Flying and Backcountry Skiing in Remote Nevada

It was the weekend after the new year and Betsy was taking our kids back to college while I was staying home to take care of our dogs, Bodie and Ande. Although Betsy and I find our dogs are great backcountry skiing companions, they do tend to get in your way skiing down so other skiers sometimes don’t find them as charming as we do.

So I thought it would be fun to take a solo trip out to the backcountry in Nevada, just the dogs and I.  The 210 is such an awesome plane for a trip like this – the skiing equipment goes in the back (I typically have the last two seats out) and the dogs have the remaining two back seats to lounge in.

Final to Elko (Large)
Final to Elko
Elko runway (Large)
Long runway, but snow berms prevented any exit until the very end
airplane Elko (Large)
Elko Airport (4 degrees)

I originally wanted to head up and ski at Lamoille canyon but I read that with the mining boom many of the miners have snow machines and love to ride up the canyon.  That didn’t sound like a good place to go with dogs, so I did some research and headed out to the Independence mountains, about 1.5 hour drive outside of Elko.  Definitely a quiet and lonely place.

Car in snow (Large)
I was hoping my rental SUV wouldn’t end up like this
Dogs birds arrow (Large)
Natural bird dogs, Bodie and Ande can sniff them out every time. (actually, they walked right on by what I assume are Chukar)
Indepence mtns (Large)
We can see our goal, as far up as is safe on the peaks.
Dogs on top (Large)
Dogs on top of ridge – blowing hard and probably zero degrees F.

I didn’t get as high as I wanted, but I started to worry about the cold and the dogs.  The ski descent was OK but not great – still good to get out in the mountains.

Descent 2 (Large)
Lower in the descent with boot-top powder. Perfect for the dogs too.

After a warm night in a Elko hotel I headed back out with the dogs for another day of skiing.  Ideally you would have more time because there is a flat approach of a few miles before you even begin to climb, so it takes some time.  I did manage to get back into the mountains, up 1,500 feet or so, then a ski back down and a flight back to California just as the sun set.

Explorer (Large)
Independence Mountains in the background.
2nd day mountains (Large)
2nd day approach
white on white (Large)
White on white
DSC02775 (Large)
It had warmed up from the day before, but still 16 degrees so preheat is on!
Some NV Mountain (Large)
Some Nevada mountains…
Nevada sunset (Large)
Nevada Sunset.  Just plain awesome to be up in the air at that moment.

1 thought on “Flying and Backcountry Skiing in Remote Nevada

  1. Would love to be in the plane during that sunset!!!!! Stunning!

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