December 27, 2008 Skiing


What’s this? A ski report on SierraDescents? Stop the Presses! Why, I didn’t even know they did skiing on this site! I thought they just talked about sniffing tea cups and losing money in the stock market…Yes indeed, it’s a real-live December ski report, in which I managed to get myself to the mountains and (more...)...

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December 1, 2008 News

Forget the Dow…

“…Ride the Pow.” So says the Mountain High Ski Area website. It’s a nice catchy slogan, given the current market gyrations (am I rich? am I poor? every minute puts me in a new demographic!! help!!). But wouldn’t this pitch be a little more effective if Mountain High were actually OPEN? Just asking. In related (more...)...

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November 7, 2008 Skiing

Backcountry Mag vs. Davenport

Well…not exactly, but if you did happen to catch the cover on the November ’08 Backcountry Magazine, you’ll see the provocative headline, “New Heights or New Hype: Freeski Mountaineer Chris Davenport.” The feature article inside doesn’t exactly stake out a bold position on the subject, but it does ask the intriguing question, is Chris Davenport (more...)...

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July 29, 2008 Skiing

North Peak…Skiing…July?

I was browsing the message boards at when I happened to see a new “North Peak” post. I clicked on it, thinking someone had posted a climbing trip report (North Peak’s North Couloir is a classic Sierra Ice Climb in summer). Surprise: this wasn’t a climbing TR: it was a Sierra ski report—in July! (more...)...

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May 11, 2008 Skiing

Williamson Still Hard

THIS JUST IN: Climbing Mt. Williamson is still Hard. Really Hard. SierraDescents personally verified this yesterday, with an ascent and ski of the south-facing couloir between Mt. Williamson’s East and West Horns, accessed via the Bairs Creek Cirque. Ironically, I had no intention of trying this route this year, but a friend was interested in (more...)...

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May 5, 2008 Current Conditions

Sierra Report: South Lake, Tioga

Grab your car keys: Tioga Pass Road is open to Ellerly Lake and the Yosemite park entrance, coming from Highway 395. Reports are that snow was very hard and frozen last weekend, with little softening, thanks to chilly temps (and even some rain). Mount Dana does not sound fun: rocky upper and too much bare (more...)...

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April 27, 2008 Birch Mountain Marathon Skiing

Birch Mountain Marathon

Saturday I skied Birch Mountain with a group of skiers from the Angeles Sierra Club’s ski mountaineer’s section. I don’t get the opportunity to ski in groups that often, thanks to my schedule and reclusive personality, but I do enjoy it, and it makes for fantastic photo ops. The dynamic is also completely different when (more...)...

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April 21, 2008 Skiing

Williamson: Notes from the Field

Today’s Notes from the Field come courtesy of my friend Bill, whose adventures on Mount Williamson served as an early inspiration to me on my own quest to ski California’s second-highest peak. Bill has a thing for the George Creek approach, which appears here and there in the guidebooks, usually with a sly ‘recommendation’ ala (more...)...

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April 15, 2008 Tandem Skiing Skiing

Tandem Skiing

Flagstaff had a great ski season this year, though, like California, the traditionally-big March ended up high and dry. Still, there’s enough snow to ski on the mountain right now, so what better way to warm up the legs than put a 25 pound bundle of joy on your back, skin up the local ski (more...)...

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April 10, 2008 Lone Pine Peak - East Couloir Skiing

Lone Pine Peak – East Couloir

Sometimes as a writer you just don’t know how much information to give. It would be easy to present this as a dashing adventure in which I fearlessly charged into the unknown and triumphed, except that’s not at all what it was like. This was an intense struggle that really made me question myself and (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 10 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.