May 5, 2008 Current Conditions

Sierra Report: South Lake, Tioga

Grab your car keys: Tioga Pass Road is open to Ellerly Lake and the Yosemite park entrance, coming from Highway 395. Reports are that snow was very hard and frozen last weekend, with little softening, thanks to chilly temps (and even some rain). Mount Dana does not sound fun: rocky upper and too much bare (more...)...

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March 29, 2008 Current Conditions

Whitney Portal Road: ‘Closed’ vs. Closed

Well, I drove up to Lone Pine yesterday with big plans for some climbing and skiing in the Whitney Portal region, only to discover the road, which is normally “closed” for winter had been Closed (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 5 Comments
March 20, 2008 Current Conditions

Route 2 – Mt. Waterman Report

BUT IS THERE SNOW? That’s certainly the question that was on my mind, so I packed up the skis and the boy and hit the road. Figuring I’d try to find snow a little closer to home, I drove up Route 2 from La Canada. I’ll tell you, things looked pretty bleak at first. When (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions, Skiing | 2 Comments
February 10, 2008 Current Conditions

San Gabriel Backcountry Warning – UPDATE

Travelers in the San Gabriel Mountains should be alert for unusually treacherous icy conditions on all north and shaded aspects (including NE and NW) between approximately 6000 and 8500 feet. I believe what we’re seeing is the top layer of snow that covered the ice crusts from the last storms has melted away, revealing smooth (more...)...

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February 8, 2008 Current Conditions

Southern Sierra Scouting Report

Wondering what things look like in the Whitney region? How about a few Aerial Shots by a USMC pilot? Spectacular! (more...)...

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January 28, 2008 Current Conditions

Storm Update: Add Another ‘Wow’

I figured the storms were about finished yesterday, with widely scattered showers here at home that seemed to be petering out as the day went by. Then last night I was awoken by the sound of heavy rain that didn’t seem to quit untill morning. In case you’re wondering what happened in the local mountains, (more...)...

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January 25, 2008 Current Conditions

SoCal Storm Update: Wow, Wow, & Wow

Well, they say cut-off lows are the forecaster’s nightmare, and it’s easy to see why, as last night’s forecast of occasional showers turned instead into a gutter-busting sustained heavy downpour. Rainfall totals and forecasts have jumped overnight. They’re now calling for 2-3 inches of coastal-area rain and 4-6 inches of foothill-area rain today before the (more...)...

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January 24, 2008 Current Conditions


Somewhere around 7 p.m. yesterday, after four hours of steady rain, this storm began to turn me into a believer—right before the skies cleared. 🙂 Still, this was a nice punch of moisture, with (much?) more on the way. Mt. Baldy reports 12-14″ of new snow, Mountain High 10-18″, and Mammoth 5″ new with a (more...)...

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January 22, 2008 Storm Watch Current Conditions

Storm Watch

Looking out the window here at fairly menacing clouds that haven’t managed to do much in the way of rain or snow in the local mountains thus far. Mt. Baldy reported a trace of snow overnight. Ie: nothing. This storm is notable for its cold temps—very cold. I’m brewing up another cup of tea down (more...)...

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January 20, 2008 Current Conditions

West Baldy Report

No photos this time, but yesterday I climbed up West Baldy with a partner and then skied down to the hut. We started the day around 7:30 at Manker Flat, carrying skis on packs to the hut, for a nice 2000 vertical foot warm up hike. From the hut, we were able to skin up (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.