March 28, 2013 Birch Mountain Benchmark Current Conditions

Birch Mountain Benchmark

I like Birch Mountain as a benchmark for Eastern Sierra snowpack conditions because it’s gigantic and because it’s readily viewable from Highway 395. Birch’s upper face tells us a lot about what the wind has been doing throughout the year, and its lower slopes tell us a lot about temperatures—as well as overall snowfall. So (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 5 Comments
March 18, 2013 Point of No Return? Current Conditions

Point of No Return?

Well there just hasn’t been much news this winter in the current conditions category. For the Southland mountains I’d say we’re fast approaching the point of no return (though even that may be an optimistic assessment). It’s deep into March, and there’s nothing on the short or long range to suggest a happy ending to (more...)...

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February 25, 2013 Blue Ridge Benchmark Current Conditions

Blue Ridge Benchmark

Yes that is indeed Mount Baldy’s north face (aka Mt. San Antonio), as seen today from the Blue Ridge Road viewpoint on Highway 2, and yikes! there sure isn’t much snow up there. This view is absolutely one of my favorite benchmarks for Southern California conditions, and there’s just no escaping it—things are pretty grim (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments
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...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 0 Comments
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...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 0 Comments

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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.