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...)...

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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...)...

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April 15, 2012 April Snow Current Conditions

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 (more...)...

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March 27, 2012 San Jacinto Update Current Conditions

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 (more...)...

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March 15, 2012 I Threw Out My Baldy Passes Current Conditions

I Threw Out My Baldy Passes

Yes, I did it. Over here at SierraDescents, I realize it’s not just my job to amuse or entertain you. No, when things get grim, and Mother Nature won’t keep up her end of the bargain, I know it’s my responsibility to see to it that she pays up. And so, I threw all of (more...)...

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March 12, 2012 The San G Report Current Conditions

The San G Report

Good news here is that I finally blew the dust off my Dynafits. Bad news is conditions weren’t very amenable to skiing. Trevor and I hiked up the San Bernardino Wilderness’ South Fork Trail to look for snow, and—surprise!—we found it. There was quite a bit more snow than I was expecting, in fact, with (more...)...

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March 5, 2012 Snow News; SMG AK Trip Current Conditions

Snow News; SMG AK Trip

Once again I stayed in-bounds locally with my kids over the weekend. I was tempted to day-trip to the Sierra, but insider info from Sierra Mountain Guides’ Howie Schwartz plus Sue’s buzzkill avy forecast pretty much quashed any inclination I had to get out of bed early. Though ESAC is calling for low overall avalanche (more...)...

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February 1, 2012 A Photo You Don Current Conditions

A Photo You Don’t Need to See…

But, I’ll show it anyway: Baldy Bowl, from 10,000 feet, February 1st, 2012. Yes, that’s pretty much a snowless mountain in the midst of a snowless season with no snow in sight. As for the Sierra, there are rumors of a long-range weather pattern shift which might bring some moisture, so there’s a tiny dose (more...)...

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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.