Tioga Pass and Virginia Lakes roads are now open from the east side, creating solid access to California s famous Eastern Sierra spring corn harvest. Not ones to be left out of the fun, Flylow made sure to be there to sample the goods.
After a solid night under a very big moon at Mono Lake we decided to rally up Tioga Pass early and ski False White Mountain. Topping out at 12,200 feet, False White gave up incredible views of Mt Conness, the Dana Plateau, Mono Lake and more.
The skiing was mixed with a persistent east wind up top just keeping the corn from fully ripening. The last 750 feet of the 2,200-plus-foot descent served up the corn goodness we were searching for. After the ski, some local IPA and a trip to the Travertine Hot Springs wrapped up a solid day.
Day two had us hitting Virginia Lakes Road and a run on South Peak. South Peak has two main east facing chutes and offers up 2,200 feet of skiable terrain. Having encountered some crust the day before we were on a corn hunt. Halfway up the 11,400-foot peak we knew we were in good shape. With a persistent and semi sketchy sugar layer 20 centimeters under the snow surface and constant sun exposure, we rallied up as quickly as we could, choosing as safe a route as possible, threw off the skins and headed down. The run was as smooth as it gets and we were back at the truck sipping on Sierra in no time.
We love the east side of the Sierra: hot springs, sunshine, solid access, killer views, great skiing, and fly fishing. Go get some for yourself! Micah Hinton