Top Ten Northern California Adventures
While the crowds stand in lift lines, strap on some Telemark skis and head out into the backcountry. For the ambitious, the intrepid, and the warm-blooded, the High Sierra offers endless opportunities for backcountry touring. This is not a trip for the casual resort-monger, however: You'll need a good deal of Telemarking experience, a four-season tent, and a very warm sleeping bag. But if you don't mind a cold night or two, you'll be well rewarded: A four-day journey beginning at Mammoth Resort takes you up into the Minarets and down into Devil's Postpile, a wildly beautiful rock formation on the banks of the San Joaquin River. Skiers unfamiliar with the area should definitely seek out a guide, and of course you need to keep your eye on the weather.
Difficulty rating: Hardcore
When to go: January—April
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication