December 25, 2010 San Jacinto: Fortress of Solitude Skiing

San Jacinto: Fortress of Solitude

Here’s a slide show of my trip up San Jacinto Peak on Thursday. Speedster Brent and I went up the tram and then up the east face. Snowfall totals and icing were eye-popping higher up the mountain. Around Mountain Station and the ranger house, there was still probably a solid 2-3 feet of snow. The (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 6 Comments
December 24, 2010 A White Christmas Current Conditions

A White Christmas

Clear skies and snowy peaks is the Christmas Day forecast here in the Southland. Expect impressive coverage above 9000 feet or so, and ice forests around the snow line. Here’s a shot of current conditions on West Baldy’s face, rising high above downtown—the classic postcard view from Kenneth Hahn State Park. Merry Christmas everyone! (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments
December 21, 2010 Ma Nature Goes Insane Current Conditions

Ma Nature Goes Insane

LA Times has a story on how Mother Nature has fooled the forecasters this season. It’s a nice rundown on some of the crazy ups and downs of the end of 2010 in SoCal, including a high temperature of 113° on Sept. 27, a heat wave just a week ago, and of course the Mother (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment
December 20, 2010 A Four Hour (Cold) Shower Current Conditions

A Four Hour (Cold) Shower

There are only so many days in a row I can watch heavy rain pound the pavement outside my apartment. But that stubborn snow level refused to come down. Finally, on Sunday, I decided to take the initiative and go find some snow. I drove up to the parking lot at Manker Flat (or, at (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments
December 6, 2010 Winter Yearbook (2009-2010) Video

Winter Yearbook (2009-2010)

Maybe I needed a little space to make sense of this past winter. It seemed at the time like I just wasn’t getting out there as much as I wanted, but now that I’ve edited all the photos into a single compilation, I realize…it was an amazing year. By any measure, it was the best (more...)...

Posted in Video | 2 Comments
December 1, 2010 Black Diamond Couloir Harness Gear

Black Diamond Couloir Harness

Black Diamond’s Couloir is not the harness I’d want to be wearing if I was going to be hanging around all day, but short of that need, you’ll have a hard time finding a better choice for ski mountaineering. That shouldn’t be too surprising: ski mountaineering is exactly what Black Diamond had in mind when (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments
November 29, 2010 Powderwhore Productions Film & Television

Powderwhore Productions’ Television

Okay, I admit it: the prospect of spending an hour watching a crew of Telemarkers dropping their knees did not exactly fill my heart with glee. Skiing is a big tent, I understand, with plenty of room for people doing things any which way they choose, but as I inserted Television into my DVD player (more...)...

Posted in Film & Television | 0 Comments
November 21, 2010 The Eagle (and the UFC) Have Landed Musings

The Eagle (and the UFC) Have Landed

There are a number of conversations I’m dreading having with my son. One of them is in the process of just beginning, courtesy of the UFC commercials which inconveniently appear on television during some of the shows my son watches. In my son’s conception of the world, you see, grown men don’t hit each other (more...)...

Posted in Musings | 0 Comments
November 17, 2010 The South Fork Slide, Revisited Skiing

The South Fork Slide, Revisited

Sometime during the ’09-10 winter, a large avalanche took place on Alto-Diablo Peak’s northeast aspect, wiping out a portion of the South Fork Trail. When my partner Al and I saw the remains of the slide that April, toward the end of the season, it was obvious it had happened months earlier. But that doesn’t (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 3 Comments
November 15, 2010 The Video

The ‘Couloir to Nowhere’ DVD is Here!

It’s here at last: the Couloir to Nowhere DVD is now available, just in time for the holiday season! SierraDescents’ first-ever short film tells the story of our ski descent of Iron Mountain, deep in the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains. When I first took a photo of Iron’s north face, from atop Baden-Powell (more...)...

Posted in Video | 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.