December 28, 2013

Downtown Driest Ever

Downtown Driest Ever

Are we really already in hoping-for-March mode? 2013 isn't even over yet. I was doing okay until I checked the numbers for Mammoth: last year, Mammoth Mountain saw 147" of snow in December on top of 60" in November. This year, Mammoth is poised to report 24.5" for December on top of a pitiful 10.5" November.

Today, the L.A. Times confirms that sinking suspicion we all have: 2013 is going to be the driest year on record for Southern California, as reported by the Downtown station. Well, maybe it's time to complete the trilogy and load up Mass Effect 3.

How dry are the SoCal mountains? Sylvain Saudan says, "You have to accept the conditions as they are." Unless, however, like Saudan, you are willing to ski the impossible, you'll want to turn your attention to the north, where you'll find indisputably crappy but at least skiable conditions in the backcountry, or a thin but doable Mammoth Mountain.

This winter comes on the heels of two record or near-record dry Sierra winters. A third, if that is indeed how 2013-2014 plays out, will be devastating. But Jed's right: there are still turns to be had, and if not skiing, there is rock climbing or even hiking out there right now. It's better than the sofa, right? Right??? Someone please tell me Jed is right!

Andy Lewicky

ANDY LEWICKY is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer who enjoys good books, jasmine tea, long walks in the rain, and climbing and skiing the big peaks of the California Sierra. email | follow

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