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ski touring at mount charleston

Original Post
steve gould · · blue diamond, NV · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 50

is anyone in southern nevada interested in ski touring? mount charleston seems to be the obvious first place to try - but i am open to all suggestions

J W · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535

you should swing by desert rock sports and see if Mark from Jackson Hole is around- I know he's been pretty psyched on ski touring this season. There's also quite a few other folks around doing the back country thing up there.

steve gould · · blue diamond, NV · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 50

I went up south trail from Mt Charleston lodge today - started skinning from road at 8.30 am - low avalanche risk - so felt happy on my own without shovel or transceivor - there were a few ski tracks - but the main trail was boots and snowshoes. Cos of altitude and lack of fitness stopped at 9600 feet at 11 am - after 2000 feet of ascent. No need for axe or crampons - but harscheisen useful. Had superb ski down on pretty much perfect spring snow - steep enough to be interesting - but soft enough to be easy - plenty of snow - the campsite picnic tables at the bottom were almost buried under snow. it was another 2000 feet to mt charleston summit or another 1400' to mt griffiths.


Mark Limage · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 25

Skiing in the Mojave Desert should be on every back-country skiers hit-list. The snowpack is typically pretty mediocre if your standard is untracked powder; but touring in the bristlecones is quite aesthetic and at times the corn skiing is as good as it gets. As John says, there are a few other folks skiing back-country up in the Toiyabe, but it's a pretty small community. It's very rare to even run into another party when your out, pretty much the exact opposite of climbing in the Red Rock these days.

Lots of options, big and small. Avi danger is significant only after a storm. So there you go Steve. Have at it. Even a Brit could figure it out.

Here's a picture of the N gully on Griffith taken from the top of Mummy. This is a good intro to back-country in the Toiyabe and is easy to figure out.

E Face Charlie - a slightly more challenging day than N Gully Griffith (pic taken from Summit of Mummy)

Jon O'Brien · · Nevada · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 405

beautiful photos, definitely inspiring enough to have me break out the gear this weekend... thanks alot!


trundlebum · · Las Vegas NV · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 85

Wootah !

I'm headed, this afternoon up to Lee, upper Bristle cone and towards the ridge for an evening bivy and morning ride.

It won't be XC but it will be back country ;)

steve gould · · blue diamond, NV · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 50

had a second go yesterday - snow still good - actually better - got to ridge near griffith's peak - and skinned about two miles along towards charleston till I was at 11000 feeet - didn't quite make the summit - Coming down i took a short cut found a narrow gully facing NW - which ended dropping into to the main gully above cathedral peak - no trax - both much steeper - ended up at the Charleston lodge car park
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ascent gully
upper ascent gully
descent gully
looking along the ridge - towards mt charleston

I traversed got into this steep gully by accident on the descent

Nathan Petrosian · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 5

Nice spring conditions now! not bad for just outside of Vegas eh! Lee Peak and Mummy's Toe Summit North Side are among my favorite descents. I'll probably get up there 1 or 2 more time for a classic decent of charleston peak (hour glass) before heading to Eastern Sierra / Mammoth area. Doing a shuttle run from lee canyon ski resort start up to lee peak and decend to your car on the other side sounds like fun too. Lots of big cliff bands though so know what your getting in to. There are a lot of options up there just gotta keep getting out to explore so keep charging it! I'm a snowboarder but i have a split board so if you want a partner let me know, i have a beacon.... I have a flexible schedule, but i'll be climbing this weekend. - Mark posted some nice photos of the "hour glass" from charlie's peak!

trundlebum · · Las Vegas NV · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 85

Anybody up for riding Deer Creek ?

ping me !

rex parker · · las vegas n.v · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 245

their is so much to do up their amazing chutes and gullies i miss that area.

super dave · · las vegas, nv · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 30

The skiing in the spring mtns. sucks!!! Dont do it.

Jon O'Brien · · Nevada · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 405

disagree, you gotta catch it when the window's open and it can be pretty good. excellent when taken in context (we live in las vegas)

Jason D. Martin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2005 · Points: 710

Agreed on the disagree. Yeah, the resort sucks...but in the right season, the backcountry is actually pretty great. Unfortunately, it's not that way every year.


Mattab Bees · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Hello, I know this thread is old, but it's the only lead I could find.. I've been interested in getting into splitboard touring, but it's so hard to find info on the my Charleston area.. If anyone could help get me going in the right direction it would be much appreciated

The Nomadic Lens · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Hey Mattab-

I'm looking for info as well. I'm a splitboarder from sun valley, Idaho raised in Las Vegas and plan to be back over xmas. I will reach out to the backcountry community here and see if anyone has done Charleston. Please email me if you find anything! cheers!

Nathan Petrosian · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 5

I've been splitboarding in the spring mountains back country since 2006 when I Moved here from Lake Tahoe. Sure it's not heli-skiing in Alaska or consistent dry Utah Powder, but it has its good seasons. The unique terrain makes it an adventurous ski! There can be significant avalanche danger after a storm so make sure you take the necessary precautions. Waiting a couple days after a storm to let the snow settle or staying out of avi terrain within the first 48 hours after a dump,.. etc. Some great terrain...chutes, cliff bands, and tree runs. That being said, take precaution, but get out and get sum!
I will try to post some beta /pics of good ascent / descents, and tours.
The North side of Mummy is a great ski! crossing the steep icy avalanche paths can be a bit sketchy on skins so bring your ice axe!
- if anyone need a partner hit me up next dump!

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Mattab I pmed you.
Nathan lets do some splittin together!
I've been riding the bc in the springs since us snowboarders had to snowshoe/posthole( I even owned the whole k2 clicker setup at one point...please, don't hold it against me :p) ...then splittys came along( you had to make them yourself at first) and changed the game in such a good way.
Are any of you on ? (I'm "thesystemsplit" on there)
MP Splitfest!!!

Lee 11/24/15


Still a bit thin ;)

seamusb Brennan · · Las Vegas, Nv · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Mattab wrote:Hello, I know this thread is old, but it's the only lead I could find.. I've been interested in getting into splitboard touring, but it's so hard to find info on the my Charleston area.. If anyone could help get me going in the right direction it would be much appreciated
I have some experience in skiing the peak. Last four years have been thin but things are obviously looking up this year. I'm definitely excited and hoping for great storms to come. What kind of info are you looking for? Can't help with equipment, I'm a skier, but I have some beta on descents off the summit into Big Falls, Maryjane Falls, Lee Canyon and Trail Canyon and other area skiing.
Frank Garvey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

I'm very interested in routes for the backcountry as well as gear you guys use. Also down to ride the backcountry with anyone. I've hiked majority of the peaks in the summertime and pretty familiar with the whole Kyle/lee canyon areas. I'm tired of the runs at the resort and want to ride the backcountry safely. Thanks in advance

MKGreen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 15

I'm also looking for bc ski partners either for Mt Charleston, the Tushars in Southern Utah or the Mammoth area. Sending a PM to a few of the folks that have posted on this thread. Climbing Red Rocks might be limited these days with all of the rain, but it's making for a good ski season, even locally!

grog m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Steve Gould, glad you had a good time. You should still take a shovel, probe, and beacon even if you are skiing on your own. You should take them EVERY time you go. This is because of the scenario where you come across someone that needs help, if you have your equipment you are ready. If not, you are useless.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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