March 31, 2010 West Baldy Skiing

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 (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 5 Comments
March 22, 2010 The Couloir to Nowhere Skiing

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. (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 19 Comments
February 7, 2010 The San Jacinto Report Skiing

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 (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 12 Comments
October 14, 2009 Skiing

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 Skiing

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 (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 8 Comments
September 26, 2009 Skiing

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, (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 5 Comments
May 9, 2009 Baldy Freak Show (aka: Skiing the North Face) Skiing

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 (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 6 Comments
May 5, 2009 Skiing

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 (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 6 Comments
May 2, 2009 Tyndall in a Day Skiing

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 (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 19 Comments
April 19, 2009 Shepherd Pass Skiing

Shepherd Pass

The plan was simple: Tyndall in a day. But as I made the pitch to my climbing partners, one by one they found various reasons to be elsewhere. And who could blame them? To get to 14,018′ Mount Tyndall, you must first contend with one of the worst approaches in the entire Sierra—the Shepherd Pass (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 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.