December 11, 2014

It’s Coming In Warm…(UPDATED)

It's Coming In Warm...(UPDATED)

Good news, bad news again from the west coast: indications are we’re on the cusp of seeing a major winter storm hit California, perhaps the most significant storm of the past several years. Also good: indications are that we have an authentic storm track pattern setting in, in which a number of storms—not just one and done—are en route (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

December 7, 2014

Snow, Rain, & Mesh Canopies

Snow, Rain, & Mesh Canopies

The good news is it’s early December and there is skiing in Southern California. The bad news is last week’s heavy rain did exactly what you’d expect to the local resorts’ man-made snow: it hammered it. In the space of a week we’ve gone from pretty good inbounds skiing to disturbingly-familiar, just-barely-hanging-on ribbons of coverage (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments

November 27, 2014

Summit Opens

Summit Opens

Skis touch snow once again and I say AAHHH it feels good. Opening day 2014: once again I am in awe of Snow Summit’s snowmaking capability. We drove past an utterly bare Snow Valley (my 5-year-old called it “dead”) and I began to worry, but Summit with its higher base elevation and its bountiful lake water had created a fully-covered top-to-bottom Miracle Mile for us (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

November 23, 2014

Backcountry Skiing Returns…

Backcountry Skiing Returns...

Dan Mingori & Nate Greenberg have just released the 2nd edition of their backcountry skiing guidebook, ‘Backcountry Skiing California’s Eastern Sierra,’ and it is a substantial update. You can read my review of their original 2008 edition here; the 2014 release happily keeps all the original material (with minor tweaks), and adds coverage of (more…)

Posted in Books | 1 Comment

November 13, 2014

Black Diamond Carbon Convert

Black Diamond Carbon Convert

If you ask me, Black Diamond has been victimized, to an extent, by the very same perfect powder that makes Utah skiing so famous. Skis tuned to perform in that incomparable Wasatch snow just don’t tend to translate as well in other, less amenable climates. For that reason, reviewing Black Diamond skis always makes me anxious. They’re a great ski company, no question…but they just don’t seem (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

November 12, 2014

La Sportiva Vapor Nano

La Sportiva Vapor Nano

If you want a ski with lots of surface area and very, very little weight, La Sportiva presents the aptly-named Vapor Nano: 103mm underfoot and 5.29lbs per pair (spec). The Vapor Nano is a carbon fiber ski, and an expensive one at that, featuring what Sportiva calls “Nanotube” construction, a nano-ish technology designed to deliver torsional rigidity at the lowest possible weight (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

November 4, 2014

Lange RS 130: Liner Updates Make a Difference

Lange RS 130: Liner Updates Make a Difference

Lange has been making the RS-130 for so long and for so well it seems almost presumptuous to review it. This is the boot for citizen racing and elite frontside performance. Still, there’s an update for the 2014-2015 season, and while modest, it is consequential. First, the skier: you’re a racer. Lange makes a number of fantastic boots for those who’ve never run a course, but the RS really is a racing boot (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

November 3, 2014

Pumpkins, Snow, & Rainbows

Pumpkins, Snow, & Rainbows

Are we not overdue? Depending on how you see the glass, we have now gone three years in a row without a true Sierra winter. Three years! It seems like a lifetime. Throughout this summer I have avoided all news of warmer ocean temperatures and shifting patterns and currents because my poor heart simply can’t stand any more disappointment (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment

October 30, 2014

Dynafit Huascaran

Dynafit Huascaran

Dynafit’s Huascaran took me completely by surprise. With the Huascaran we know we’re getting a light ski, but who could have expected how solid it is? Skiing the Huascaran in-bounds at Copper Mountain, I got no sense I was on an underweight touring plank. To the contrary, the ski seemed right at home across a variety of frontside conditions, demonstrating a smooth, playful character (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

October 28, 2014

Fly Creek Platinum vs Hubba NX Solo

Fly Creek Platinum vs Hubba NX Solo

Here are two interesting tents with very different approaches to the challenge of building a viable solo shelter. The overriding ethic of Big Agnes’ Fly Creek Platinum 1 is “make it light!” MSR’s Hubba NX Solo, on the other hand, comes at the problem more from the angle of “make it right!” (more…)

Posted in Gear | 5 Comments

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