June 26, 2011 Jetboil Sol Ti Gear

Jetboil Sol Ti

Ever since I got my Jetboil PCS stove, I haven’t used another backpacking stove in the backcountry—that’s how much I like it, despite the extra weight. But there’s a new sheriff in town, and its name is the Jetboil Sol Ti, offering improved cold-weather performance at very nearly half the weight of the venerable PCS. (more...)...

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June 20, 2011 A Double Dose of Dana Video

A Double Dose of Dana

Looks like this is going to be it for me this year: a double descent of Mount Dana via Solstice and then Dana Couloirs. Tioga Pass opened on Saturday, so we hit the road and skinned up Glacier Canyon to access the couloirs. Accompanying Trevor and me this time for some backcountry fun was very (more...)...

Posted in Video | 6 Comments
June 14, 2011 Split Skiing

Split’s North Face

It is one of California’s big mountains, colorful, complex, and consequential, and for ski mountaineers, it holds not one but several of the range’s most coveted lines. Split’s south face is a backcountry skier’s dream—if you can get there. Wrap around to the east, and you’ll quickly encounter an astounding abundance of ski extreme options. (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 6 Comments
June 13, 2011 K2 Wayback Gear

K2 Wayback

As its name implies, K2’s Wayback is a touring/ski mountaineering-specific plank designed for longer and deeper forays into the backcountry. The Wayback weighs in at a respectable 6 lbs 8.5 ounces per pair, while offering 88mm of width underfoot. Yes, this is a tad skinny by today’s freeride standards, but for that compromise you’re getting (more...)...

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June 13, 2011 Current Conditions


Matt at SJ says open to the Pass coming from the east, so Dana and all the nearby goodies are in play… As for how much snow is up there: I was at Mammoth yesterday. It looks like early April in a Huge year. Or maybe that’s an understatement—you walk out of the upper deck (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment
June 4, 2011 Arcteryx Motus Crew Gear

Arcteryx Motus Crew

When it comes to clothing, I tend to bounce back and forth between synthetics and wool. Arcteryx’s ultralight Motus Crew makes a strong case for the synthetic argument. First of all there is its almost-not-there weight: 3.9 ounces in a men’s small, long-sleeve (measured). Then there is the Motus Crew’s extremely sheer construction, which makes (more...)...

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June 2, 2011 Mammut Creon Light Gear

Mammut Creon Light

Mammut’s Creon Light backpack offers us a significant ultralight achievement: a load-worthy backpack weighing less than two and half pounds. Traditionally with backpacks you must choose one or the other—total weight or carrying ability. The Creon Light lets you enjoy the best of both worlds. The frame is very stiff, matched with an effective suspension (more...)...

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June 2, 2011 Current Conditions

Say No to Summer

Okay, it’s June 2 and I just bought a new pair of skis…for this season. Crazy. (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 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.