January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

It was cold! We darted up to the Big Bear Lake area just in time to catch a surprisingly potent overnight storm, plus a very un-SoCalish 10° F day at Snow Summit. The Bear resorts are now proudly declaring they’ve got better conditions than at any time last year, and with a foot of fresh powder, who can argue? The Wall should be open this weekend, if it’s not already (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 13 Comments

December 22, 2014

Mammoth Wind

Mammoth Wind

If the north wind is the scourge of the Sierra (as Mingori and Greenberg write) it is doubly so for isolated, treeless Mammoth Mountain. High winds and holiday crowds made for harsh conditions on the hill Saturday and early Sunday, with Mammoth forced to shutter not just the top but also many of their key arterial, lower mountain lifts (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 3 Comments

December 11, 2014

It’s Coming In Warm…(UPDATED)

It's Coming In Warm...(UPDATED)

Good news, bad news again from the west coast: indications are we’re on the cusp of seeing a major winter storm hit California, perhaps the most significant storm of the past several years. Also good: indications are that we have an authentic storm track pattern setting in, in which a number of storms—not just one and done—are en route (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

December 7, 2014

Snow, Rain, & Mesh Canopies

Snow, Rain, & Mesh Canopies

The good news is it’s early December and there is skiing in Southern California. The bad news is last week’s heavy rain did exactly what you’d expect to the local resorts’ man-made snow: it hammered it. In the space of a week we’ve gone from pretty good inbounds skiing to disturbingly-familiar, just-barely-hanging-on ribbons of coverage (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments

November 27, 2014

Summit Opens

Summit Opens

Skis touch snow once again and I say AAHHH it feels good. Opening day 2014: once again I am in awe of Snow Summit’s snowmaking capability. We drove past an utterly bare Snow Valley (my 5-year-old called it “dead”) and I began to worry, but Summit with its higher base elevation and its bountiful lake water had created a fully-covered top-to-bottom Miracle Mile for us (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

November 23, 2014

Backcountry Skiing Returns…

Backcountry Skiing Returns...

Dan Mingori & Nate Greenberg have just released the 2nd edition of their backcountry skiing guidebook, ‘Backcountry Skiing California’s Eastern Sierra,’ and it is a substantial update. You can read my review of their original 2008 edition here; the 2014 release happily keeps all the original material (with minor tweaks), and adds coverage of (more…)

Posted in Books | 2 Comments

November 13, 2014

Black Diamond Carbon Convert

Black Diamond Carbon Convert

If you ask me, Black Diamond has been victimized, to an extent, by the very same perfect powder that makes Utah skiing so famous. Skis tuned to perform in that incomparable Wasatch snow just don’t tend to translate as well in other, less amenable climates. For that reason, reviewing Black Diamond skis always makes me anxious. They’re a great ski company, no question…but they just don’t seem (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

November 12, 2014

La Sportiva Vapor Nano

La Sportiva Vapor Nano

If you want a ski with lots of surface area and very, very little weight, La Sportiva presents the aptly-named Vapor Nano: 103mm underfoot and 5.29lbs per pair (spec). The Vapor Nano is a carbon fiber ski, and an expensive one at that, featuring what Sportiva calls “Nanotube” construction, a nano-ish technology designed to deliver torsional rigidity at the lowest possible weight (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

November 4, 2014

Lange RS 130: Liner Updates Make a Difference

Lange RS 130: Liner Updates Make a Difference

Lange has been making the RS-130 for so long and for so well it seems almost presumptuous to review it. This is the boot for citizen racing and elite frontside performance. Still, there’s an update for the 2014-2015 season, and while modest, it is consequential. First, the skier: you’re a racer. Lange makes a number of fantastic boots for those who’ve never run a course, but the RS really is a racing boot (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

November 3, 2014

Pumpkins, Snow, & Rainbows

Pumpkins, Snow, & Rainbows

Are we not overdue? Depending on how you see the glass, we have now gone three years in a row without a true Sierra winter. Three years! It seems like a lifetime. Throughout this summer I have avoided all news of warmer ocean temperatures and shifting patterns and currents because my poor heart simply can’t stand any more disappointment (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment

→ More SierraDescentsPrevious Posts ↵





SIERRADESCENTS FAVORITES: