August 27, 2009 Mt. Whitney Climbing

Mt. Whitney’s East Face

When I close my eyes I see granite. Gray-white blocks angle sharply beneath my feet, plunging downward past my rubber-tipped toes. I press my back against a wall of rock as if I could somehow dissolve myself into the mountain. Everything feels like it’s moving—the rock, the ground, the air—all conspiring together, pushing me toward (more...)...

Posted in Climbing | 5 Comments
August 24, 2009 Sigg Gear

Sigg’s BPA Deception

As of August 2009, Sigg has revealed that the secret ingredient in their top-secret formula was, in fact, BPA. SierraDescents’ position on BPA in water bottles has (hopefully) been clear: since good alternatives exist, I see no reason to use containers where BPA is present, and no need to get into endless arguments about just (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 5 Comments
August 16, 2009 The Fresh Air Traverse Video

The Fresh Air Traverse

Mount Whitney’s East Face is perhaps the classic Alpine climbing route in the Sierra, featuring an otherworldly mix of moderate climbing and breathtaking exposure. I had wanted to climb the East Face from the moment I first summited Whitney—but at the time it seemed like a dream that would permanently remain unfulfilled. Last weekend, I (more...)...

Posted in Video | 8 Comments
August 7, 2009 Climbing

Off to Whitney…

Off to Whitney to try to redo a climb that got canceled last June when a surprise snowstorm blew in over the Sierra. This time looks like a go. I’ll be carrying a record number of cameras for the trip, including two HD video cams (three if you count my new D5000), so I hope (more...)...

Posted in Climbing | 2 Comments
August 5, 2009 Health

New Yorker on SPF Ratings

The New Yorker has a fascinating piece on SPF ratings in suntan lotion. Looks like I may have to rethink my standard SPF 50… (more...)...

Posted in Health | 0 Comments

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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.