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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December 17, 2008 Current Conditions

Report from Our Man in the Field

Well, it’s been raining all day in the Basin, and our dubiously-accurate patio thermometer is now reading a very frosty 37° as of 5:33 p.m. Pacific (official West L.A. temp at Santa Monica Airport is 45°). All this cold rain is translating directly into snow in the High Country. Mount Baldy Ski Area now reports (more...)...

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December 15, 2008 Current Conditions


Yes, it’s a bona fide winter storm! We got heavy rain overnight here in the Southland, and it’s still raining hard now. Looks like this is a cold storm. Mount Baldy says a foot of new snow overnight. Mammoth got 18 inches. Could it be that we’re suddenly going to get a ton of snow (more...)...

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November 16, 2008 Smoke at Sunrise Current Conditions

Smoke at Sunrise

Here’s a look at the sunrise from near our home this morning: that’s a lot of smoke. The Yorba Linda/Anaheim area fires are about sixty miles east of us, which gives a sense of just how smoky the Los Angeles Basin is this morning. And, when I turn and look to the west, the sky (more...)...

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October 5, 2008 Current Conditions

First Snow

Mammoth Mountain reports a few inches of snow over the weekend. Gloomy skies dominated the Southland yesterday as the front passed through, bringing snow to the Sierra and possibly a dusting on the local mountains as well. Winter’s coming—and I’m ready for it. 🙂 (more...)...

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July 16, 2008 Current Conditions

Whitney Fish Hatchery Destroyed

More storm news from the Eastern Sierra. Looks like last year’s fires were a factor in this. The mudslide occurred over fire-blackened land. (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.

Pray for snow.