May 3, 2012 Smith Parallel Gear

Smith Parallel

Smith’s Parallel replaces the discontinued Factor as their go-to performance multisport sunglasses. Smith says the Parallel’s styling is a little more contemporary, which is true. But more importantly, the Parallel is a better-performing sunglass, nicely addressing the Factor’s so-so wind protection without resorting to excessive lens coverage (more…) (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments
April 30, 2012 Merry Fishmass! Video

Merry Fishmass!

Merry Fishmass everyone! That’s right, fishing season is officially underway in the Eastern Sierra. Hope you took advantage of the open roads this past weekend and got out there to have some fun. Tahoe Mountain Sports owner Dave Polivy and I went up Tioga Pass Road to the Conness area to try our luck, and (more...)...

Posted in Video | 2 Comments
April 25, 2012 Smartwool PhD Ski Ultra Light Gear

Smartwool PhD Ski Ultra Light

Believe it or not, I was a dedicated cotton socks hiker for a long time. I liked the extra texture of cotton, which kept my foot from slipping and sliding inside my shoes. Of course, I also loved the next-to-skin comfort of cotton. Then I got a pair of Smartwool socks as a gift. By (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 2 Comments
April 23, 2012 Sierra Snowpack Update Current Conditions

Sierra Snowpack Update

I sort of hesitate to say what exactly is normal these days, but I think we can safely call the Sierra snowpack well below average. Here’s a shot of Birch Mountain taken April 20, 2012, showing just how bleak things are. Are we at the point where we can call the Southern Sierra a total (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments
April 17, 2012 News

‘The Couloir to Nowhere’ on TV

I am so delighted to make this announcement: my documentary, The Couloir to Nowhere, is now available on television via The Ski Channel. That’s right, you can now watch my adventure filmmaking masterpiece in the comfort and privacy of your own home, on your very own big-screen TV. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and perhaps most (more...)...

Posted in News | 3 Comments
April 15, 2012 April Snow Current Conditions

April Snow

I wish I had a comparison photo. Last Sunday looked to be the bitter end at Snow Valley. They’d done a fine job with the snow cats to get a few lines into passable shape (at least until the sun cooked everything), but the mountain was bare dirt everywhere but for a handful of thinly-covered (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 Comments
April 12, 2012 Finding Appropriate Terrain Kids

Finding Appropriate Terrain

I would like to relate a little story about ski terrain and my hometown mountain, the Arizona Snowbowl. I was skiing there with my son, who had recently progressed to skiing off a leash, making turns and stopping all on his own, and he wanted to ski a run called Ridge to celebrate his new-found (more...)...

Posted in Kids | 3 Comments
March 31, 2012 Voile XLM Gear

Voile XLM

Voile has updated its smallest shovel, the XLM. The original XLM was arguably the lightest functional aluminum avalanche shovel on the market. The new XLM is…arguably the lightest functional aluminum avalanche shovel on the market. What’s changed? Voile says the new XLM is lighter, which conflicts a bit with my 2007 notes (I think the (more...)...

Posted in Gear | 4 Comments
March 27, 2012 San Jacinto Update Current Conditions

San Jacinto Update

Well, I guess one March Miracle is about all you can ask. This last front seemed to come in heavy here in the Basin, but it just didn’t hit the mountains with nearly the same punch as last week’s storm. I did a short tour yesterday in the San Jacintos hoping for another day of (more...)...

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment
March 23, 2012 Skiing San Diego Video

Skiing San Diego

It is a strange, strange thing to get in your car in L.A. and head south to go skiing. Stuck in traffic on the 405, I began to wonder what sort of fool’s quest I was embarking upon, but the trip to San Diego ended up being one of my most memorable Southern California mountaineering (more...)...

Posted in Video | 11 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.