Outdoor column stirs memories of the Sierra | SummitDaily.com

Outdoor column stirs memories of the Sierra

Matt Krane, Breckenridge

I read with great interest, salivating, actually, your “Out In It” writer’s memoirs from her and the Mr.’s recent road trip to the eastern Sierra (SDN, June 20).Ellen Hollinshead is absolutely right about the daunting vertical. Few peaks in Colorado come close.If you ever catch a rerun of Clint Eastwood’s schlock-western “Joe Kidd,” much of it is filmed outside of Lone Pine in the Alabama Hills with the Mount Whitney group in the background. It’s unmistakable. There’s 11,000 vertical feet staring you in the face!John Moynier is a Sierra classic and Ms. Hollinshead found the right guidebook. Sounds like she found some of the greatest turns of her life.I lived in Mammoth Lakes in the late 1970s, and with the advice of Moynier and companionship of Alan Bard and Tom Carter, we made a great many corn snow outings off Mount Morrison, Bloody Mount Couloir, the Mammoth Crest and points north to Bridgeport.Regarding “class 5” experiences, besides three days in the truck with her spouse, I would highly recommend volunteering to teach survival skiing to the young recruits stationed at the Marine’s Mountain Warfare Training Center at Twin Lakes outside of Bridgeport.All of us did, including grizzled back country veteran David Beck (he surveyed Mineral King for the proposed Disney resort in the 1960s).Equipment might be a shade better now. Then, they were issued “white lightning” skis, a beartrap binding and arctic snowboots.We were truly pressed into service, but one thing I would not do was pop a dislocated knee back into place; his sergeant took care of that.If I could have been a fly on the wall of your writer’s camper shell, I probably would have fallen over too at the first sight of the peaks looming above Tioga Pass. Thanks to Ellen for writing outside the box and ramping up a seldom-visited memory bank.

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