little bit of the debris lookers left in this picture.

We were full of joy to be down safe, but still had some work to do to get to the car. After a long traverse through the woods we made it back to the base of June Mountain resort and back to the car we dropped off a day before.

It was now time for beer, burgers, and more bacon. mmmmmm

Another awesome time in the Sierra Mountains.

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