June 1, 2012 Ortovox 3+ Gear

Ortovox 3+

I say Ortovox’s 3+ is one of the best choices in today’s crop of avalanche transceivers. The class of 2012 offers us a lot of innovation, but it also offers a lot of complexity. Leave the complexity to others (if you don’t explicitly need it) and go with the Ortovox’s effective fusion of simplicity and (more...)...

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May 26, 2012 Black Diamond Mission Gear

Black Diamond Mission

The big news with the climbing-oriented Mission 50 pack is that it employs Black Diamond’s patent-pending ‘reACTIV’ suspension system. ReACTIV suspensions, and the more aggressive ‘ErgoACTIV’, are designed to allow the pack to move naturally while you’re walking by adding a mechanical pivot to the frame-hip belt interface. In other words, the load is allowed (more...)...

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May 25, 2012 Salomon Speedcross 3 Gear

Salomon Speedcross 3

Salomon inarguably makes some of the most popular trail running shoes on the planet, but for my taste their lasts have tended to offer too much rigidity and/or support. Happily, the Speedcross 3 offers a fresh take. Unlike the high-pronation control of Salomon’s XT Wings, the Speedcross is noticeably softer—some might say cushier. Frankly you (more...)...

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May 23, 2012 False White Video

False White

Chances of Memorial Day snow notwithstanding, this is probably going to be the last hurrah this year for my Sierra backcountry season—a ski descent of False White Mountain via the southeast face. With Tioga Pass open, False White is certainly within the day trip realm, though it did take a little longer than expected to (more...)...

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May 7, 2012 Leavitt Peak Groove Video

Leavitt Peak Groove

I had so much fun a week ago Skiing Conness’ Y-Couloir I decided Y not do another? And so Trevor Benedict and I headed all the way north to Sonora Pass to ski Leavitt Peak’s Y-Couloir. I have to say, the Sonora Pass area completely exceeded my expectations. The skiable terrain in the area is (more...)...

Posted in Video | 7 Comments
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...)...

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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...)...

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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

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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.