May 5, 2015 Steep Skiing: Uphill Ski Strategies Part II Tips & Technique

Steep Skiing: Uphill Ski Strategies Part II

The downhill ski works. You do the move, and it’s practically universal: hard snow, soft snow, low angle, high angle, damn the consequences, it works (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 3 Comments
May 6, 2014 Steep Skiing: The Unweight Tips & Technique

Steep Skiing: The Unweight

Three years I’ve been obsessing about steep technique. Three years of drought. It strikes me now that the irony is, having finally found the steep turn I’ve been looking for all my life, I may never put it to use skiing horrifically steep big lines because (1) we haven’t had any snow, and (2) my (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 7 Comments
April 8, 2014 Steep Skiing: The Downhill Ski Tips & Technique

Steep Skiing: The Downhill Ski

When things go wrong with steep skiing technique, the space-constrained uphill ski always seems to be the instigator. Who hasn’t felt their uphill ski catch at the worst possible moment? And yet, as I continue to diagnose the weaknesses in my own steep technique, I find myself thinking if the uphill ski is the symptom (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 1 Comment
March 26, 2014 Steep Technique: Uphill Ski Strategy I Tips & Technique

Steep Technique: Uphill Ski Strategy I

I continue to focus on management of the uphill ski as the key to unlocking the secrets of steep skiing technique. Those of you who follow my site know this has become something of an odyssey for me, starting with my initial belief that steep turns should be initiated from a weighted uphill ski, which (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 3 Comments
November 15, 2013 Thoughts on Approach Tips & Technique

Thoughts on Approach

Waiting for snow to arrive has me contemplating a similar frustration: not being able to get to the snow even when it is here. Yes, I’m talking about those maddeningly-tough Eastern Sierra approaches. I admit I believe getting yourself and your skis to the snowline in the area between, say, Olancha Peak and the Palisades (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 4 Comments
October 6, 2013 Sea-Level Acclimatization Strategies Tips & Technique

Sea-Level Acclimatization Strategies

Californians overwhelmingly live at sea level, placing us at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to climbing mountains. The best and safest and most obvious way to acclimatize for high-altitude adventures—for example, climbing mount whitney—is to gradually adjust by spending several weeks living and training at progressively higher elevations (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 7 Comments
September 28, 2013 Backcountry Cooking: Chicken w/Broccoli Tips & Technique

Backcountry Cooking: Chicken w/Broccoli

To me, the ideal backcountry meal is not only tasty but also reasonably healthy, super-easy to prepare, easy to clean up afterward, and doesn’t leave you with a lot of waste that will have to be packed out. Yes, there’s no end of freeze-dried options available these days, but with few exceptions, I tend to (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 0 Comments
May 9, 2013 Principles of Steep Skiing: Revised Tips & Technique

Principles of Steep Skiing: Revised

I don’t how, exactly, my obsession with steep skiing began, but even as a kid, I remember arriving at ski areas and immediately wanting to find the steepest run on the hill to see if I could ski it. Later, I became aware of the steep skiers of the Chamonix valley, and their incredible high-angle (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 22 Comments
April 16, 2013 Steep Technique: I Was Wrong! Tips & Technique

Steep Technique: I Was Wrong!

In my never-ending quest to master steep skiing technique, there have certainly been highs and lows, but I have to confess I’ve been stuck for a long time battling what I think of as the problem of getting “pinched” against the hill: I find myself unable to gracefully create enough space between my body and (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 6 Comments
March 23, 2013 Tips & Technique

‘The Turn’

One of my more esoteric quests is the search for the perfect steep skiing turn. Steep technique turns out to be a fabulously nuanced and dynamic field of study. There are lots of ways to do it (some better than others), and however you do it, there’s not only the highly complex mechanics to master—there’s (more...)...

Posted in Tips & Technique | 5 Comments

→ Read More SierraDescents

Hiking Favorites


Gear Reviews



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.