February 27, 2009 Skiing

Gold Hill No. 9

Backcountry Access Hiking the Ridge San Joaquin Couloir Gold 9’s Access Gate Looking Down the Chute Skiing the Upper Chute Lower Gold 10 & Patrol Gold Hill Chutes 6-10 9:44 am atop Telluride, elevation 12,570′. A cold wind blasts across the ridge as my brother and I hop off the Revelation Lift and check the (more...)...

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February 22, 2009 Skiing


Revelation Bowl Telluride GS Boards Today Chair 9 It feels like Europe says my brother. We are traversing into Telluride’s newest terrain addition: Revelation Bowl. And yes, I think to myself, that’s exactly what this is like. With its striking, high altitude bowl, steep, wind-hardened snow, and views of technical terrain in every direction, Revelation (more...)...

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February 21, 2009 San Francisco Peaks - Abineau Canyon Current Conditions

San Francisco Peaks – Abineau Canyon

If there’s a prettier mountain in the world, I don’t want to know about it. Here’s my hometown mountain, the San Francisco Peaks (Arizona’s high point), as seen from the north. The prominent snowfield off the main summit, with its three fingers, is Abineau Canyon—certainly one of the biggest, most aesthetic backcountry ski descents in (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment
February 19, 2009 Snow Camping - Sleeping Pad Comparison Gear

Snow Camping – Sleeping Pad Comparison

We’re here in Flagstaff, AZ, en route to Colorado for our annual family ski vacation, and I’ve got my tent set up in my parents’ yard. No—it’s not that my folks are driving me crazy. With overnight lows an invigorating 8° and two to three feet of snow all around, I thought now would be (more...)...

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February 17, 2009 News

Level I Avalanche Course in SoCal

Avalanche professional Jeff Pierce will be teaching a Level I avalanche course in the Southern California region next week, with classroom work scheduled for 7-10 p.m. February 24 and 26, and in-the-field work on Feb 28 and March 1 at Mount Waterman. Price including lift ticket is only $200. According to Jeff, the course will (more...)...

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February 15, 2009 Baldy Bowl - Hourglass Chute Skiing

Baldy Bowl – Hourglass Chute

Maybe Yes Maybe No was kind of the theme today. I was looking for an excuse to stay home, but with our ever-changing forecast pushing the expected storm one more day yet again, I figured Mount San Antonio’s Baldy Bowl had had time to stabilize, so why not go tromp around in the snow and (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 9 Comments
February 9, 2009 San Jacinto Peak: East Face Skiing

San Jacinto Peak: East Face

Can this possibly be Southern California backcountry skiing? YES!!! (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 11 Comments
February 7, 2009 Current Conditions


It feels like the SoCal ski season just got a last-minute governor’s reprieve. As of Saturday morning, this series of storms has left a reported 36″ of new snow at Mt. Baldy Ski resort, 18-24″ at Mountain High, and 10″ in the Southern Sierra. Be aware that much of this snow fell on bare ground (more...)...

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February 4, 2009 Mingori-Greenberg: “Backcountry Skiing” Books

Mingori-Greenberg: “Backcountry Skiing”

Mammoth Lakes climber/photographer Dan Mingori and Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center co-founder Nate Greenberg have released a new backcountry skiing guidebook, Backcountry Skiing California’s Eastern Sierra. Backcountry Skiing limits its coverage (mostly) to the Mammoth regions, but oh what coverage it is (more...)...

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February 2, 2009 Snow, Part II: Jepson Peak Current Conditions

Snow, Part II: Jepson Peak

Well, while I’ve been wallowing in despair over the lack of snow in the local mountains, some of you have apparently been going out and skiing, which is admittedly overall a better way to spend your time. SoCal skier Brad H. was kind enough to send in a photo of Jepson Peak, in the San (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 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.