January 30, 2009 Current Conditions

Winter Back on Vacation

Well that didn’t last long! Long range forecasts suggest a return to our non-winter winter: warm and dry. Conditionally locally look pretty bleak. I haven’t heard of anyone finding good snow in the SoCal mountains. It may be getting difficult to find snow at all. I was hoping to drive up to the Gabriels to (more...)...

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January 24, 2009 Current Conditions

Winter Returns?

A solid 24 hours of rain in the basin have produced…absolutely nothing in the local mountains. That looks to be the case after browsing the sites of Mount Baldy, Mountain High, and Snow Summit ski resorts. Why no snow? We didn’t even bother to turn on our heater during this storm. Temperatures were unnaturally warm, (more...)...

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January 16, 2009 On the Beach Current Conditions

On the Beach

Well, after last weekend’s adventure, I figured I’d take some time off from skiing the backcountry. Sue at ESAC reports marginal conditions. Apparently the Sierra is on track to set its third driest January on record. Didn’t we just go through all of this a year ago? Once again, we’re stuck with ice and a (more...)...

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January 13, 2009 Mount Harwood — Northeast Ridge Skiing

Mount Harwood — Northeast Ridge

My first official trip report of the winter season is a bittersweet one. In fairness it might be best to call this a climbing trip report, rather than skiing—though we did bring skis. I sometimes think Southern California Ski Mountaineering is a sport unto itself. This adventure did nothing to dissuade me of that notion. (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 10 Comments
January 9, 2009 The Ski Pole Belay Tips & Technique

The Ski Pole Belay

Over the years I’ve learned a few tricks and tips that can make life a little easier in the backcountry. I’ve been doing some of these so long they seem obvious to me, but they may be a secret to you, so I thought I’d share a few. Here’s one I call the “Ski Pole (more...)...

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January 5, 2009 Skiing

Skiing Baldy Bowl

At Manker Flat Ski Hut Trail Baldy Bowl & Chutes Ontario Peak & LA Basin Climbing Baldy Bowl Mini Slab Descending in Fog Bill Skiing the Bowl The Author 5:30 a.m. I’m up before the alarm clock and out of the house, hitting I-10 east to Mountain Avenue and Mount Baldy, the nearest of the (more...)...

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January 2, 2009 Mountain Hardwear Typhoon Gear

Mountain Hardwear Typhoon

The Typhoon Jacket is yet another of those affordable ambiguously technical rain shells that are fast becoming today’s bestsellers. Similar to the North Face Venture Jacket and Marmot’s PreCip Jacket, the Typhoon is the only one of the bunch to offer high-end Gore-Tex PacLite fabric (more…) (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.