Hey all, Coming at you this week with a backcountry adventure with a couple friends near Lake Tahoe. Ryland Sweigard, Chris Geisen, and myself had a free day the other day and decided to venture out into the upper regions of Mt. Rose on the Nevada side of the Lake Tahoe basin. We got a late start and began the hike at around 10:30am. We drove up to the parking area along Mt. Rose Highway where we gathered our snowboard equipment and Ryland and my camera gears. It was supposed to be a sunny day but with a high of only 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but as we reached the location the temps had increased quite a lot. We started out from the car immediately dropping into a large shallow frozen lake that we snowboarded to and hiked across. It turned hot quick with all the layers I had worn for the expected cool temperatures. Stripped off a few base layers and a sweatshirt and I was set to hike the rest of the way. It was not an easy task to hike as the camera bag must have weighed at least 45 lbs. Either way I was excited as it was going to be my first real backcountry hike session.
Being my first time I had none of the necessary equipment except a collapsable shovel in case of any incidents. I strongly disagree with what I did however. Even though the conditions according to the Sierra Avalanche Center (http://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org) said the threat of an avalanche was low; it is never a good idea to hike without a proper beacon and probe just in case. My new acquaintance Chris Geisen has been roaming the backcountry for a while now as he lives and rides every day around Lake Tahoe. He is well versed in different situations and it was comforting having him explain what the dangers were before we began our trek towards the piste.
We hiked for only about an hour before we reached the first location where we shot a few intricate lines in between partially exposed boulders and of course some powder shots. My videographer/photographer buddy, Ryland was behind the video camera and I behind the still lens as we both captured Chris on his decent. After a few runs we broke for a quick snack and a couple brews and made our way towards another location. We spotted a fresh section with a few rocky areas that looked promising for something cool. Chris was super helpful with his input and creativity on how he thought a good photograph would look and then left it up to me to really capture his idea. I thought it was a great camaraderie working together to be able to get the right angle and shot.
It was definitely a great first day out in the backcountry. I cannot wait for more snow in Tahoe and more chances to hike out into areas I have only seen from the lake or the top of a resort. Although extremely tiring, hiking is incredibly rewarding. I had some serious leg burning going on with all the walking and weight on my back really not helping the situation at all. What an unbelievable feeling it was to spend an entire day with good people, snowboarding, exercising, and having fun all at the same time. If you get the chance to explore one day..DO IT!..Just be safe and buy the proper equipment. Until next time, keep an eye out for more stories and adventures! Many more to come soon!