Tag Archives: snow

Snow Weekends

El Niño didn’t deliver the anticipated whooper rainfall, but it did provide almost normal snowfall in the Sierras, which is much more than we’ve received in our drought-stricken state for several years. I was fortunate to get up to the mountains three times this season.

January 16-18 – Claire Tappan

Ten of the women in my hiking group stayed in a dorm room at this Sierra Club lodge near Donner Summit. It snowed every day so we left our cars in the lot and shoe shoed from the lodge each day.

February 5-9 – Echo Summit

Six of us rented a cabin near South Lake Tahoe. Most of us snow shoed every day. I also went down hill skiing for the first time in over a decade! I stuck to the green runs a bit more than the blue. I had a great time and hope to return next year.

March 30 – Mammoth

Last year I spent my birthday in New Zealand and Australia; this year I watched the sunrise above the Eastern Sierras, then snow shoed near Mammoth. (See upcoming Death Valley post for the rest of my activities this week).

Acclimatization Weekend


My first big trip will include trekking at high altitude in the Andes. This is going to be a challenge, especially coming from sea level. To give our bodies a jump-start on acclimatization, one of my fellow travelers, Karen, and I spent three nights up in the Sierras. Another friend, Cyndi, joined us. At 7800’, Kirkwood was one of the highest places we could find to stay at this time of year. We virtually had the resort to ourselves as the ski lifts were shut down and the summer tourists haven’t yet arrive. Our hikes were limited due to snow on the trails, so we mostly lounged around our spacious condo and fixed delicious meals. To our surprise, it was snowing when we left. I’m glad we went – I got over a slight altitude headache and was reminded how much colder and drier it is up in the mountains.