Top Ten Northern California Adventures

Backcountry Ski the High Sierras
By Michael Holden

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.

Trip Facts

Difficulty rating: Hardcore

When to go: January—April

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »