- Michael Sentovich submitted the following story about the backcountry trip he and his family took with Glen and Kimberly Plake earlier this spring. Photography by Miles Weaver, milesweaverphoto.com
Our family had a lifetime memorable experience in the Sierra Nevada backcountry climbing Little Morrison with Hall of Fame extreme skier/ freestyler Glen Plake and wife Kimberly. We were so appreciative of their huge effort to make this a successful and immensely enjoyable family trip. So how is it that we had this terrific opportunity? Glen and Kimberly are wonderful people who like to give back to the sport and community and in this case, the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation which supports education, athletic and civic responsibility . Glen donated this guided trip and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bid on it to have a life-time experience with my kids Nikolina (age 12) and Michael (age 9) in support of the Foundation. Glen and Kimberly introduced us to a wonderful new world of alpine touring with Glen’s world class guiding and Kimberly’s engaging coaching and encouragement to get our young team up the mountain. Nikolina and Michael are probably now some of youngest skiers to climb Little Morrison. HUGE thank you to Glen and Kimberly for this most memorable experience!! And thank you Miles Weaver for these great shots! To get our ready for our first ever alpine touring experience, Glen rigged us up with a top-of-the-line ultralight set up with Elan Alpine Touring skis, Roxa boots and Plum bindings. We skied a couple days on Mammoth to get used to the new equipment. While riding the gondola to the top of the mountain on one of the days, we pulled in at mid mountain to let a couple more people into our car. As total luck would have, 2 boys from Nikolina’s small 6th grade class in Newport Beach pile in. Nikolina gives a cool nod of the head toward Glen and Kimberly to point out who she was skiing with. What bragging rights for a 6th grader!
On the big day, we met at Convict Lake at 5:15AM in the dark. It was a beautiful starting out at 5:45AM
as the first light was hitting Laurel Mountain.
After a short boot hike, we skinned up the skis and started the ascent
Our path opened into a beautiful bowl. We could see the top of Little Morrison, our destination for the
day. If we had done Mt Morrison, we would have kept going straight rather than veering right. There
were a lot of slides on Mt Morrison the day before due to the recent heavy snowfall so we opted for
Little Morrison which was perfect for us
Getting close to the saddle after counting about 30 switch backs in French with Kimberly. Michael was
giving it all the energy he had left after 4 hours of skinning.
After about a 2800 ft ascent, we enjoyed a yummy lunch gazing at the view of Mt Morrison. We
watched a slide in one of the chutes
Glen showing Michael some of the surrounding peaks and other areas in the backcountry that he has
Getting ready to put crampons on for the final climb
Geared up with crampons, ice axe and ropes for final ascent
We summitted at about 11,000 ft after a 3150 foot climb!
Skiing down the top section. Magnificent view of Mt Morrison over our left shoulder.
In the top section skiing down Little Morrison, there was a short “No Fall” zone so Glen took extra
precautions and roped up Michael. It was impressive to see how Glen managed this.
Enjoying the skiing and fantastic views!
Enjoying skiing down the huge bowl in spring snow
Spectacular to ski over this ridge and see on Convict Lake below us. A great day in the backcountry
coming to an end.
Looking back on our accomplishment. With the great day we had, we will be looking forward to getting
back out with Sierra Mountain Guides to explore of the beautiful eastern Sierra backcountry and the
new world that Glen and Kimberly introduced us too!
As if our day wasn’t full enough, we then headed to the top of Mammoth Mountain for a Top of World
Sleepover with ski team friends. Again, a lot fun in support of Mammoth Mountain Community