California drought and needing to get high-
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  1. #1
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    Apr 2006

    California drought and needing to get high

    We are a few years into a bad drought here on the west coast, this year being the worst I can remember ever. Not only have we had very little snow, what we have gotten has mostly fallen as rain except for the highest locations. Add to that seemingly unending days of no overnight freezes in even the highest locations has made for poor conditions for fat biking.

    This has provided a unique opportunity though to access some high country locations via roads that are closed for winter that normally would have to much snow to practically get to via bike in a “Normal” winter for at least mere mortals to attempt for a few weeks we had a target in mind but overnight temps even above 9000 feet were not freezing, finally we had what looked like a window last Saturday with a decent freeze occurring. It looked that things would warm rapidly once the sun came up so an early start would be required.

    We formulated a plan to leave Lake Tahoe at 5:30am drive south to the Eastern Sierra’s and climb Tioga road up to the snow. This road is the eastern entrance into Yosemite National park. We also studied maps to be mindful to stay out of the park (Although staying on the actual road should be fine as it’s popular by roadies in the summer) and to keep out of any wilderness areas.

    We arrived around 8:00am at the road closure and climbed 2500 feet up pretty much dry pavement to the snow line at about 9500 feet. Conditions when we arrived were mostly consolidated and firm but it was warming rapidly. We had fun playing around for a while and soaking in the incredible views while not having to share this slice of heaven with another soul.

    After conditions deteriorated we headed back down, 5 miles of sustained fast downhill with fat tires was a trip, the noise from my studded tires had my ears feeling like I went to a rock concert by the time we got to the bottom

    Heading back down the road

    Once down we put some 22 oz’s in our pack and rode down to Mono lake finish off the day

    Last edited by TahoeBC; 03-13-2015 at 07:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2014
    Looks like a pretty epic ride. Thanks for the shots.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2007
    Thanks for sharing. I hope you guys get some snow in those mountains soon.

  4. #4
    beer thief
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    Awesome. The Sierras are one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  5. #5
    Location: SouthPole of MN
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    May 2007
    I don't know which picture is more awesome than the other. Great photos. The rocks on the road is just crazy to me but I suppose happens on those hillside roads. What an adventure!

    Thanks for sharing.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  6. #6
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    awesome pics!
    Toronto, Canada
    2017 Trek Farley 9.6
    2017 Diamondback Haanjo Trail Carbon
    2016 Scott Solace 10 Disc

  7. #7
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Feb 2005
    Sweet, thanks for sharing, and sorry for your lack of snow.

    I'd share pics of the heaped parking lot in front of my shop, but I wouldn't want to be a tease.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers

  8. #8
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    Apr 2006
    Thanks for the comments, I'll add a few frame grabs from some video my bud shot.

    Image credits go to First Tracks Productions

    We did this line twice, I got dibs and another friend went second. Later in the day we hit it again, the shots from above and conditions were much softer.

    Last edited by TahoeBC; 03-13-2015 at 07:49 AM.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2006
    A couple more photo's from Go West Foto

    VIEW IN HIGH RESOLUTION: Sports, Lifestyle, Adventure - GOWESTFOTO

    VIEW IN HIGH RESOLUTION: Sports, Lifestyle, Adventure - GOWESTFOTO
    Last edited by TahoeBC; 03-13-2015 at 07:52 AM.

  10. #10
    All fat, all the time.
    Reputation: Shark's Avatar
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    Feb 2006

  11. #11
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    Apr 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by wrc2006 View Post
    I hope you guys get some snow in those mountains soon.
    Sunday a whole 2 inch’s came down in the Tahoe high country but more importantly temps dropped significantly, so Monday we were able to drive only 30 minutes to get to the snow line which is lower than the Eastern Sierra and roll up some snowmobile tracks to get up high. I thought conditions were going to be ideal for hitting the ungroomed terrain but a couple inches of very dry snow on top of a frozen roller rink turned out to be pretty challenging in spots. I was a bit disappointed in the studded Dillingers, which I loved on lake ice, but just did not seem to get as good of traction in fresh snow as my buddy’s non-studded Vee Snowshoes. I think studded Snowshoes are going to be hard to beat for overall traction.

    Since we are all backcountry skiers/boarders used to earning our turns in the mountains, we have no problem hiking for lines we want to ride

    I love it when everything is frozen and you can just roam around the mountains

    Some frame grabs from First Tracks Productions

    My buddy recently got a nice carbon Corvus

    I got to throw a leg over it, super nice bike, handles very nicely, hoping to get some more saddle time on this rig.

    Last edited by TahoeBC; 03-13-2015 at 08:12 AM.

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