April 10, 2014 Tecnica Mach1 Gear

Tecnica Mach1

New for the upcoming 2014-2015 season is Tecnica’s Mach1, which employs what Tecnica calls a paradigm shift in ski boot construction: designing “from the inside out.” By this, Tecnica means they’ve built the liner to fit the foot, and then built the shell to fit the liner, instead of the reverse. Don’t other boot makers (more...)...

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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 | 2 Comments
April 7, 2014 The Wildcard Winter Current Conditions

The Wildcard Winter

The long lens came out repeatedly as I drove up and down Highway 395 this past weekend. Some snow fell up there last week—you may not have heard. Sue calls it “The most powerful storm of the winter”, and by this year’s standards she’s not lying. Depending on where you look, the Sierra high country (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments
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
March 24, 2014 Bare Mountain Current Conditions

Bare Mountain

Perhaps I go too far in comparing yesterday at Bear Mountain’s “Access Express” chair to a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare, but if you’re worried about what the endgame for Southern California skiing might just look like, this surely was an unsettling landscape. Ribbons of brown snow wound through muddy fields, whilst crowds of people shuffled slowly (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments
March 18, 2014 Snow Summit: Top to Bottom Video

Snow Summit: Top to Bottom

It’s been far too long since we’ve had a new edition of my critically-acclaimed top-to-bottom video series. True, you generally need snow to make skiing videos. But snow or no snow, I will not be defeated by this cursed 2013-2014 Winter! I will not be beaten. I will endure. I will endeavor to persevere.* I (more...)...

Posted in Video | 5 Comments
March 14, 2014 GoPro Hero3+ Gear

GoPro Hero3+

GoPro’s Hero3+ is one of those vexingly-horizontal iterations that make it almost impossible to know whether it’s worth it to upgrade. Still, GoPro is making a number of claims of superiority regarding the 3+’s image quality, audio quality, and battery life. And then there’s the new SuperView mode. Plus a new included wireless remote. Existing (more...)...

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March 10, 2014 Gorgonio Is In Current Conditions

Gorgonio Is In

Where did all the snow go from last weekend’s massive wet system? San Gorgonio, apparently. If I’d seen this look at the north face a few days ago, I’d have tried to ski it. Instead I took the kids to Snow Summit, and picked up a pass for the rest of this and next season (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments
March 3, 2014 San Jacinto Sunday Current Conditions

San Jacinto Sunday

As I wrote awhile back, you can use the SoCal ski resort webpages to get a pretty good idea as to what’s happening in the higher backcountry elevations. Two of those key indicators are (1) is Mt. Baldy Ski Area open? and (2) is it raining at the top of the Palm Springs Tram? The (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments
February 28, 2014 SIA 2014: Accessories Gear

SIA 2014: Accessories

BCA releases the Tracker 3 avalanche beacon, which promises to wed the original tracker’s real-time speed and simplicity with a smaller, lighter body. Expect the Tracker to once again dominate the beacon market. For those of you who need a wildly expensive helmet, POC offers the race-oriented Skull Orbic Comp H.I. MIPS (MSRP: $480), which (more...)...

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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.