March 27, 2008 Skiing

Death Valley to Telescope Peak

Allow me to say I’m just green with envy on this one—a group of skiers (or perhaps more accurately, madmen) hiked from Badwater Basin, Death Valley, elevation -282, to the summit of Telescope Peak, 11,049, some 20 miles of rough country away, skied the peak, and hiked back down. My favorite part of the Trip (more...)...

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March 23, 2008 Skiing

Mt. Baldy – North Face

AFTER SCOUTING Mt. Baldy’s north face from Mount Waterman, I thought I’d hike up for a ski attempt this weekend. There was no question there would be snow—lots of it. But I was a little concerned about ice. This has been a strange season for north aspects in the San Gabriels. Things have been persistently (more...)...

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March 20, 2008 Current Conditions

Route 2 – Mt. Waterman Report

BUT IS THERE SNOW? That’s certainly the question that was on my mind, so I packed up the skis and the boy and hit the road. Figuring I’d try to find snow a little closer to home, I drove up Route 2 from La Canada. I’ll tell you, things looked pretty bleak at first. When (more...)...

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March 15, 2008 Skiing Palmyra Peak Skiing

Skiing Palmyra Peak

I am standing on Palmyra Peak’s summit ridge with two Telluride ski patrollers, and they seem every bit as amazed as I am to be here. From our perch at 13,150 feet, we can see deep into the vast high-altitude cirques and spines of the Telluride backcountry—Lena Basin, San Joaquin Ridge, Bear Creek Canyon. But (more...)...

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February 28, 2008 The Milk Run Skiing

The Milk Run

I’ve been skiing Colorado resorts for some time now, and I often find it hard to explain objectively why I like Telluride so much. Telluride certainly doesn’t have Vail’s snow or massive acreage. By mega-resort standards, it is a small mountain, hard to get to, and at best quirky when it comes to lift placement. (more...)...

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February 26, 2008 Black Iron Bowl: Elevation Skiing

Black Iron Bowl: Elevation

We knew a few things before we got here in Telluride. We knew they were having a near-record year for snowfall. I can verify that: today I overheard a ski patrol talking. He said he was going to have to retire—because there was no way things would ever be this good in his lifetime again. (more...)...

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February 24, 2008 Skiing

Telluride Dining Guide

Okay, you’ve made it to Telluride in more or less one piece, you’ve settled into your condo, and if you’re lucky, your luggage will arrive sometime tomorrow. Wondering where the heck to get something to eat? Never fear: here’s our first-ever, somewhat irreverent, certainly non-comprehensive, and hopefully not too libelous guide to fine dinning in (more...)...

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February 20, 2008 Musings

Road Trip

Time for some R&R over here. We’re going to be hitting the road this week and next for a trip to Arizona and Colorado. I’m looking forward to skiing Telluride and checking out the new terrain that’s open off Palmayra Peak. Not sure how much of Palmayra is actually open, but I’m been wishing I (more...)...

Posted in Musings, Skiing | 1 Comment
February 15, 2008 Cucamonga Peak: South Face Skiing

Cucamonga Peak: South Face

Cucamonga Peak has definitely been on my fantasy list for a long time. Who could resist that incredible south face? I ran some numbers on my Topo software, and of all the major Southern California summits, nothing comes close to Cucamonga Peak’s combination of vertical relief and proximity to the city. That was very obvious (more...)...

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February 6, 2008 News

Lost Bay Area Skiers Found

The San Francisco Chronicle reports two missing skiers have been found after they became lost in the backcountry near Alpine Meadows ski resort. Both men are described as experienced adventure skiers, though according to the article, they did not intend to leave the resort on the day they became lost. Weather conditions were particularly foul (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.