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

Snow!

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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July 15, 2008 Current Conditions

Whitney Weather: Storms & Closed Roads

Sounds like it was a wild weekend in the Whitney Portal region, with heavy storms closing the portal road (due to mudslides) and even Highway 395 (which remains closed at Independence – detour available). Posters on the Whitney Portal Store Forums have a thread going which talks about the conditions. Sounds like a lot of (more...)...

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July 11, 2008 LPP’s Northeast Face: Another Look Current Conditions

LPP’s Northeast Face: Another Look

When I skied Lone Pine Peak’s East Couloir this spring, I didn’t get a chance to take any scouting photos of the Northeast Face in its entirety. Here’s a recent shot of the face from near Independence, showing the entire face and drainage right down to the desert—all 6500 vertical feet of it. Looking at (more...)...

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June 4, 2008 Current Conditions

March, April, May: ‘Driest Ever’

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that March, April, and May 2008 were the driest winter months on record for California and the Sierra Nevada mountains. I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising, given that (A) these three months traditionally see heavy snowfall in the Sierra and (B) this year these same months were essentially bone (more...)...

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May 29, 2008 Sierra Snow: Update Current Conditions

Sierra Snow: Update

SMS Leader Alvin Walter sent me a few photos from the Sierra’s Rock Creek drainage over Memorial Weekend. Alvin encountered ‘full winter conditions’ with up to a foot and a half of new powder. Looking at all that gorgeous snow, all I can think is, where were you three months ago! Sounds like those of (more...)...

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May 22, 2008 Rain, Hail, Lighting, Snow…Tornado? Current Conditions

Rain, Hail, Lighting, Snow…Tornado?

I was walking out my door today around 5 p.m. on the way to the grocery when the sudden rumble of thunder stopped me. Hmm…I guess those black clouds on the horizon weren’t fog, after all. SoCal weather took a turn for the bizarre today, with the full gamut of weather phenomena. Here at the (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.