November 3, 2014

Pumpkins, Snow, & Rainbows

Pumpkins, Snow, & Rainbows

Are we not overdue? Depending on how you see the glass, we have now gone three years in a row without a true Sierra winter. Three years! It seems like a lifetime. Throughout this summer I have avoided all news of warmer ocean temperatures and shifting patterns and currents because my poor heart simply can’t stand any more disappointment (more…)

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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…)

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April 20, 2014

Hangman’s June 2011

Hangman's June 2011

Going through old photos here, and this shot of Hangman’s Hollow at Mammoth Mountain just floors me. This was taken mid June 2011, and that entire cliff band along the crater rim is basically unrecognizable compared to this year. You’d think, looking at Hangman’s at any time this season, you were at a completely different mountain (more…)

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April 7, 2014

The Wildcard Winter

The Wildcard Winter

The long lens came out repeatedly as I drove up and down Highway 395 this past weekend. Some snow fell up there last week—you may not have heard. Sue calls it “The most powerful storm of the winter”, and by this year’s standards she’s not lying. Depending on where you look, the Sierra high country saw anywhere from one to four feet of April No-Fooling snow (more…)

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March 24, 2014

Bare Mountain

Bare Mountain

Perhaps I go too far in comparing yesterday at Bear Mountain’s “Access Express” chair to a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare, but if you’re worried about what the endgame for Southern California skiing might just look like, this was surely was an unsettling landscape. Ribbons of brown snow wound through muddy fields, whilst crowds of people shuffled slowly across it (more…)

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March 10, 2014

Gorgonio Is In

Gorgonio Is In

Where did all the snow go from last weekend’s massive wet system? San Gorgonio, apparently. If I’d seen this look at the north face a few days ago, I’d have tried to ski it. Instead I took the kids to Snow Summit, and picked up a pass for the rest of this and next season at the (you will feel like) Screaming Deal price. First of all, the snow: (more…)

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March 3, 2014

San Jacinto Sunday

San Jacinto Sunday

As I wrote awhile back, you can use the SoCal ski resort webpages to get a pretty good idea as to what’s happening in the higher backcountry elevations. Two of those key indicators are (1) is Mt. Baldy Ski Area open? and (2) is it raining at the top of the Palm Springs Tram? The mid-storm answers to these questions were not promising (more…)

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February 25, 2014

Significant Rain/Snow?

Significant Rain/Snow?

Weather may be typical SoCal mundane right now, but the Los Angeles Times reports what could be the wettest storm in years is en route for later this week: forecasts call for as much as one to two inches of rain in the basin, which in a normal SoCal winter would qualify as…a normal SoCal winter storm (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 9 Comments

January 27, 2014

Snow Valley: January 2014

Snow Valley: January 2014

AARRRGH!! Really: Aargh! There’s no other way to say it. I feel my stubborn side kicking in, and now I’m wondering: who will quit first? Will Snow Valley management throw in the towel and close, or will I and my kids give up and stay home? Based on the look of things today, I’d have to say Snow Valley has absolutely entered the heroic-measures phase (more…)

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January 21, 2014

Summit: Still Solid

Summit: Still Solid

I can’t say if Snow Summit is currently offering the best skiing in California, but I can say their snowmaking capability remains unmatched. Where Snow Valley just down the road seems about ready to flatline, Summit’s ski runs feature full, abundant, rock-free coverage from top to bottom and edge to edge (more…)

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