February 28, 2008 The Milk Run Skiing

The Milk Run

I’ve been skiing Colorado resorts for some time now, and I often find it hard to explain objectively why I like Telluride so much. Telluride certainly doesn’t have Vail’s snow or massive acreage. By mega-resort standards, it is a small mountain, hard to get to, and at best quirky when it comes to lift placement. (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 2 Comments
February 26, 2008 Black Iron Bowl: Elevation Skiing

Black Iron Bowl: Elevation

We knew a few things before we got here in Telluride. We knew they were having a near-record year for snowfall. I can verify that: today I overheard a ski patrol talking. He said he was going to have to retire—because there was no way things would ever be this good in his lifetime again. (more...)...

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February 24, 2008 Skiing

Telluride Dining Guide

Okay, you’ve made it to Telluride in more or less one piece, you’ve settled into your condo, and if you’re lucky, your luggage will arrive sometime tomorrow. Wondering where the heck to get something to eat? Never fear: here’s our first-ever, somewhat irreverent, certainly non-comprehensive, and hopefully not too libelous guide to fine dinning in (more...)...

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February 20, 2008 Musings

Road Trip

Time for some R&R over here. We’re going to be hitting the road this week and next for a trip to Arizona and Colorado. I’m looking forward to skiing Telluride and checking out the new terrain that’s open off Palmayra Peak. Not sure how much of Palmayra is actually open, but I’m been wishing I (more...)...

Posted in Musings, Skiing | 1 Comment
February 15, 2008 Cucamonga Peak: South Face Skiing

Cucamonga Peak: South Face

Cucamonga Peak has definitely been on my fantasy list for a long time. Who could resist that incredible south face? I ran some numbers on my Topo software, and of all the major Southern California summits, nothing comes close to Cucamonga Peak’s combination of vertical relief and proximity to the city. That was very obvious (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 1 Comment
February 10, 2008 Current Conditions

San Gabriel Backcountry Warning – UPDATE

Travelers in the San Gabriel Mountains should be alert for unusually treacherous icy conditions on all north and shaded aspects (including NE and NW) between approximately 6000 and 8500 feet. I believe what we’re seeing is the top layer of snow that covered the ice crusts from the last storms has melted away, revealing smooth (more...)...

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February 9, 2008 Interlude: the Beach California

Interlude: the Beach

Seven days ago I watched the sun set from Mount San Antonio’s west summit. Tonight, a much lower (and warmer!) perch: Santa Monica Beach, looking out toward the pier. With a bit of a heat spell picking up, temps have shot up, from 70’s at the coast to 80’s inland. Faced with such brutal weather, (more...)...

Posted in California | 0 Comments
February 6, 2008 News

Lost Bay Area Skiers Found

The San Francisco Chronicle reports two missing skiers have been found after they became lost in the backcountry near Alpine Meadows ski resort. Both men are described as experienced adventure skiers, though according to the article, they did not intend to leave the resort on the day they became lost. Weather conditions were particularly foul (more...)...

Posted in News, Skiing | 0 Comments
February 4, 2008 Osprey Talon 44 — Winter Update Gear

Osprey Talon 44 — Winter Update

I liked Osprey’s new Talon 44 backpack enough in summer to want to give it a try in Winter. At an unmatched two pounds, nine ounces, the Talon is Oprey’s lightest multi-day pack, with an innovative frame that easily bests a traditional stay-and-framesheet design in stiffness and load-worthiness. Two pounds nine ounces puts the Talon (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 1 Comment
February 3, 2008 West Baldy Sunset Cruise: Mesmerizing Skiing

West Baldy Sunset Cruise: Mesmerizing

I had big plans this weekend, and they ended as Big Plans often do—by delivering me a big smackdown. Friday I and partner Bill climbed to the summit of West Baldy, camped nearby, and attempted to traverse the ridge down to Iron Mountain, with plans to ski a line on the Peak’s opposite face before (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 3 Comments

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About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.