October 31, 2008 Marmot PreCip Pant Gear

Marmot PreCip Pant

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 (more...)...

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October 23, 2008 News

Annual SMS Potluck this Sat

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 (more...)...

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October 16, 2008 Falling Headfirst Down an Ice Cliff Climbing

Falling Headfirst Down an Ice Cliff

Blame it on Chamonix—exposure to the big mountains of the French Alps made a big impression on me. I bought a Charlet-Moser axe and crampons, intending to incorporate the tools in my backcountry skiing when I got home. That axe and crampons stayed in the closet until our local ski area, the Arizona Snow Bowl, (more...)...

Posted in Climbing | 4 Comments
October 10, 2008 North Face NSE Tent Bootie??? Gear

North Face NSE Tent Bootie???

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 (more...)...

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October 5, 2008 Current Conditions

First Snow

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. 🙂 (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments
October 3, 2008 Down Bags: GoreTex vs. Microfiber Gear

Down Bags: GoreTex vs. Microfiber

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 (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 5 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.