December 1, 2013 Mammoth Thanksgiving Current Conditions

Mammoth Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought a little skiing might be nice this holiday weekend. Very thin coverage and only four lifts running wasn’t enough to halt a full-on SoCal invasion at Mammoth Mountain. We had to park at the “F” sign on Friday. “F” I tell you. And the (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments
November 24, 2013 November Snow Current Conditions

November Snow

3-5″ of fresh snow is the official word from Mt. Baldy, in the San Gabriel Mountains, but peering through the haze today from Kenneth Hahn State Park, I’d say coverage on Baldy’s west face might be a little deeper. Maybe. Then again, I am trying to go with optimism as our winter season draws near. (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments
October 11, 2013 SoCal Rains; Mountain Snows Current Conditions

SoCal Rains; Mountain Snows

Well that was an unexpectedly potent mid-October surprise—a bonafide winter storm. Rain and cold temperatures punched into the Southland like a frozen fist, sending temperatures plunging some 15 degrees below normal. When it’s cold and rainy in the basin, you can expect snow in the mountains, and that’s exactly what we got: a healthy few (more...)...

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September 6, 2013 The Well-Cooked Andy Current Conditions

The Well-Cooked Andy

First of all, I apologize. I knew writing about our record-cool first two weeks of August was just asking for trouble, and I did it anyway, and of course mere days later Los Angeles and indeed much of California started a nasty heat wave that has been going strong ever since. So: apologies for that. (more...)...

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August 19, 2013 A Very Cool August Current Conditions

A Very Cool August

I do like to check in on the weather now and then for the archives, and 2103 has been an unusually cool August for us here in the Los Angeles basin. I can’t find any hard sources to link to, but I did overhear a weathercaster saying we had the coolest first half of August (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments
May 27, 2013 Wahoo Gullies Are Burnt Current Conditions

Wahoo Gullies Are Burnt

Here’s a view that so struck me I had to jam on my brakes to pull over and take a picture of it: Mount Locke and the Wahoo Gullies, a favorite Bishop-area spring ski descent, almost totally devoid of snow as of today, May 25. Some of these Eastern Sierra classics are so bare right (more...)...

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May 13, 2013 White Mountain Is White Current Conditions

White Mountain Is White

Passing Olancha and entering the outskirts of Lone Pine on Highway 395, what should my wondering eyes see but snow—and lots of it—dusting the high peaks. Apparently last week’s thunderstorms did a little more work than I gave them credit for. The Whitney Zone seemed to catch a good piece of it, but farther north, (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 Comments
May 4, 2013 Mammoth: Electrifying! Current Conditions

Mammoth: Electrifying!

It was such a beautiful sunny morning here at Mammoth Mountain California, I was beginning to hope the forecast T-storms would fail to show. Nope: right around 11 a.m. things began to cloud up, and by noon, there was an big black cloud hanging just west of the mountain, drifting steadily toward Chair 23. But (more...)...

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April 15, 2013 Mammoth Current Conditions


Thank goodness we have Mammoth! Your Southern Sierra looks an awful lot like summer right now, but atop Mammoth Mountain there’s got to be a solid 12 feet or so of snow. With the wind and sun in your favor, you’ll find upper mountain skiing in great shape, and lower mountain groomers offering sweet but (more...)...

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April 1, 2013 Snow Valley: Done Current Conditions

Snow Valley: Done

Given what a rotten winter it’s been in the backcountry, it was sure a solid season for me and my kids at Snow Valley…at least until today. The kids and I skied Easter 2012 at Snow Valley (which was April 8), and a week later we skied it again, enjoying truly excellent coverage. No such (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 8 Comments

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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.