OK, please tell me how crazy this idea is. The resort ski season is over, but a group of my friends is thinking of trying to do a backcountry daytrip sometime in May where we try to hike up some summit in the Sierra and then ski down. The problem is that no one had done any real backcountry skiing (I have done it, but I was with a professional guide, so it does not count). All of us are pretty strong resort skiers, who ski a minumum of 30 days per season at Squaw and stay away from the groomers 95% of the time, so handling the skiing part is probably not a problem. Here are my questions:
1. Is there still avalanche danger in the Sierra backcountry in, say, mid-May? None of us has taken the avy class, so we need to make sure that the avalanche danger is minimized. We would still rent beacons (and practice) and probes and shovels, but I would much prefer not having to use them.
2. Do you have any recommended routes that would be safe enough, easy enough and still fun to do. We are all based in the Bay Area and in Tahoe, so something around that area would be great.
3. Obviously, we own a bunch of our own skis in different shapes, sizes and weights, but we do not own any true backcountry gear. Can we rent skins and touring adapters or are we better renting touring skis? I refuse to rent boots, as I feel that poorly fitting boots would actually compromise my safety on the descent. Or will we be better off just carrying the skis on backpacks and hiking up instead of skinning?
Thanks for your advice/opinion/wisdom.