June 28, 2012 Sony Crashes GoPro/Contour Party News

Sony Crashes GoPro/Contour Party

Well, we knew it was coming; the only question was when. Sony has announced a helmet cam to be available fall 2012. The design appears to hybridize both GoPro and Contour concepts: the camera chassis is upright, ala Contour, and comes with a (presumably) waterproof housing. Note that it has a Zeiss lens, and image (more...)...

Posted in News | 2 Comments
June 22, 2012 News

No June?

It’s just kind of hard to believe: Mammoth Mountain has abruptly announced they’re closing June Mountain indefinitely for feasibility studies. Reading between the lines, this basically looks like a kiss of death. As a ski area, June has much to offer, including powder glades, rolling intermediate terrain, stunning scenery, and incredible sidecountry access. But it’s (more...)...

Posted in News | 5 Comments
June 7, 2012 Thermarest XLite Gear

Thermarest XLite

Thermarest’s Neoair XLite replaces the original Neoair pad, offering upgraded warmth (from a spec value of R2.4 to R3.2) at a slightly lower weight—one ounce less overall. The weight differential isn’t really big news, but the added warmth is: an R-value of 3.2 is pushing into the 4-season category, and even for 3-season use, you (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments
June 5, 2012 Venus Alert Science

Venus Alert

Yes: Venus! A thoughtful neighbor stopped by with black glasses from Griffith Park Observatory and told us that Venus is currently visible crossing the sun. My son and I jumped outside with glasses plus the Nikon and the big lens and every filter in the house. It took us several tries, but here it is, (more...)...

Posted in Science | 0 Comments
June 1, 2012 Ortovox 3+ Gear

Ortovox 3+

I say Ortovox’s 3+ is one of the best choices in today’s crop of avalanche transceivers. The class of 2012 offers us a lot of innovation, but it also offers a lot of complexity. Leave the complexity to others (if you don’t explicitly need it) and go with the Ortovox’s effective fusion of simplicity and (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 1 Comment

Hiking Favorites


Gear Reviews



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.