March 31, 2010

West Baldy

West Baldy

This past weekend some friends and I took a professional videographer up West Baldy to try to nab some footage of Southern California backcountry skiing for a Ski Channel project. After staring at West Baldy’s impressive west face from Iron Mountain two weeks ago, we really had no choice but to ski it. The skiing was sublime: silky smooth spring corn, baked to perfection by SoCal sunshine (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 5 Comments

March 22, 2010

The Couloir to Nowhere

The Couloir to Nowhere

I first saw it in January 2008. My friend Bill Henry and I were climbing Mount Baden-Powell for a modest day tour in Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. As we stood atop Baden-Powell and looked across the deep chasm to our south, we noticed a pencil-thin couloir shooting down an unknown peak several miles away. The line looked steep, remote, and desperate—maybe skiable, maybe not…(more)

Posted in Skiing | 19 Comments

February 7, 2010

The San Jacinto Report

The San Jacinto Report

Maybe one of the things to remember about an El Nino year is that the storms love to ambush the Southland. I don’t think anyone was expecting the rain intensity we saw Friday through Saturday morning. I certainly wasn’t. Saturday I drove to Palm Springs, figuring the tram would get me to snow with the least amount of winter driving. That was true in only the most technical sense: the drive itself (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 12 Comments

February 3, 2010

A SoCal Rando Race

Local climber and so-so skier Hamik Mukelyan is organizing an informal ski mountaineering race Sunday, February 21 (weather-depending), at Mount Baldy’s southeast bowl. Meet time is 10 a.m. at the ski hut. Course details are slim, but the route will be marked with wands, and Hamik expects 10-15 competitors. No sign up necessary: just appear on time at the hut, and you’re in. Prizes are limited to the personal satisfaction of crushing your competitors, or whatever other metric you choose. This sounds like a lot of a fun. I’ll be away on ski safari that week, but otherwise I’d definitely give it a go…though my current toddler-based training regimen leaves something to be desired. :)

Posted in Events, Skiing | 0 Comments

October 14, 2009

SMS Potluck and Snow

Time to enable the snow script! Mammoth reports 14″ of new snow in the past 24 hours, and down here in the Basin we’ve been soggy since yesterday morning, making this a very, very impressive October storm for California—and much needed! (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 0 Comments

October 1, 2009

Winter To-Do List

Well, as ski season draws near I’m starting to think up my annual list of things to do. On the website front, I’m hoping to finally update my long-neglected photography gallery section, which hasn’t seen any new work (I believe) since 2005. The photo section is the only holdover from the first-generation sierradescents site. Just never got around to fixing it (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 8 Comments

September 26, 2009

Ski Video Induces Retirement

Yep, that’s right, I’m calling it quits. Maybe I’ll take up fly fishing…picture me with the sun way down low on the horizon, light all golden and sparkly, wading out in my waders in some remote mountain stream and casting in that poetic way they did in A River Runs Through It. Sad movie, that, but otherwise Mighty Fine fishing. Oh—the video that has induced my early retirement? It’s Cody Townsend skiing the Terminal Cancer Couloir in Nevada’s Ruby Mountains (via The Goat) (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 5 Comments

May 9, 2009

Baldy Freak Show (aka: Skiing the North Face)

Baldy Freak Show (aka: Skiing the North Face)

Coming off my Tyndall adventure, I thought it would be nice to do an easy tour this weekend…so I decided to ski Mount Baldy’s north face. Okay, maybe my difficulty scale got thrown a little out of whack on Shepherd Pass, but the advantage of doing something hard right after doing something really, really hard is, the hard thing seems a lot easier (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 6 Comments

May 5, 2009

High Sierra Crossing

On April 20, Don Sutton and Scott Bornheimer attempted to climb and ski across the High Sierra Route’s 50+ miles in a single day. They ended up taking two days to do the crossing, which is probably good news for us, because it means they got to video more of the trip in daylight. Crossing the Sierra on skis (or on foot, for that matter) has been a dream of mine for many seasons. Seeing this video just stirs the soul (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 6 Comments

May 2, 2009

Tyndall in a Day

Tyndall in a Day

The plan was simple: climb and ski Mount Tyndall in a single day. There were good reasons to try—and good reasons not. But it is the lot of the occasionally ambitious ski mountaineer to want to do something significant every now and then, so I drove to the Shepherd Pass trailhead and started climbing at midnight. Ten hours later I turned back, crushed by the scale of the effort. Now, exactly one week later, I am back (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 19 Comments

→ More SierraDescentsPrevious Posts ↵





SIERRADESCENTS FAVORITES: