Wingwalkers: The Story of California's Redline Traverse


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There’s a range in America’s most populous state that’s hemmed in by desert and people. Each year, millions come to California's Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to collectively attempt to climb Mt. Whitney or ogle Yosemite’s Half Dome or ski at Mammoth or hike the John Muir Trail. In the spring of 2016, Adam Howard, Craig Dostie and John and Tyson Hausdoerffer came here for a different reason: To ski some of the famed Redline Traverse, first pioneered in the early ’80s. Summits here tower 10,000 feet above the Owens Valley to the east, and it’s arguably on this granite and snow where both American ski mountaineering and long-distance ski touring were born. The mountain objectives and gear have changed a lot in the century since the first snow surveyors plotted these hills. But a few things have stayed the same: It’s still breathtakingly high; it can get insanely deep; and, from October to May, there’s no one here. Wingwalkers is part of that story published in Backcountry Magazine, Spring 2017; written by Adam Howard, read by Matt Richardson.

This episode of the Backcountry Podcast is brought to you by Minus33.

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