Matt at SJ says open to the Pass coming from the east, so Dana and all the nearby goodies are in play… As for how much snow is up there: I was at Mammoth yesterday. It looks like early April in a Huge year. Or maybe that’s an understatement—you walk out of the upper deck at the Main Lodge onto snow right now. Be aware that as of this week, summer looks like it’s rearing its ugly head up in the Sierra (there was no Spring, apparently, or at least so says Howard Schecter), so watch out for flooding rivers, wet slides, collapsing (huge) snowbridges, and all other known and unknown dangers of 20 or more feet of snow suddenly exposed to temperatures in the 70′s.
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Okay, it’s June 2 and I just bought a new pair of skis…for this season. Crazy.
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Despite the ease of access, the Whitney Portal region has a less than glowing reputation when it comes to backcountry skiing. Perhaps it’s not so much that there’s something wrong with the area, as that there is almost always better skiing to be found elsewhere. Still, I can report that Whitney Portal Road is now officially open all the way to the portal, and that there is quite a lot of snow up there (more…)
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Scouted Highway 395 between Olancha and Independence this past weekend. As has been the case the past few years, snow coverage varies greatly depending (I assume) on wind effect history. It appears generally true, once again, that high altitude north faces have been blasted clean. This is not universally the case, but given how much snow fell over the course of the season, if you’re expecting (more…)
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Both Mountain High and Mt. Baldy report 2-3′ of new snow this morning. If you can get to either resort today, I’m guessing you’ll find reason to enjoy yourself. Snow Valley reports 24″ of new snow, but Highway 18 is basically shut down right now, with the dreaded chains-on-all requirement. Mammoth says just under 4′ of new snow fell in the last 24 hours, with 5-8′ reported over the past four days. Gotta love those insane Pacific storms. Looks like this one has locked up a stellar backcountry season for all of us well into May-June now. Nice!
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With apocalyptic rain blasting the L.A. Basin, Mt. Baldy sounded like a disaster in the making, and the drive up to the San Bernardino Mts. sounded like even less fun, so why not buzz up the Palm Springs Tram and hope for some fresh snow? Snow forecasts for the San Jacintos weren’t in the ridiculous 50+ inch range, as they’ve been for the San Gabriels, but still, even half that amount would be ripping (more…)
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Our off-again, on-again winter returns this weekend, with a huge forecast that should hopefully turn our thoughts back to snow. Sunday night appears to offer the most potential for snowfall, with huge storm totals being predicted from the Eastern Sierra to SoCal…
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Just taking a look at Telegraph Peak’s north face in the San Gabriels this past Saturday. I’ve got an ’04 or ’05 photo showing this same view of Telegraph taken May 15, with huge coverage, which always makes for a good point of comparison.
How does this year stack up (more…)
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Back home now from the Ski Channel Film Festival and SIA Denver. I have to say, as much as I enjoyed skiing in Colorado, it sure feels good to get back into some California sunshine.
Temps were a very balmy 65 degrees or so when I arrived in Denver last week, shifting abruptly to a bitter -16° F this morning (today’s forecast high: -3). I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a radical temperature shift in one location in such a short period of time. If you include the overnight low tonight, Denver will see an overall temperature change approaching ninety (that is nine zero) degrees in the span of 3-4 days. My condolences to those who stayed behind!
Much to say about the Film Fest and SIA. But for now, I’m going to relax a bit. It’s been a dizzying and very busy past few days!
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One of the interesting things about Baldy Bowl (via the Ski Hut Trail) is that it’s a high use area that isn’t particularly safe. On any given weekend you’ll find a steady stream of hikers and/or climbers going up the bowl, regardless of current conditions. Perhaps that’s an indicator that climbing in general isn’t nearly as dangerous as some of us think it is (more…)