Marissa Krawczak: Summer Adventure

First Day of Summer in the Sierras:

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.” -John Muir

I was lucky enough to have the first day of summer off of work this year, and decided to enjoy it by doing what I love most, snowboarding! I headed up to where I knew there was still some snow on the Mammoth Crest of the John Muir Wilderness.

After a few weeks of working in dusty, desolate areas in Nevada with my Helitack fire crew, I was glad to be back around lakes and trees, but wanted some snow too! After a short drive out of Mammoth Lakes, I loaded my boots, snacks and camera into a my pack and started up the Emerald Lake trail. It was shorter to hike off trail, so I bushwhacked straight to the foot of the Mammoth Crest. It’s fun to explore the wilderness off trail and walk straight through cool water creeks, run into wildlife and enjoy new scenery without human interface!

Once at the foot I could clearly choose my ascent and descent, then it was getting after it! I have the hike up marked in black and the ride down in green:

The hike up the hard-pack snow, was icy, especially in the shade. I could’ve used some cramp-ons, but I just took it slow, to not slide down backwards! It was one movement at a time up there in the steeps, kick, kick, kick one toe hold in, kick, kick, kick the next and dig, dig, dig the edge of my board, again and again. Luckily I only lost one foot hold that put me back about ten feet, I saved myself from losing more ground by digging in that trusty metal snowboard edge.

On the hike up:

I was so excited and relieved to make it to the top! I enjoyed the view for a bit, refueled with some water and fresh air and strapped in!

View from the top:

I must admit, it was teeth chattering, leg shaking riding conditions! So bumpy and icy, but fun all the same, especially since the descent led to an awesomely blue alpine lake. The top was really steep too, so I got to scare myself a little and get that desired adrenaline rush in my system. You can’t really go wrong with a board under your feet the first day of summer! Hope everyone is enjoying the scenery wherever they are, best shred wishes!

Posted by Kelly Vance on 06/23/13

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