April 18, 2006 Current Conditions

Snowy Thoughts

What good is a record-setting snowpack if you can’t ski it? That’s the question some Sierra skiers may be asking, especially after yesterday’s in-bounds avalanche at Mammoth Mountain. Surveying the Southern Sierra this past weekend, I was stunned by the amount of snow I saw. Skiable lines were appearing in places that are normally bare (more...)...

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March 11, 2006 Current Conditions

Flirting with the Girly Man

A very chilly storm is working its way down California, with reports of snow falling in the metro Bay Area and Kirkwood skiers claiming the ‘best snow ever’. Down South, Mount Baldy is reporting 12″ of new snow, with more on the way. Maybe I’ll get to ski the D14-rated Girly Man Chute this year (more...)...

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March 7, 2006 Current Conditions

Sue Burak: ‘Nervous’

If you haven’t been following Avy forecaster Sue Burak’s updates on the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center website, now might be a good time to pay attention. The Sierra has been getting incredible snowfall totals the past week or so (I believe Mammoth claims over a hundred inches in seven days). Unfortunately, this new snow sits (more...)...

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February 28, 2006 Current Conditions

Okay, it Rained—a Lot

Word from Mount Baldy is that the ski area received a staggering 8-10 inches of rain. A little colder, and that one storm could have turned the season around down here in the San Gabriel Mountains. All is not lost, however. Mammoth and the Southern Sierra were utterly hammered by this last storm: 5 feet (more...)...

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January 9, 2006 A 10,000′ Ski Descent? Current Conditions

A 10,000′ Ski Descent?

Finally made the pilgrimage to Mammoth this past weekend. Coverage was spectacular—Mammoth Mountain is claiming they’ve currently got the deepest base of any U.S. resort. But the big story was in Owens Valley, where the snow level from the previous storm dropped below 4000 feet. In fact, there was significant snow on the ground as (more...)...

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December 7, 2005 Current Conditions

A Look Ahead

The Sierra Ski Season is off to a less-than-outstanding start, with generally minimal snowfall thus far, and some nasty instability setting up due to shallow coverage. While we’re all waiting for the snow, I’m trying to get the rest of my gear reviews up for the season. The newest entry is Voile’s XLM Shovel, a (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.