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
April 17, 2013 Blizzard Magnum 8.0 Ti Gear

Blizzard Magnum 8.0 Ti

Blizzard’s Magnum 8.0 Ti has been a darling of the ski media, consistently scoring near the top of the performance-carver class. The Magnum 8.0 Ti is somewhat oddly categorized as part of Blizzard’s ‘sport’ range, but it clearly delivers performance approaching that of an elite-level ski—especially with regard to GS-radius turns. At the same time, (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 0 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 | 10 Comments
April 15, 2013 Mammoth Current Conditions


Thank goodness we have Mammoth! Your Southern Sierra looks an awful lot like summer right now, but atop Mammoth Mountain there’s got to be a solid 12 feet or so of snow. With the wind and sun in your favor, you’ll find upper mountain skiing in great shape, and lower mountain groomers offering sweet but (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 3 Comments
April 11, 2013 Salomon X-Race Gear

Salomon X-Race

Not one ski but several, Salomon’s X-Race varies its sidecut radius by length, allowing skiers to match the ski to their preferred turn shape. So for example if you pick the 155cm length, you’ll be banging out turns on an 11-meter radius ski (!), whereas if you choose a 180cm X-Race, you’ll be cruising on (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

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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.