January 13, 2014 Skiing Musings

Skiing’s Man-Made Future

As I contemplate the reality of what appears to be the worst Sierra winter any of us have ever seen, I find myself thinking about the obvious importance snowmaking is going to have for the survival of many ski areas. We’re back from a week in Flagstaff, skiing the Arizona Snowbowl, which has recently installed (more...)...

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November 3, 2013 Blind to the Bishop Musings

Blind to the Bishop

Over the years I’ve become increasingly fascinated with the discrepancy between Reality and my perception of it. If you’ve never contemplated this divide, discovering it is like finding a bottomless rabbit hole—unsettling, to say the least. If you’re dead certain that the heater is gray, for example, or if you like to leave yourself notes, (more...)...

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July 11, 2013 The West Musings

The West’s Fiery Future

If you want a canary in the coalmine for climate change in the western U.S., try Northern Arizona’s Coconino National Forest. The forest features the world’s largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines, all growing in a region whose sparse rainfall (about 22″ annually in Flagstaff) is far more typical of a high desert rather than (more...)...

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December 15, 2012 The Sun Rises... Musings

The Sun Rises…

Over a world both familiar and strange. Los Angeles, California, December 15, 2012. (more...)...

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November 21, 2012 The Invisible Note Musings

The Invisible Note

I’ve been dutifully changing diapers for a long, long time, but also of course working towards getting my kids out of diapers, and though I think I can at last declare success, I can also safely say I won’t be writing any how-to-potty-train books. My last, desperate potty training tactic, after I gave up on (more...)...

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October 31, 2012 My Halloween Visitor Musings

My Halloween Visitor

It’s not the Giant Spider hanging outside my window yesterday which makes me nervous. It’s the Giant Spider which was hanging outside my window yesterday but which today has gone conspicuously missing which makes me nervous. Where did he go??? Happy Halloween everyone! (more...)...

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October 29, 2012 Shifting Baselines Musings

Shifting Baselines

I’ve been scanning some of my dad’s old Kodachrome slides of the Grand Canyon, and this shot in particular caught my eye. Here we see the south rim, as seen from Bright Angel Point on the north rim, taken in September 1978. Easily visible are the San Francisco Peaks, Arizona’s highest point, and Kendrik Peak, (more...)...

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August 6, 2012 Nothing Endures But Change (Bodie Edition) Musings

Nothing Endures But Change (Bodie Edition)

From the glass towers of Chicago to the ghost town of Bodie, California, we go. Bodie, now a state historic park, is thirteen miles off Highway 395, just southeast of Bridgeport. Gold was discovered here in 1859, and within twenty years there was a booming town with a population around 10,000. The principle mine closed (more...)...

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July 26, 2012 Chicago Musings

Chicago

Sometime in the 1970’s my family packed all their belongings into a used station wagon and drove from Chicago to Flagstaff. One of my earliest and most iconic memories is the sight of the Sears Tower receding in the distance though our rear windshield, vanishing along with good friends and family as we left the (more...)...

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January 5, 2012 Resolutions Musings

Resolutions

Somewhere in my twenties I realized I would never be able to repay all that my dad had given me. I don’t just mean money; I mean all the ways he was there for my brother and me. I talked about that with my dad one day, and he told me his philosophy on the (more...)...

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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.