January 14, 2013

How to Empathize With Your Freezing L.A. Friends

How to Empathize With Your Freezing L.A. Friends

You are looking at an actual photograph of the thermometer outside my West Los Angeles apartment taken 10 a.m. this morning, looking out at a bright and sunny Southern California day. In case you are wondering, this photograph has not been doctored or altered in any way. Temperatures are indeed currently in the 40’s throughout the coastal L.A. Basin. In other words: we’re freezing! (more…)

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December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Well, can you believe it’s Christmas 2012? Happily it’s a white one for us this year. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! Peace.

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December 18, 2012

Reversion to the Mean

Reversion to the Mean

Took the kids—both of them—to Snow Valley today to check out the conditions and make some turns, with leash and without. I must say coverage looks terrific. Certainly much, much better than anything we saw from early through at least mid-winter last season. So for those of you who were wondering (or fearing) if this winter could possibly be worse than last, the answer appears to be no, for Southern California, at least.

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December 15, 2012

Mt. San Antonio and Downtown

Mt. San Antonio and Downtown

I’m out with my camera today, partly because it’s a beautiful day in Southern California, mostly because it’s easier than sitting at home and reading the news. Here’s downtown Los Angeles with the San Gabriel Mountains and a very snowy Mount San Antonio in the background. For you local resort skiers, Mountain High, Snow Summit, and Snow Valley are open, thanks to this week’s storm (more…)

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December 10, 2012

The Mammoth Report

The Mammoth Report

Thank goodness we have Mammoth! Yes, Mammoth did see rain all the way up to about McCoy Station during last week’s Mega-Wet, but enough of that moisture fell as snow across the mountain to produce a dense, saturated early-season base that is currently making for excellent skiing. Despite the snow’s high water content, upper mountain slopes were mostly fluffy and light, thanks to Mammoth’s ubiquitous wind (more…)

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November 28, 2012

November Snow

November Snow

I’m starting to think last season traumatized me. I’ve got this jonesy, pessimistic mindset right now—not helped much by the fact that the big Southern California ranges are currently bare-bones dry at all elevations. Check that: you can find a few sickly snowmaking patches at Mountain High and the Big Bear resorts. NOAA is showing moisture coming, at least, but temperatures look far from ideal (more…)

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September 17, 2012

The Marine Layer Returns

The Marine Layer Returns

Thank goodness. It’s been a long, hot slog through August and now September, climaxing (hopefully) with this past Saturday’s downtown high of 103°. Ugh! Last night I rode my bike out to the beach to watch that happiest of events, The Return of the Marine Layer. For the uninitiated, that means the winds have shifted, and cool air off the Pacific is returning to the Los Angeles Basin (more…)

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April 23, 2012

Sierra Snowpack Update

Sierra Snowpack Update

I sort of hesitate to say what exactly is normal these days, but I think we can safely call the Sierra snowpack well below average. Here’s a shot of Birch Mountain taken April 20, 2012, showing just how bleak things are. Are we at the point where we can call the Southern Sierra a total writeoff? Yes, I think we are. Maybe a few opportunistic riders hit the timing just right south of Mammoth this year. Or Maybe not (more…)

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April 15, 2012

April Snow

April Snow

I wish I had a comparison photo. Last Sunday looked to be the bitter end at Snow Valley. They’d done a fine job with the snow cats to get a few lines into passable shape (at least until the sun cooked everything), but the mountain was bare dirt everywhere but for a handful of thinly-covered runs. Today: they could have opened every lift on the mountain. Everything was covered, top to bottom (more…)

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March 27, 2012

San Jacinto Update

San Jacinto Update

Well, I guess one March Miracle is about all you can ask. This last front seemed to come in heavy here in the Basin, but it just didn’t hit the mountains with nearly the same punch as last week’s storm. I did a short tour yesterday in the San Jacintos hoping for another day of way-too-deep. Instead, the snow seemed to liquify before my very eyes as that merciless Southern California sun went to work on it (more…)

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