Thursday, November 12, 2015

Coyote Ski 2015

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

5.4 miles round trip, 7,740’ maximum altitude, and 968’ ascent. 3:15 total time out. [For directions see previous article on Tamarack]

With an additional 7 inches of snow since the last effort, the powder was again ready for another ski. This time it was on the Eagle Trail to the Shaver Lake overlook out of the Coyote Snow Park. Being Veteran’s day, the parking already had several cars when Susie and I arrived. I was surprised to see Bill and his black lab Mather and another group of three folks I know from Fresno at the trailhead starting about the same time. Ruth and her two friends were doing the same route on snowshoes. Bill and Mather opted for the Marmot Trail and I never saw them again.

One of the positives of the Coyote Snow Park is that all the trails are Nordic or snowshoe only, with no snowmobiles allowed. The Eagle trail is uphill most of the way outbound and some sections of the trail are steep. This requires herringbone climbing which consumes a lot of energy and requires stopping to get the heart rate down a bit.

There are four trails. The Eagle, Marmot, Coyote and Grizzly. None are marked that entire well and it is nice when someone has already broken the trail, which also provides a route to follow. It is possible to continue on beyond the cut off to the vista and you will eventually ski to an overlook of Huntington Lake. In mid winter there is not much to see since Huntington Lake [7,200’) freezes over. It looks like a huge snow covered meadow.

By the time you reach the overlook, the hat and gloves are off and stuffed in a pocket. The sun makes the overlook an excellent place to sit. This time of year there is exposed granite, which is not to sit on. The view this time included smoke from a brush fire down by Shaver Lake. We could also see the Forebay above the lake. The trip back down was somewhat sketchy with the snow melted down to the dirt and rocks in places.

For the initial outbound photographs, I used my Sony A7R2 with the Zeiss 16-35mm f4 lens. Many of the shots were into the sun and some had flares that rendered those photographs unsuitable. After a few shots with the 16-35mm at the overlook, I switched to the Zeiss 24-70mm f4 lens. Both lenses hand held, when viewed “actual size” were sharp as a tack. The camera gear amounted to about 4 additional pounds, which is good considering they are full frame lenses.

By the time Susie and I got back to the parking area, it was nearly full of cars. Parents and their children were sledding down the hillside into the parking area and cooking meals on barbeques brought up from home. There is a toilet by the parking area. The fatigue you feel after a ski like that is a good kind of tired.  

 Parking Area With Toilet Top Right

 Final Approach To Overlook

 Shaver Lake Below

 Forebay With Smoke Drifting Above

Fresno Associates With Coastal Range Just Below Clouds

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