March 31, 2011 Salomon Czar Gear

Salomon Czar

Salomon’s damp-and-quick Czar delivers a powder ride so irresistibly smooth just one run might well turn you into a wandering deep snow nomad for life. So I warn you now: if you don’t want to be forever haunted by memories of effortless best-day-of-your-life untracked snow billowing up around you, you might just want to stick (more...)...

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March 28, 2011 Back from the Bird Skiing

Back from the Bird

Back on the grid here after four fun-filled days at Snowbird, Utah. Weather really treated us well—it snowed every single day, but was kind enough to break yesterday for a dazzling dose of Wasatch powder. I wasn’t planning on doing any work, but I ended up demoing a bunch of powder skis, and I learned (more...)...

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March 21, 2011 Current Conditions


Both Mountain High and Mt. Baldy report 2-3′ of new snow this morning. If you can get to either resort today, I’m guessing you’ll find reason to enjoy yourself. Snow Valley reports 24″ of new snow, but Highway 18 is basically shut down right now, with the dreaded chains-on-all requirement. Mammoth says just under 4′ (more...)...

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March 20, 2011 Nothing??? Current Conditions


With apocalyptic rain blasting the L.A. Basin, Mt. Baldy sounded like a disaster in the making, and the drive up to the San Bernardino Mts. sounded like even less fun, so why not buzz up the Palm Springs Tram and hope for some fresh snow? Snow forecasts for the San Jacintos weren’t in the ridiculous (more...)...

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March 18, 2011 Current Conditions

Winter Returns (Again)

Our off-again, on-again winter returns this weekend, with a huge forecast that should hopefully turn our thoughts back to snow. Sunday night appears to offer the most potential for snowfall, with huge storm totals being predicted from the Eastern Sierra to SoCal… (more...)...

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March 15, 2011 News


Or, How I learned to Stop Start Worrying and Love Hate Nuclear Power. The fear, initially, was that public reaction to the reactor accidents at Fukushima might scuttle the ‘Nuclear Renaissance’ blossoming across the globe as a necessary component in battling the threat of Global Warming. Could Fukushima’s ultimate legacy be vast environmental damage caused (more...)...

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March 13, 2011 News

Images from Japan

“In this vast and uncaring darkness, I am but a tiny, fragile spark of life, clinging to an illusion of safety that never was and never will be real…” (Earthquake aftermath images at the Atlantic) (more...)...

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March 10, 2011 Outdoor Research Igneo Pant Gear

Outdoor Research Igneo Pant

Outdoor Research makes a strong debut in the technical outerwear category with the Igneo, a sidecountry-oriented hard shell pant. The Igneo is made of Pertex’s waterproof/breathable Shield fabric. It has a nice, middle-ground texture and feel: not too stiff, not too soft. The pant is lightly insulated in the seat and knees. In practice, you (more...)...

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March 9, 2011 Scarpa Maestrale Gear

Scarpa Maestrale

Scarpa’s 4-buckle Maestrale ski boot strikes me as the true successor to the original Alpine Touring champ, the Garmont Mega Ride. While current trends in A/T gear have led steadily to ever-heavier boots, the Maestrale enters the game at a stunning six pounds, fifteen ounces per pair. But the critical question, as always, is: how (more...)...

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March 7, 2011 SierraDescents Performance Art Video

SierraDescents Performance Art

Believe it or not, this actually started out as a business-as-usual review of the Icebreaker Quantum Liner Glove. Occasionally, however, a truly unique piece of gear comes along, inspiring me to really dig in and go the extra mile (original accompanying music composed and performed by me). (more...)...

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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.