January 22, 2013 Lange XT 130 Gear

Lange XT 130

Lange officially enters the Alpine Touring market with the XT 130, a Freeride ski boot offering excellent downhill performance plus a first-ever Lange walk mode. Admittedly the XT 130 lies at the severe edge of the Touring category—it weights over nine pounds per pair, and its walk mode is limited—but there is still quite a (more...)...

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January 18, 2013 The Mid-January "Hmm" Current Conditions

The Mid-January “Hmm”

Well, temperatures are back in the 70’s here in SoCal, so things appear to be getting back to normal. A big thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts and support during our historic cold snap—it was touch-and-go for a while there, but it looks like we’re going to pull through just fine. Here (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments
January 14, 2013 How to Empathize With Your Freezing L.A. Friends Current Conditions

How to Empathize With Your Freezing L.A. Friends

You are looking at an actual photograph of the thermometer outside my West Los Angeles apartment taken 10 a.m. this morning, looking out at a bright and sunny Southern California day. In case you are wondering, this photograph has not been doctored or altered in any way. Temperatures are indeed currently in the 40’s throughout (more...)...

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January 11, 2013 The Echo Test News

The Echo Test

By now you’ve likely seen this video of an avalanche that trapped one skier on Echo Peak in the Tahoe Sierra on December 30, 2012. This is exactly the kind of video that tends to polarize opinions—the party members display a startling lack of familiarity with their avalanche gear (gear in general seems to prove (more...)...

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January 10, 2013 Snow Valley: Top to Bottom Video

Snow Valley: Top to Bottom

Sure, Andreas Fransson skied the Whillans Ramp on Patagonia’s Aguja Poincenot…but has he ever skied Snow Valley? I highly doubt it. (more...)...

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January 9, 2013 Scarpa Maestrale RS Gear

Scarpa Maestrale RS

Of the ski boots I’ve tried, Garmont’s Cosmos and Scarpa’s Maestrale RS are clearly the two ski mountaineering standouts for 2013. The Maestrale RS is an updated, Polyamide version of Scarpa’s original, orange (Pebax) Maestrale. That first-generation Maestrale remains notable for its excellent climbing and mountaineering performance, but to be honest its skiing performance was (more...)...

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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.

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