March 31, 2012

Voile XLM Updated

Voile XLM Updated

Voile has updated its smallest shovel, the XLM. The original XLM was arguably the lightest functional aluminum avalanche shovel on the market. The new XLM is…arguably the lightest functional aluminum avalanche shovel on the market. What’s changed? Voile says the new XLM is lighter, which conflicts a bit with my 2007 notes (I think the first-run XLM shovels were lighter still, but subsequent (more…)

Posted in Gear | 4 Comments

March 27, 2012

San Jacinto Update

San Jacinto Update

Well, I guess one March Miracle is about all you can ask. This last front seemed to come in heavy here in the Basin, but it just didn’t hit the mountains with nearly the same punch as last week’s storm. I did a short tour yesterday in the San Jacintos hoping for another day of way-too-deep. Instead, the snow seemed to liquify before my very eyes as that merciless Southern California sun went to work on it (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment

March 23, 2012

Skiing San Diego

Skiing San Diego

It is a strange, strange thing to get in your car in L.A. and head south to go skiing. Stuck in traffic on the 405, I began to wonder what sort of fool’s quest I was embarking upon, but the trip to San Diego ended up being one of my most memorable Southern California mountaineering adventures, offering incredibly beautiful views and unexpectedly good skiing. Yes: skiing (more…)

Posted in video | 11 Comments

March 21, 2012

Skiing With Kids: Dry Land Training

Skiing With Kids: Dry Land Training

One of the things that occurs to me about skiing with kids is that it’s tough. It’s tough in so many ways and on so many levels I wouldn’t know where to begin to talk about it (and I wouldn’t want to scare you off), but thankfully there are ways to turn your kids into great skiers which don’t actually involve skiing, and I’m going to group all of them into my not-to-be-overlooked category called Dry Land Training (more…)

Posted in kids | 3 Comments

March 19, 2012

The Deep Report

The Deep Report

I am standing in my kitchen watching raw footage from yesterday when I spontaneously break out into a wild, crazy jig. What am I doing, my son asks? The Powder Dance, I say. One of the great miracles of our proximity to the Pacific is the way one single storm can transform bare mountains into white winter wonderlands. Throughout the Southland, our season has gone from non-existent to well (more…)

Posted in video | 2 Comments

March 15, 2012

I Threw Out My Baldy Passes

I Threw Out My Baldy Passes

Yes, I did it. Over here at SierraDescents, I realize it’s not just my job to amuse or entertain you. No, when things get grim, and Mother Nature won’t keep up her end of the bargain, I know it’s my responsibility to see to it that she pays up. And so, I threw all of my Mt. Baldy ski passes in the trash. I considered just putting them deep into a drawer, out of sight, but I realized that might not be good enough (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 11 Comments

March 12, 2012

Charlton Peak Panorama

Charlton Peak Panorama

Okay, so maybe 10,806′ Charlton Peak isn’t the most intimidating summit I’ve visited, or the most scenic. But it is a summit, damn it, and therefore I’m including it in my ongoing summit panorama video series, in which I give you a 360° view from the top of a nice big California mountain, just as if you were standing there yourself (more…)

Posted in video | 0 Comments

March 12, 2012

The San G Report

The San G Report

Good news here is that I finally blew the dust off my Dynafits. Bad news is conditions weren’t very amenable to skiing. Trevor and I hiked up the San Bernardino Wilderness’ South Fork Trail to look for snow, and—surprise!—we found it. There was quite a bit more snow than I was expecting, in fact, with at least decent coverage on wind-protected north aspects above 9000′ or so (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 3 Comments

March 8, 2012

Steve Romeo: Live to Ski

Steve Romeo: Live to Ski

What comfort is there for the rest of us when someone this smart, this experienced, this funny and vibrant, is taken by an avalanche? The bodies of Tetonat.com ski mountaineer Steve Romeo and friend Chris Onufer were recovered today on Ranger Peak in Grand Teton National Park. Steve’s site was a huge source of information and inspiration for backcountry skiers across the planet, myself included. Truly, this is devastating news.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

March 5, 2012

Snow News; SMG AK Trip

Snow News; SMG AK Trip

Once again I stayed in-bounds locally with my kids over the weekend. I was tempted to day-trip to the Sierra, but insider info from Sierra Mountain Guides’ Howie Schwartz plus Sue’s buzzkill avy forecast pretty much quashed any inclination I had to get out of bed early. Though ESAC is calling for low overall avalanche hazard, my read of their advisories is that where you’ll find good skiing you’ll also find elevated risk (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 3 Comments

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