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Ski touring from the Crane Flat/Yosemite


Has anybody toured the Devil's Dancefloor starting from the crane flat area? The satellite images show a open south-west and south-east facing slopes that stretch down to 5000 ft. mark and lower. The south-west aspects is exposed to the (theoretically) avalanche-prone section, however it is unclear if there is enough snow in the average season to support skiing at this low elevations.

If the mountain is indeed covered in snow, is there a better approach route than from the Crane Flat (the latter is 13.5-15 miles roundtrip and would require a long day, presumably in spring), for example, from the bend in the Big Oak Flat road directly to the south from the summit?

Also, there is a gulch in the Tamarack Creek drainage which is accessible for skiing on the westerly slopes from the summit point at (37.78025, -119.72289), and on the south-south-east facing gully from the 120.  Has anybody tried that, any suggestions?





2 Replies

Hey @Dmitry I have never skied the area, but find that CalTopo is the best online utility for planning skin routes in new areas. It looks like there is a hiking trail just off Big Oak Flat road to the south and you could use that to get to ~5400' and then follow a pretty mellow ridge line to the top.

Screen Shot 2021-11-05 at 2.24.37 PM.jpg

If you enable 'shared cal topo maps', however, it looks like most people approach from the North. Obviously having first hand knowledge of the area would be ideal, but CalTopo is pretty great and the route planning function is useful for getting a sense of the slope angle of your planned approach. 


Hi @PatrickB 

Yes, CalTopo is the amazing tool (I only wish they would add a feature to calculate the alpha angle for the purpose of the avalanche danger evaluation but with some patience and little math it can be accomplished anyway).

There is a good site with the database of the ski tours in the Sierras, which is especially valuable as it shows some less frequented by the public routes, many of those are accessible with cross-country skis. I believe the person behind this site done all of them.

Among other routes there is one with the approach from Crane Flat area along 120

There is no mention of touring the Tamarack creek drainage, but I guess that was outside of the scope of the site.

I guess I'll wait to see what season will bring. 5400 is at the edge of the snow line, but that again depends on the season.