February 24, 2010

The San Juan Snowpack

The San Juan Snowpack

Telluride sits in the northern San Juan Mountains—a part of the Rockies notorious for its unstable snowpack. A big, ugly beast of a natural avalanche put an exclamation mark on that this week. Here’s a photo of the slide as seen from Telluride’s Revelation Bowl (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

February 21, 2010

A Powdery Plunge

A Powdery Plunge

Lots of fresh snow here in Telluride, Colorado, where I’m taking a little lift-served vacation. Video is helmet cam footage from the ContourHD 1080p. I upgraded from the 720p ContourHD to check out the new model. Interestingly, after a week of testing the camera, I decided I like the 720p better. There’s just too much shutter roll in the 1080p mode (you can see that here as distortion in the treetops whenever I hit a bump) (more…)

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February 16, 2010

San Antonio Ridge Traverse

San Antonio Ridge Traverse

Ah, where to begin? In the immortal words of Tech and Talk’s Chad, ‘A bad snake charmer always blames his snake.’ So I guess I can’t blame the snake. I knew, going in, that a ski traverse linking Mount Baldy and Iron Mountain via San Antonio Ridge was definitely pushing the limits. But still, something about staying close to home always makes me more inclined to be ambitious (more…)

Posted in video | 24 Comments

February 9, 2010

Avy Education: Motivation

Following up on my post about my reluctance to take an avalanche course, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what finally motivated me to bite the bullet and go take one. For starters, the opportunity presented itself. I had the money saved up, and I had some free time which coincided with dates that SMG was offering a Level I class. Also important given the past few winters, there was ‘interesting’ snow in the Sierra, with a big storm on the way. Conditions were good—who wants to take an avalanche class when the mountains are bare or boring? (more…)

Posted in Avy News | 5 Comments

February 7, 2010

The San Jacinto Report

The San Jacinto Report

Maybe one of the things to remember about an El Nino year is that the storms love to ambush the Southland. I don’t think anyone was expecting the rain intensity we saw Friday through Saturday morning. I certainly wasn’t. Saturday I drove to Palm Springs, figuring the tram would get me to snow with the least amount of winter driving. That was true in only the most technical sense: the drive itself (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 12 Comments

February 3, 2010

A SoCal Rando Race

Local climber and so-so skier Hamik Mukelyan is organizing an informal ski mountaineering race Sunday, February 21 (weather-depending), at Mount Baldy’s southeast bowl. Meet time is 10 a.m. at the ski hut. Course details are slim, but the route will be marked with wands, and Hamik expects 10-15 competitors. No sign up necessary: just appear on time at the hut, and you’re in. Prizes are limited to the personal satisfaction of crushing your competitors, or whatever other metric you choose. This sounds like a lot of a fun. I’ll be away on ski safari that week, but otherwise I’d definitely give it a go…though my current toddler-based training regimen leaves something to be desired. :)

Posted in Events, Skiing | 0 Comments

February 2, 2010

SoCal Avalanche Classes

Jeff Pierce will be teaching two Level I avalanche classes and a Level II this February and March in Southern California. The schedules are (more…)

Posted in Avy News | 0 Comments

February 1, 2010

Telegraph Peak: North Face

Telegraph Peak: North Face

The Problem with Telegraph Peak is that it’s way too easy to access. The typical San Gabriel Mountain approach serves as a fine gatekeeper to most of the range’s technical adventures, but not so with Telegraph. This little shark tooth of a peak sits just beyond the rope of a popular (if quirky) Southern California ski area, and when there’s snow on it you can practically hear the siren song calling (more…)

Posted in video | 4 Comments