False White Mountain, Tioga Pass 2002, CA
May 11, 2002

Skiers: Matthew Reagan, Ben Shefftz, Jeff Huber

Every spring, backcountry skiers wait impatiently for the road from Lee Vining to Tioga Pass to open to general traffic. Where else can you access high-alpine ski terrain within a day's tour from the car? Route Map

Tioga Road

Tioga Rd., open and clear to just before the Yosemite gate.

photo by Jeff Huber
Where are we?

A GPS is no substitute for a good map.

Lee Vining Canyon

Climbing up the Fantail Gullies, a view opens up toward the east, with Tioga Peak, Ellery Bowl, and Mono Lake in the distance.

photo by Jeff Huber
Touring the High Country

With shovel firmly attached to my pack, I skin toward the northern rim of the bowl.

Ben turns 'em down through the "pow."

A Hard Day's Work

We admire our accomplishments.

photo by Jeff Huber
I can ski!

A rare photo of me making actual turns. This is a lead change.

A Day Well Spent

Looking back after the descent to Fantail Lake. Our ski descent began at the top of the ridge at center.

Gliding Home

Touring along Lee Vining Creek to waiting cars, buried beer, and a long drive home.

photo by Jeff Huber

Starting from the Saddlebag Lake Rd. turnoff (9,500'), we ski up Lee Vining Creek toward the east-facing bowls of False White Mountain.

Climbing up the ridge between Lee Vining Creek and Fantail Lake. We didn't hang out under that cornice.


Ben appreciates the high eastern bowl of False White Mountain as it appears over the lip of the gully.


I make three ungraceful but sweet turns through soft, windblown snow. Ben and Jeff are climbing higher up.

Jeff turns 'em down through the "pow."

photo by Jeff Huber
Graceful Exit

Ben and I traverse toward the Spuller Lake drainage, with the bowl (and our tracks) in the background.

photo by Jeff Huber

Ben harvests soft corn in the Spuller Lake drainage. A thousand feet of excellent soft snow lead from here down to Fantail Lake. Enjoy an 1.5M AVI movie of his skiing.

Mt. Dana

Mt. Dana seen from Fantail Lake.

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