April 3, 2009 Chair 9, Dust, Winter Storm Watch Current Conditions

Chair 9, Dust, Winter Storm Watch

What a funny trip this has been. I really agonized over whether or not to go, and finally decided at the last minute, thinking I’d enjoy some late-spring skiing. >And then this happens…day after day of fresh snow. More snow overnight. Chair 9 was brilliant this morning: fresh tracks and even a peek of sunshine (more...)...

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March 30, 2009 Clothing Apparently Not Optional... Current Conditions

Clothing Apparently Not Optional…

Checking in here from Telluride, Colorado. This was totally a last-minute trip, but opportunity came knocking, so I thought I’d shirk my Sierra responsibilities and head east to the Rockies. Funny thing: it just never crossed my mind that I’d see anything other than spring skiing over here. Because I was flying, I stripped out (more...)...

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March 23, 2009 On the Chairlift Current Conditions

On the Chairlift

Went up Sunday to ski in-bounds at Mount Baldy. It was one of those kinds of days that only a mother could love: high wind, no visibility, and cold, damp air that coated everything in ice. As for the skiing, the new snow was scattered in drifts everywhere like washboard ruts, forming a patchy covering (more...)...

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February 21, 2009 San Francisco Peaks - Abineau Canyon Current Conditions

San Francisco Peaks – Abineau Canyon

If there’s a prettier mountain in the world, I don’t want to know about it. Here’s my hometown mountain, the San Francisco Peaks (Arizona’s high point), as seen from the north. The prominent snowfield off the main summit, with its three fingers, is Abineau Canyon—certainly one of the biggest, most aesthetic backcountry ski descents in (more...)...

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February 7, 2009 Current Conditions

Snow!

It feels like the SoCal ski season just got a last-minute governor’s reprieve. As of Saturday morning, this series of storms has left a reported 36″ of new snow at Mt. Baldy Ski resort, 18-24″ at Mountain High, and 10″ in the Southern Sierra. Be aware that much of this snow fell on bare ground (more...)...

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February 2, 2009 Snow, Part II: Jepson Peak Current Conditions

Snow, Part II: Jepson Peak

Well, while I’ve been wallowing in despair over the lack of snow in the local mountains, some of you have apparently been going out and skiing, which is admittedly overall a better way to spend your time. SoCal skier Brad H. was kind enough to send in a photo of Jepson Peak, in the San (more...)...

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January 30, 2009 Current Conditions

Winter Back on Vacation

Well that didn’t last long! Long range forecasts suggest a return to our non-winter winter: warm and dry. Conditionally locally look pretty bleak. I haven’t heard of anyone finding good snow in the SoCal mountains. It may be getting difficult to find snow at all. I was hoping to drive up to the Gabriels to (more...)...

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January 24, 2009 Current Conditions

Winter Returns?

A solid 24 hours of rain in the basin have produced…absolutely nothing in the local mountains. That looks to be the case after browsing the sites of Mount Baldy, Mountain High, and Snow Summit ski resorts. Why no snow? We didn’t even bother to turn on our heater during this storm. Temperatures were unnaturally warm, (more...)...

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January 16, 2009 On the Beach Current Conditions

On the Beach

Well, after last weekend’s adventure, I figured I’d take some time off from skiing the backcountry. Sue at ESAC reports marginal conditions. Apparently the Sierra is on track to set its third driest January on record. Didn’t we just go through all of this a year ago? Once again, we’re stuck with ice and a (more...)...

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December 24, 2008 Current Conditions

A Christmas Storm

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you! Looks like we’ll be enjoying a white Christmas in the mountains this year. Heavy snows (18-36″) are forecast in the High Sierra, plus a very nice 2-3′ on the way in the San Gabriels. That’s going to be more than enough snow to open up most of our (more...)...

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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.