Jason Thompson Productions

Skiing California’s high peaks of the Eastern Sierra with Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots

Road tripping down the backbone of California for a week of climbing and skiing in the Range of Light, the High Sierra. A place where the Sagebrush gives way to the 14,000ft Sierra Crest. 


The open road, Highway 395 rolling south Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots where the high desert meets the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada Range.  California’s Sierras have been blessed with an above average snow pack this winter. Phone calls were made, plans were hatched, bag packs and the boys hit the road south.

Four lanes turn to dirt leaving the simi trucks, fast food restaurants, small highway towns on the 395 to the dusty dirt roads, Juniper trees, sage brush and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Chad Sayers stokes the fire, below Mt Williamson California’s and it’s rarely skied but often gazed upon while traveling south hwy 395 “Three Steps Coulior”.

Surrounded by early morning darkness, Forrest checks the map, as Sayers looks on to see how far they had traveled and still how much more they still had to go.

Alpine starts, thin air, hours on the move, and fresh snow make for slow travel as Forrest set’s the line up Williamson.

At 14,380ft  Sayers and Coots keep it tight make small steps downclimbing off the summit of Mt Williamson, towards the entrance of the Giant Steps Couloir.

The first turns are the most committing.  Coots opens up the 3000ft North facing Giant Steps Couloir, One of California’s 50 classic ski descents in North American.

Long days start and end with skis on the back in the Sierras, as Sayers and Coots start the long walk back in the evening light through the ocean of sage to camp after 14hrs on the move and 10k of climbing and skiing on MT Williamson.

3am alarms in sea of sage brush transition to snow as the last of the nights stars fade under headlamps, while the distinctive sound of boots on snow break the silence of the still darkness as the sunrises over the east. As Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots make they way up in the early alpine light from the sage to summit.

Sayers threads the needle in the split couloir. Rewarded with cold north facing eastern Sierra windblown Chalky snow.

Coots reaps the rewards of the 3am alarm with alpine Chalky snow high above the desert leading to California sun kiss corn snow and cold beers at the truck.

Home is were you park it, life on the road.

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