All Time – Sierra Nevada Backcountry

Chris Benchetler and Wingate Motion head up to the couloir-filled backcountry above Bishop, California

With the Sierra Nevada snowpack measuring 115 percent of normal, thanks in large part to El Niño, the vast backcountry is finally in shape for skiers to head out and up and down Eastern Sierra classics.

On Friday, January 29, Chris Benchetler and Wingate Motion did just that, pointing it south from their Mammoth homes to Bishop, California, where Benchetler was born. There they bouldered around the Buttermilks before heading on up to toward the Wahoo Gullies. The crew hiked the center gully to the top of 12,634-foot Mount Locke before skiing 3,000 feet of pure bliss down the northeast-facing couloir. Truly, an all-time day in the Eastern Sierra backcountry, allowing, for a brief bit, the crew to forget about the severe drought the last four years.

Now another Pacific storm has hammered the Sierra, bringing the storm total to anywhere from 36 to 51 inches at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Check back for another All Time edit—this one of the deep powder variety—later this week.

Check out more of Wingate Motion’s work on their Instagram @wingatemotion or check out their stunning 2016 Vimeo Reel.

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