Slide 7 Next


Skiing around the Palisaides, CA, (4/88).
Here are Gus Yates and Don Aumann on a ski trip around the Palisaides during a low snow year. Behind them is the pass we just went over our second day, south of the Palisaides. Also along on this trip was Rick Seegers, he must be ahead of all of us. Near the end of this trip I broke my ski right under my foot so that only the metal edges were holding it together. I had to tread delicately on that ski from then on.

Today the telemark turn has attained something of a cult status. In my view the turn will always be rooted in the backcountry, because it is often the best turn when you are burdened by an overnight pack. Of course it is a good turn to have in your bag of tricks in any case, but it is when wearing a 50 pound pack that it becomes almost essential.

I think the Sierra Nevada is the best range in North America for discovering freedom of movement on skis in mountainous terrain. The reason is tremendous snowfall above timberline, coupled by warm weather which quickly destroys powder but also makes for a deep, stable snowpack by spring. Even in a horrible snow year, the snow in this photo is probably at least ten feet deep.