Ski Mountaineering

Chicks On Sticks - The Softer Side of Pear Lake
April 24-28, 2000

Joy Goebel and Diann Fried



A two woman contingent of Chick on Sticks, Joy Goebel and myself, gathered together camping stuff, ramen, bagels, power bars and a little moxie and headed out to Pear Lake to act like women. A quick stop at Moro rock at sunset (recommended), then to the Ranger station to self register and camped free at Lodgepole (free until April 27). The bears were quite active that night. Three campsites down a sedan had its rear door peeled down plus a dumpster had its lid peeled back (the kicker is that you will also be fined $500 for bear enticement, even if the bear only wanted to lick the seats). If I hadnít heeded Joyís advice, the bears might have broken into my car to use the sunscreen, lip gloss, and lotion. (Iím sure much needed after a winterís hibernation). In case you need to leave food, there is a bear box in the parking lot in Wolverton.

After explicit directions from Indian Guide Mark Goebel, we found that the trees had sprouted golden arrows to guide us on our way. After much chit-chating and groaning we arrived at Pear Lake hut (closed). We set up our tent after a feng shui consultation as to the most desirable orientation and location and set off skiing. We skied the eastern facing slopes in the late afternoon. The snow was not quite consolidated (it had snowed heavily 1 week before) and a bit wet/heavy thus requiring our utmost concentration to prevent those infamous telemark face plants. But, we set tracks we could admire from our tent door.

After a less than gourmet dinner of unadulterated ramen (planned for each night - obviously we need help here - where is Bahram when you need him?), we were snuggled in our bags by 7, and, with no men to do the dishes, we left them. Under the pretense of keeping warm, we ate Snickers bars at midnight (How often can you do that and not feel guilty?). It was light enough to read until 8:30 and while I transported myself back to 14th century England with the Canterbury Tales, Joy read and re read the Sequoia Park paper. She can now recite all the Park rules and regs and the location of each and every bear box within the park. (There is a big hint here!)

Next day we skied to the top of winter Alta (where I could have used a bit of Reiner's testosterone). We traversed the ridge to find more consolidated snow and had a wonderful ski down. Still not satisfied, we skied the slopes behind our tent. The next day, we toured to the Tablelands to have a closer view of the Western Divide. We met 3 scary looking sun-fried guys and a dog from Colorado (I think the guys were from Colorado too) at the end of their Trans-Sierra. I am sure that the pot they were carrying was big enough to stew the dog in case they ran out of food! Meanwhile, back at the Goebel camp, Mark was busy rescuing the frog, lovingly raised from a tadpole to frog kit, from under the dishwasher (which his son had flooded to keep the frog comfortable). Just to give you an idea of things at home with 2 small boys and mom off skiing for the week. Good work Dad! The days were warm and sunny and the nights windy until our departure. A heavy wet pea soup fog lifted from the valley and enveloped the area. Keeping our eyes on the spaces between the trees, we were able to crank turns (really!) to just above the trail at 8000 feet. What fun thru the trees and around the boulders with an almost full, still too heavy pack. We were delayed an hour on the road out of Sequoia because of road construction. And, being hungry and cold, we whipped out the stove had a tailgate party of ...yes, Ramen.


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