Ten Turn Hill and Rusty's Ridge


Summary

Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced or
3 Intermediate for Rusty's Ridge only
Length 6.4 miles round trip or 4.4 miles round trip for Rusty's Ridge only
Starting
Elevation
7600 feet
Cumulative
Elevation
Change
+2300, -2300 feet round trip or +1400, 1400 feet round trip for Rusty's Ridge only
Navigation Map and compass
Time Most of a day or half day for Rusty's Ridge only
Season Mid-December through late April
Snowmobiles Low
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Tragedy Spring, Bear River Reservoir
Start Shot Rock Vista on Highway 88, 0.8 mile east of Mormon Emigrant Trail and 3.4 miles west of Tragedy Spring.


Description

Ten Turn Hill and Rusty's Ridge is a tour for those looking to make turns on relatively steep terrain. Ten Turn Hill steepens as you descend 900 feet while Rusty's Ridge offers 750 feet of continuous, but more modest gradient.

Image of skier at top of Ten Turn Hill
Top of Ten Turn Hill

Exhilaration on Ten Turn Hill
Image of lower part of Ten Turn Hill
Bottom of Ten Turn Hill

Being there at the right time is key to a great ski here; it's a matter of watching the weather and understanding how it affects the conditions.

The orientation of the two slopes make corn-snow conditions ideal for this route. Ten Turn Hill faces due south so powder is elusive and Rusty's Ridge faces northwest. Plan to hit this area after a warm spell or in spring when the snow is consolidated. You will find Ten Turn Hill thawed in the early part of the day and Rusty's Ridge thawed in the afternoon. Don't go too late in the spring or else you will find Ten Turn Hill melted down to granite.

There is also a 450-foot descent at the very start of the tour that faces south. Unfortunately you will probably be descending this in the morning before it thaws. Oh well, no pain, no gain.

These two descents were named by locals who live in the area. While on the ridge top overlooking Bear River during a scouting trip, Chris looked down the hill and said to Dallas, "this looks good, I'll just make ten turns." Shortly they were at the bottom reveling in exhilaration and Ten Turn Hill got its name.

Chris and Dallas named the Rusty Ridge decent after their dog Rusty who was there constant companion for many years of skiing here.

For those who want to ski Rusty's Ridge, but not Ten Turn Hill, it is only 4.4 miles by this route or it can be reached via the Shot Rock to Bear River tour.

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.1
Elevation change: Nil

From the trailhead (1) ski east on the snow-covered road for 0.1 mile until you reach Shot Rock Vista (2). A small building containing a toilet will likely be visible at the vista point.

Miles: 0.1 - 0.7
Elevation change: -450 feet

Descend the open slope slightly east of south for 0.6 mile until you reach a small creek (3). As you approach the creek you ski between two very small knobs before entering trees where the creek is located. This is the best location to cross the creek.

Miles: 0.7 - 1.0
Elevation change: Nil

Cross the creek, exit the trees near the creek and then ski southeast for 0.3 mile until you reach Tragedy Creek (4).

Miles: 1.0 - 1.4
Elevation change: +500, -50 feet

Ascend a ridge to the southeast for 0.4 mile until you reach Peak 7630 (5).

Miles: 1.4 - 2.1
Elevation change: +350 feet

Ski slightly east of south for 0.7 mile until you reach the south edge of a plateau (6) where the terrain begins to fall-off. You are now at the top of Ten Turn Hill.


Mokelumne Peak from plateau

Miles: 2.1 - 2.6
Elevation change: -900 feet

Descend southeast for 0.5 mile until you reach the Bear River (7). To bypass Ten Turn Hill and descend Rusty's Ridge, ski southwest along the ridge from mileage point 6 for 0.2 mile until you reach the southwest end of the plateau (10) and continue following the route described from mile 4.3.

Image looking down on Bear River
Looking down on Bear River
Image of Bear River
Bear River

Miles: 2.6 - 3.1
Elevation change: +250 feet

Ascend east along the north side of Bear River for 0.5 mile until you reach a location where you can ascend to the northwest (8).

Miles: 3.1 - 3.7
Elevation change: +600 feet

Ascend northwest for 0.6 mile until you reach the edge of a plateau (9).

Miles: 3.7 - 4.3
Elevation change: +50 feet

Ski southwest for 0.6 mile until you reach the southwest end of the plateau (10). From here you have a wonderful view of Bear River and Lower Bear River reservoirs.

Image of Bear River and Lower Bear River reservoirs
Bear River and Lower Bear River reservoirs

Miles: 4.3 - 4.8
Elevation change: -750 feet

Descend the barren slope to the northwest for 0.5 mile until you reach the location where the gradient lessens and you see a passable route north (11). As you descend you should stay to the right of the trees that correspond to a minor drainage.


End of a great descent. Courtesy of D. Vaughn.

Miles: 4.8 - 5.2
Elevation change: -100 feet

Ski north for 0.4 mile until you reach Tragedy Creek (12).

Miles: 5.2 - 5.7
Elevation change: +50 feet

Ski north, passing to the east (right) of a small knob, for 0.5 mile until you reach the small creek (3) that you crossed at the beginning of the tour.

Miles: 5.7 - 6.4
Elevation change: +450 feet

Retrace the route for 0.7 mile back to the trailhead (1).

Elevation Profile
Elevation profile
Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
Link to see and submit reviews and corrections about tour