July 29, 2008 Skiing

North Peak…Skiing…July?

I was browsing the message boards at thebackcountry.net when I happened to see a new “North Peak” post. I clicked on it, thinking someone had posted a climbing trip report (North Peak’s North Couloir is a classic Sierra Ice Climb in summer). Surprise: this wasn’t a climbing TR: it was a Sierra ski report—in July! (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 1 Comment
July 27, 2008 News

SierraJournal.com Debuts

One of the blogs I enjoy reading on a regular basis is SierraJournal.com, run by Matthew DiPietro, a Bay Area tech and communications specialist. Matt seems to have a knack for finding interesting and news-worthy backcountry tidbits to write about, and does a far better job staying on topic than I ever could (more...)...

Posted in News | 1 Comment
July 19, 2008 Film & Television

The Wall-e Review

I envy those who went to see Wall-e without knowing anything in advance about the film. By now, word has spread about Disney/Pixar’s new animated picture. You’ve probably heard at least one critic claim the film is brilliant. You’re probably heard at least one so-called “Conservative” voice claim the film represents the worst of Liberal (more...)...

Posted in Film & Television | 0 Comments
July 18, 2008 Vasque Breeze GTX Gear

Vasque Breeze GTX

At two pounds, nine ounces per pair, the Vasque Breeze GTX qualifies as a light hiking boot—but don’t think that means they’re not durable. This is the boot I used to hike and ski Mt. Williamson’s West Horn, a tour-de-force of gear-wrecking savagery involving 2500 vertical feet of dry off-trail scrambling (with skis and overnight (more...)...

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July 16, 2008 La Sportiva Trango S EVO Gear

La Sportiva Trango S EVO

La Sportiva’s Trango S EVO GTX Alpine Mountaineering boot delivers a mighty punch of versatility and performance. What truly makes the Trango S EVO special, however, is its outstanding out-of-the-box fit. The Trango EVO GTX seems to fit like a running shoe when you first try it on. Even without a break-in period, I found (more...)...

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July 16, 2008 Current Conditions

Whitney Fish Hatchery Destroyed

More storm news from the Eastern Sierra. Looks like last year’s fires were a factor in this. The mudslide occurred over fire-blackened land. (more...)...

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July 15, 2008 Current Conditions

Whitney Weather: Storms & Closed Roads

Sounds like it was a wild weekend in the Whitney Portal region, with heavy storms closing the portal road (due to mudslides) and even Highway 395 (which remains closed at Independence – detour available). Posters on the Whitney Portal Store Forums have a thread going which talks about the conditions. Sounds like a lot of (more...)...

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July 11, 2008 Teeth of Steel: Sabretooth Crampon Gear

Teeth of Steel: Sabretooth Crampon

Black Diamond calls the Sabretooth their most versatile crampon, suitable for travel from Denali to Ouray and everywhere in between. The Sabretooth is an aggressive 12-point steel crampon capable of getting you across a glacier and up a mixed route. While the Sabretooth is a climbing crampon first and foremost, it is also a competent (more...)...

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July 11, 2008 LPP’s Northeast Face: Another Look Current Conditions

LPP’s Northeast Face: Another Look

When I skied Lone Pine Peak’s East Couloir this spring, I didn’t get a chance to take any scouting photos of the Northeast Face in its entirety. Here’s a recent shot of the face from near Independence, showing the entire face and drainage right down to the desert—all 6500 vertical feet of it. Looking at (more...)...

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July 10, 2008 Axes I Have Known: BD Venom Gear

Axes I Have Known: BD Venom

Every now and then a piece of gear comes along that changes the paradigm. Such is the case with Black Diamond’s Venom ice axe. The Venom directly addresses the dilemma of having to choose between a general mountaineering axe and a technical ice tool. An all-around mountaineering axe will be used for many tasks, including (more...)...

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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.