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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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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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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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.