January 19, 2010 Current Conditions

3 Storms

Just got back last night—drive home from June Lake was very challenging. I’ll be writing quite a bit over the next month about my Avalanche class experience. For now, let me say I’m really glad I did it. Did the class make me an expert on avalanches? Absolutely not. But I did learn a great (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 12 Comments
December 11, 2009 Current Conditions

Is this ‘The Year’?

That’s the thought on my mind this morning. Another nice fat storm blowing in off the Pacific, with rain forecast locally into Sunday. Mt Baldy Ski is conspicuously silent on new accumulations. They’re saying snow levels are expected to drop, which may be code for, “It’s raining.” Mountain High says 2″ new snow—but they’re opening (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 5 Comments
December 7, 2009 Current Conditions

December Snow

Raindrops on concrete here in the basin today. A very cold storm is working its way in, with snow levels currently down around 4000 feet in the local mountains. Looks like my $49.00 pseudo-season pass for Mt. Baldy is going to pay off after all! Speaking of passes, Mountain High is offering a $349.00 no-restriction (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 5 Comments
June 5, 2009 Current Conditions

June comes with Snow

Well, I think I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t point out that heavy rain is falling here in the basin, and snow has fallen, is falling, and will fall all over the Sierra. We’re into some very strange freaky June weather here…but maybe we stuck the skis in the closet a (more...)...

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April 6, 2009 Baldy North View Current Conditions

Baldy North View

Back home now in sunny Southern California. Here’s a look at Mt. San Antonio’s north face as seen yesterday through the plane window. I was hoping to catch a peek at San Jacinto’s north face, but our flight path took us way north—too far to see anything. Looks like Baldy’s north face still has plenty (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments
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


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...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

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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.

Pray for snow.