September 29, 2008 The SoCal 8000m Challenge Hiking

The SoCal 8000m Challenge

Jansport apparently issues an annual challenge to its gear retailers: get as many employees as you can to the top of Southern California’s three big peaks (Mt. Baldy, Mount San Jacinto, and San Gorgonio Mountain) in one day. For the uninitiated, that entails a whopping total of 24,000 total vertical feet (more...)...

Posted in Hiking | 2 Comments
September 26, 2008 Health

Sunscreen in a Pill?

For fair-skinned persons like myself, it’s sort of the Holy Grail of sun protection: the concept of a sunscreen that you ingest as a pill rather than slather all over your body. Interestingly enough, one of my parents’ health newsletters is mentioning a product called Heliocare which promises to do exactly that. It’s a pill. (more...)...

Posted in Health | 2 Comments
September 19, 2008 What Lies Beneath Gear

What Lies Beneath

One of the things I didn’t mention about my recent Pacific Crest Trail hike was that I froze my butt off at night. At first, I was convinced the problem was the sleeping bag I’d chosen: Marmot’s 30° Hydrogen. Since it was mid-August, I was anticipating temperatures to be mild. Instead, overnight lows dipped down (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 1 Comment
September 16, 2008 Health

BPA Study links exposure, health effects

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a study has linked BPA exposure to health issues in humans. Here you Go… (more...)...

Posted in Health, Science | 0 Comments
September 15, 2008 MSR Hyperflow Gear

MSR Hyperflow

With its various parts and configurations, MSR’s Hyperflow Microfilter weighs between roughly 7.6 and 9.9 ounces total. Go with the higher number—leaving parts at home (such as the Nalgene bottle adapter or even the carrying sack) is not recommended. That makes the Hyperflow roughly two and a half ounces lighter than my current pump/filter darling (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 2 Comments
September 14, 2008 PCT: Onion Valley to Cottonwood Pass Hiking

PCT: Onion Valley to Cottonwood Pass

Horseshoe Meadow, California — I take one last look inside my car, checking to be sure nothing will appeal to the bears, and then I lock the doors. It feels kind of spooky as my hiking partner Bill drives us back down Horseshoe Meadows Road in his truck, heading east to Highway 395, then north (more...)...

Posted in Hiking | 12 Comments
September 5, 2008 God, I Love the Smell of HDPE in the Morning… Gear

God, I Love the Smell of HDPE in the Morning…

Among the more esoteric search topics that bring visitors to SierraDescents is the question of the scent of HDPE water bottles. Do HDPE water bottles really smell bad, people wonder? Or was that just a marketing pitch started by the creators of Lexan? Here at the world-renowned SierraDescents Institute for Plastic Odor Research (SIPOR), I (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 4 Comments
September 4, 2008 Jetboil PCS Gear

Jetboil PCS

Rarely does gear prove to be such a complete home run as Jetboil’s Personal Cooking System (PCS) canister stove. The only conceivable knock on the Jetboil is its potentially-alarming 15-ounce weight. That may sound a bit startling if you’re used to the 2.5 ounce posted weights of stoves like Snow Peak’s GigaPower or my Coleman (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 0 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.