February 11, 2013 Slide Peak Sunday Current Conditions

Slide Peak Sunday

Okay, maybe it’s because I’ve got a season pass, but if you ask me, Snow Valley has by far the best vibe of any of the SoCal mountain resorts. It just feels like skiing here. Yes, the lifts are awful, but the value is great—especially if you bring your family. And on a day like (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 Comments
January 18, 2013 The Mid-January "Hmm" Current Conditions

The Mid-January “Hmm”

Well, temperatures are back in the 70’s here in SoCal, so things appear to be getting back to normal. A big thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts and support during our historic cold snap—it was touch-and-go for a while there, but it looks like we’re going to pull through just fine. Here (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments
January 14, 2013 How to Empathize With Your Freezing L.A. Friends Current Conditions

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 (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments
December 26, 2012 Merry Christmas! Current Conditions

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. (more...)...

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December 18, 2012 Reversion to the Mean Current Conditions

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 (more...)...

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December 15, 2012 Mt. San Antonio and Downtown Current Conditions

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, (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 Comments
December 10, 2012 The Mammoth Report Current Conditions

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 (more...)...

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November 28, 2012 November Snow Current Conditions

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 (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments
September 17, 2012 The Marine Layer Returns Current Conditions

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, (more...)...

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April 23, 2012 Sierra Snowpack Update Current Conditions

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 (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 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.