|50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California: Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney My Rating: 6 out of 10|
By Paul Richins, Jr. In my mind, the verdict is still out on this book. I've
attempted to ski only two of of the fifty listed summits: Mount Tallac
and Pyramid Peak. The information on Tallac is straightforward, if not
overly thorough. The recommended route on Pyramid Peak led us to disaster. While the author
did warn us that the bushwhack up the southeast face of Pyramid from Twin Bridges would be difficult without
"adequate snow cover", we had no idea just how difficult! After asking around after the
trip, we found that there is actually an unmarked trail up Rocky Canyon that would have likely
saved our aborted trip. Is it too much to ask that this book provide the reader with these
little gems of information? Perhaps, but I fear that the rest of the route information in this
book will turn out as poorly researched as Richins' description of Pyramid. Only time and
trips will tell!
I also find the maps a bit lacking. Hand drawn sketches with no elevation information. My favorite Colorado Fourteeners guidebook has color photocopies of 7.5-minute USGS topographical maps, spliced together and annotated with route information.
The book seems to specialize in more obscure, deep-in-the-backcountry trips, as opposed to the popular day trip destinations, like Pyramid and Tallac. I plan to try some of these trips, and will upgrade or downgrade my rating accordingly, based on the advice given by this book.
Department of Geophysics