The trip started at about noon from Echo Lake Sno-Park trail head. Logistics included a $5 per day sno-park permit, purchased ahead of time at local vendors. http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1233 A wilderness permit, since we were in the desolation wilderness. $5 per person per night. $10 max per person, $100 max per group. Though I typically do not get permits for the winter, I did this trip due to its size and the good example I was setting.
Soon after traveling up Echo Lake Road, you arrive at Echo Lakes (1 mile). This was the first time I got to test out my ski pulk. I estimate the load to be about 50-60 lbs. It is much easier to pull heavy loads , across flat surfaces on a sled, than to carry it on your back. With Skippy hooked up to me, and I to the sled, we made short work of lower Echo Lake.
The weather was perfect 60 degrees.
We soon climbed up above the lakes and made camp on the hillside right above Tamarack Lake. A short ski to the lake, supplied us with water from a breach in the snow at the lakes inlet. We had brought extra fuel for melting snow, but was please that we did not have to. I dis like the taste of "fried" water.Saturday. This was our summit day, but my idea of climbing and skiing Pyramid peak were a little too lofty. Instead we climbed up to Hypress Meadow and the ridge that over looked the Aloha Lake Basin. From there our group split up. Some want to check out Aloha Lake, others wanted to climb Ralston peak.
It did not appear that the summit of Ralston Peak had a suitable route to ski off off. But we found a suitable drop in along the ridge. The pillowy appearance of the snow, was truly so, thanks to the mid day sun.Saturday night an intense wind storm hit us. It dropped the temperature significantly, but no moisture was associated with the wind and clouds. Wind storms are always so violent, when experienced from the inside of a tent. Those without ear plugs did not get a good nights sleep.