November 26, 2008 Musings

Happy T-Day!

Happy Thankgiving everyone! Looks like we’ve finally got our first official winter storm of the season in the Southland Mountains. Mount Baldy says they got 2-6″ of snow. Up north, Mammoth reports a modest 5″ new on an admittedly meager base—but at least they’re open! Ski Dazzle Los Angeles is Dec 4-7 at the Convention (more...)...

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November 22, 2008 The Market & Me News

The Market & Me

My apologies for the lack of new content this week. I’ve been busy watching my personal fortune evaporate in the stock market. While I would never argue that what has been happening at the NYSE is in any way good, it has been most educational. The financial crisis has motivated me to learn more about (more...)...

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November 16, 2008 Smoke at Sunrise Current Conditions

Smoke at Sunrise

Here’s a look at the sunrise from near our home this morning: that’s a lot of smoke. The Yorba Linda/Anaheim area fires are about sixty miles east of us, which gives a sense of just how smoky the Los Angeles Basin is this morning. And, when I turn and look to the west, the sky (more...)...

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November 15, 2008 Renaming North Pal California

Renaming North Pal

The Los Angeles Times has an article on efforts to rename North Palisade as “Brower Palisade.” With an elevation of 14,242′, North Pal is California’s fourth-highest mountain and the Sierra’s signature mountaineering objective—Whitney nothwithstanding (more...)...

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November 8, 2008 TNF Apex Bionic Gear

TNF Apex Bionic

North Face’s Apex Bionic Jacket combines the best qualities of Windstopperâ„¢ fleece and a stretchy soft shell in one trim package. The Apex Bionic practically jumps out of the box when it comes to applications like downhill skiing, snowboarding, or cold-weather backcountry skiing, hiking, and climbing. This is a performance blockbuster and a Windstopper-killer. North (more...)...

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November 7, 2008 Skiing

Backcountry Mag vs. Davenport

Well…not exactly, but if you did happen to catch the cover on the November ’08 Backcountry Magazine, you’ll see the provocative headline, “New Heights or New Hype: Freeski Mountaineer Chris Davenport.” The feature article inside doesn’t exactly stake out a bold position on the subject, but it does ask the intriguing question, is Chris Davenport (more...)...

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November 4, 2008 Marmot PreCip Jacket Gear

Marmot PreCip Jacket

Marmot calls the PreCip Jacket ‘full-function value-added rainwear.’ Given the PreCip’s bargain price, the value is easy to see. As to the question of function, the PreCip is a seam-taped waterproof/breathable shell that sits (like TNF’s excellent Venture Jacket) somewhat ambiguously between plain nylon rain gear and technical outerwear. Compared to the Venture Jacket, the (more...)...

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November 3, 2008 California

Proposition 8: NO

For the past few days I’ve debating whether or not to make any personal endorsements for the upcoming election. This is, after all, a mountaineering website, and with all the competing campaign messages bombarding us, it’s been nice to keep SierraDescents as a sort of non-political safe haven (illusory or not). That is, until I (more...)...

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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.

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