May 30, 2014

The Vertigo Machine

The Vertigo Machine

It is unlike any other chairlift I know of, and it scares the hell out of me every time I ride it. I’m talking of course about Mammoth Mountain’s wonderful Chair 23, that aging triple that gains elevation as quickly as any modern quad thanks to its brain-defying steepness. As the season progresses my own brain seems to adapt, a bit, to the optics of Chair 23 (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 2 Comments

May 28, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

For me, the 2013-2014 winter began and now ends with Mammoth: a Thanksgiving opening and a Memorial Day close. Yes, in terms of snowfall, this year ranks easily among the most dismal in memory, and yes, too, not a single peak in my projects folder saw daylight, but in the absence of backcountry snow, it was a family-focused ski year for me, and a great one at that (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 2 Comments

May 17, 2014

The Agonies of Digital Media

The Agonies of Digital Media

For those of you with not a bit of digital data in any form, I envy you. You must be out there, somewhere, perhaps as part of some primitive tribe living deep within an impenetrable jungle, though no doubt even now the barons of our digital age are plotting ways to get you, and your children, posting selfies on Facebook and Twitter. A smartphone helicopter drop, perhaps? (more…)

Posted in Musings | 2 Comments

May 16, 2014

Not Another Heat Wave…

Not Another Heat Wave...

Yes, it’s another Southern California heat wave, which means it’s time to check in with my living room thermometer: a lovely 93.2°F as of 5:50pm yesterday. Heat waves are not unusual here in the L.A. Basin; for those of you in cold places, the quick primer is it gets hot whenever the winds change direction, blowing not from the wonderfully cool Pacific Ocean, to our left, but rather from the abominably-hot (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment

May 6, 2014

Steep Skiing: The Unweight

Steep Skiing: The Unweight

Three years I’ve been obsessing about steep technique. Three years of drought. It strikes me now that the irony is, having finally found the steep turn I’ve been looking for all my life, I may never put it to use skiing horrifically steep big lines because (1) we haven’t had any snow, and (2) my life doesn’t just belong to me, and me alone, anymore (more…)

Posted in technique | 7 Comments





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