June 8, 2013 The Winter Wrap Skiing

The Winter Wrap

Well it looks like I’m finally hanging up the skins on this unfinished-business of a 2012-2013 ski season. I’d hoped to add a volcano trip here in the waning weeks, but even that has fallen through, so I spent the day instead looking over posts and pictures from these past few months, thinking about some (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 2 Comments
June 3, 2013 OR Cirque Pant Gear

OR Cirque Pant

At some point I realized my backcountry ensemble was starting to enter a Mao phase. To combat the trend, I’ve begun seeking cheerier gear and clothing choices. So I was drawn to Outdoor Research’s Cirque pant not so much because of my high regard for OR’s Igneo pant, but because of the Cirque’s ‘glacier’ blue (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments
May 27, 2013 The Bonafide Strikes Back Gear

The Bonafide Strikes Back

While I had a fine time breaking in my new Soul 7’s two weeks ago, I ended that trip worried I’d just killed my Bonafides. How do the two skis compare, and can they coexist (peacefully) under one roof? There was only one way to answer that question—head back to Mammoth Mountain for some extended (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 1 Comment
May 27, 2013 Wahoo Gullies Are Burnt Current Conditions

Wahoo Gullies Are Burnt

Here’s a view that so struck me I had to jam on my brakes to pull over and take a picture of it: Mount Locke and the Wahoo Gullies, a favorite Bishop-area spring ski descent, almost totally devoid of snow as of today, May 25. Some of these Eastern Sierra classics are so bare right (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment
May 13, 2013 More Thoughts On the Soul 7 Gear

More Thoughts On the Soul 7

Rather than update my Soul 7 review, I think I’m just going to add some additional thoughts here. As expected, I did go ahead and buy a pair, and I paid with my own money. First of all, there’s nothing I hate more than ski manufacturers making me bleed my own blood, but it does (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 21 Comments
May 13, 2013 White Mountain Is White Current Conditions

White Mountain Is White

Passing Olancha and entering the outskirts of Lone Pine on Highway 395, what should my wondering eyes see but snow—and lots of it—dusting the high peaks. Apparently last week’s thunderstorms did a little more work than I gave them credit for. The Whitney Zone seemed to catch a good piece of it, but farther north, (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 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
May 4, 2013 Mammoth: Electrifying! Current Conditions

Mammoth: Electrifying!

It was such a beautiful sunny morning here at Mammoth Mountain California, I was beginning to hope the forecast T-storms would fail to show. Nope: right around 11 a.m. things began to cloud up, and by noon, there was an big black cloud hanging just west of the mountain, drifting steadily toward Chair 23. But (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments
April 24, 2013 GoPro Hero3 Black Gear

GoPro Hero3 Black

GoPro’s Hero3 Black Edition is easily one of the most interesting video cameras of the year—and not only within the helmet-cam category. If you were hoping for big advances in video imaging, here they are, and they are impressive indeed: an advanced sensor capable of shooting 1080P footage at 60 frames per second, or 2.7K (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments
April 21, 2013 El Gringo Eskiador Skiing

El Gringo Eskiador

In 1979, Patrick Vallencant skied the west face of Peru’s 21,768′ Yerupaja. Lou Dawson describes the route as “Possibly the continuously steepest mountain ski descent ever done.” Incredibly, Vallencant’s descent was filmed, and that footage was made into a documentary called “El Gringo Eskiador.” Unfortunately, copies of the film are almost impossible to find (more...)...

Posted in Skiing | 6 Comments

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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.