High Sierra Peak Descents – South


The Eastern Sierra is well-known for its easy access to hundreds of ski summits. Nothing beats ripping turns off an alpine summit and then sniffing the desert sage of the valley bottom. For skiers who want to rise above the crowds and ski from a mountaintop!

This program requires a minimum of 2 to run on these scheduled dates at this promotional price, and will have a maximum guiding ratio of 4:1. We are happy to arrange this program on a custom, private basis. Click HERE for details.


High Sierra Peak Descents - South

IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide skiing on Mt. Agassiz. photo: John Dittli www.johndittli.com

IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide Howie Schwartz skiing on Mt. Agassiz.  www.johndittli.com


The Eastern Sierra is world famous for its easy access to ski summits of all sizes. Nothing beats the satisfaction of climbing a mountain, ripping turns off of an alpine summit and then sniffing the desert sage of the valley bottom. The Southern section of the Eastern Sierra contains the most under-utilized, yet most mega, ski terrain in the mountain west.

On our Peak Descents – South program, your guide will choose 2 amazing Eastern Sierra peaks in the greater Bishop area for quality of skiing, mountain hazard considerations, overall mountain aesthetics, peak “summit skiability,” and group profile. We may go as far north as Pine Creek, above Rovana, and as far south as the mountains above the town of Lone Pine.  Each peak on this program will be done from the valley as a day tour with day 1 lasting from 6-8 hours and day 2 being a bigger line that may take 10-12 hours maximum. You will need to arrange your own level of lodging in or around Bishop, and we are happy to help you with that logistic. This gives the program maximum flexibility and allows a nice evening of rest in town or at local hot springs, between peak descents. We plan to climb and descend 3000-4000 vertical feet on day 1 and 4000-6000+ feet on day 2, both with possible skiing up to 45 degrees in steepness. Clearly this scheduled program is not for the uninitiated and demands advanced backcountry skiing skills and experience and superior mountain fitness. This program is a step up from our High Sierra Peak Descents – North and is designed for very capable backcountry skiers and snowboarders with a taste for mountaineering adventure!




TRIP ITINERARY: High Sierra Peak Descents - South

Day 1 Meet your guide in the morning at the SMG office in Bishop. The guide will reveal the plan and we will transport to the ski destination. Ski a local peak and descend to spend the night in or around Bishop. There are plenty of places to go to for dinner and rehydration and there is Keough's Hot Springs pool located several miles south of town. The guide will let you know the plan for the next day which will include an alpine start.
Day 2 Early alpine start, generally well before sunrise! That is how we do it when we want to climb a big peak, and it's all worthwhile when the alpenglow hits the east side of the Sierra. Anticipate a big day out of up to 12 hours or so and ideally don't plan to drive a long distance at the end of the day.

Additional Information

  • Advanced-expert downhill skiing skills
  • Ability to control speed and execute fall-line turns in control and comfort in difficult snow conditions (deep powder, heavy and/or moist snow, breakable crust, firm or icy, etc.)
  • Ability to execute hop turns on 40 degree+, firm slopes, coming to a complete and immediate stop at the finish of each turn
  • Ability to sideslip forward and backward, with edge control, on steep, firm slopes
  • Experience ski touring in the backcountry using ski touring equipment (boots, bindings, skins, transceiver, shovel, probe, etc.)
  • Ability to make uphill facing kick-turns in an uphill track on a slope
  • Excellent fitness
  Trip Cost Inclusions:
  • AMGA Trained/Certified Ski Guide
  • Avalanche Rescue Equipment Rental (Transceiver, Shovel, & Probe) as needed
  Trip Cost Exclusions:
  • Personal ski touring and mountain gear  (we have some items for rent)
  • Lodging & transportation


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