Officially, Marmot’s PreCip Pants are listed as rainwear, but that hasn’t stopped them for becoming one of my favorite hard shell pants for all-around use. I wanted a lightweight waterproof/breathable shell pant suitable for fair-weather summit assaults and spring skiing. The full-zip PreCip pant seemed ideal, though I was concerned about its durability. Still, at this price point (more…)
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REI Santa Monica has a monthly offering of free courses and clinics (and some fee-based programs as well).
On 11/12 there’s a free Snow Camping clinic which sounds interesting. I haven’t attended one of these myself, but I’d bet you’d get at least a few useful tidbits of info.
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What better way is there to remind yourself you’re a year older than to go check out the latest Teton Gravity Research Film?
Under the Influence features this season’s crop of attractive young hipsters doing all those crazy things on skis and snowboards you used to imagine you could do—set, of course, to a rousing rebellious soundtrack.
Influence has a gaggle of California tour dates, with SoCal showings including Pasadena – 10/29 (yes, that’s tonight); Mammoth – 11/14; Claremont -11/21; and Big Bear Lakes – 11/29.
Keep an eye out for a TBA Los Angeles date—hopefully somewhere near the Westside.
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The Ski Mountaineer’s Section of the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter is holding its annual potluck get together this Saturday, October 25th at 5 p.m.
If you’ve never heard of the SMS, it was founded way back in 1934(!) — compelling evidence that Los Angeles and the Southern California mountains have a rich tradition of backcountry sking. The SMS remains active today (though perhaps not so much as in its glory days), organizing regular meetings and ski trips into the local backcountry, as well as throughout the Sierra.
SMS also offers leadership courses, in case you’re interested in organizing trips of your own. I’ve found the group to be informal and friendly—and they do get out there when it comes to skiing. If you’re in SoCal and you’re interested in finding mentors, or just partners to ski with, this is a great resource (I’d join myself, if I wasn’t a reclusive exhausted grinch).
For more information on the potluck and this year’s events calendar, see the Ski Mountaineer’s Website.
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The Goat has the report.
(I’m holding out for a Lightsaber.)
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I was reading Andrew McLean’s latest article in Backcountry Magazine, in which he hawks the advantages of using Black Diamond Whippets instead of an ice axe for ski mountaineering.
Noting an axe and crampons can allow you to climb nearly anything, McLean makes the interesting observation that Whippets can serve as a Voice-of-Reason for overly ambitious ski mountaineers:
If it’s too hard to climb with Whippets, says Andrew, maybe you should come back with a rope. Or ski something else that day.
Reading that made me immediately recall my first-ever experience climbing with an axe and crampons, which happened to be solo on Core Ridge’s north face in the San Francisco Peaks’ Inner Basin. Did I get in over my head that day? You betcha! Amusingly enough, I wrote about the experience for SierraDescents, but that feature got lost when I migrated to the new Word Press system, so I’ve reincarnated it here: (more…)
Posted in Climbing, Skiing | 2 Comments
Really the big disadvantage with these is all the taunting you’ll have to endure from your friends. If you can take it, however, the North Face’s 700-fill down NSE Tent Bootie offers several tempting advantages. For a long time, I’ve struggled with the issue of what to wear around camp while ski mountaineering. Basically, you’ve got to get your ski boots off so you can dry out the liners and the shells (more…)
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Mammoth Mountain reports a few inches of snow over the weekend. Gloomy skies dominated the Southland yesterday as the front passed through, bringing snow to the Sierra and possibly a dusting on the local mountains as well. Winter’s coming—and I’m ready for it.
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I got an email the other day from a Sierra mountaineer who was wondering what the pros and cons were of getting a down sleeping bag with a GoreTex Shell versus microfiber. GoreTex, of course, is the famous waterproof-breathable membrane that dominates the outdoor clothing industry. Microfiber, or its relatives, refers to the standard nylon or polyester sleeping bag exterior (more…)
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The Los Angeles Times is reporting Steve Fossett’s plane has been found in the mountains near Mammoth Lakes, California.
Billionaire Adventurer Steve Fossett disappeared back in September 2007 while flying solo. The subsequent search for Fossett was among the largest and most expensive in U.S. history. When the search turned up empty, speculation began that Fossett had faked his disappearance. Some people argued it was impossible for a plane to simply disappear—despite the fact that Fossett hadn’t left a flight plan, leaving authorities with a nearly unlimited area to search.
The discovery of Fossett’s plane was precipitated by a Mammoth ski shop owner, Preston Morrow, who found Fossett’s wallet while hiking in Red’s Meadow in the Inyo National Forest.
That find soon led searchers to the wreckage of the plane, as well as human remains, which have been sent to a lab for forensic identification.
According to the AP, there were large storm clouds over the Mammoth Area on the day Fossett disappeared, suggesting the possibility that foul weather may have been responsible for the crash.