February 20, 2014

SIA 2014: The Skis

SIA 2014: The Skis

If you want a quick narrative for the trends in ski design for the upcoming 2014-2015 winter, let’s go with a combination of consolidation and chasing. With a few notable exceptions, makers aren’t offering big, audacious changes. Rather, many of the best skis return unchanged (or with minor tweaks), and many second-tier skis come back looking more like this year’s winners (more…)

Posted in Gear | 2 Comments

February 1, 2014

SIA Denver 2014

SIA Denver 2014

There is snow in Denver—and a reported two feet or more of fresh in many nearby Colorado resorts, making for a wonderfully snowy beginning to the 60th running of the Snowsports Industries Americas’ annual Snow Show. I’ve roamed and roamed about the convention center floor today, and I’ll be at Copper Mountain for the On-Snow demo days as well (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

January 27, 2014

Snow Valley: January 2014

Snow Valley: January 2014

AARRRGH!! Really: Aargh! There’s no other way to say it. I feel my stubborn side kicking in, and now I’m wondering: who will quit first? Will Snow Valley management throw in the towel and close, or will I and my kids give up and stay home? Based on the look of things today, I’d have to say Snow Valley has absolutely entered the heroic-measures phase (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 5 Comments

January 21, 2014

Summit: Still Solid

Summit: Still Solid

I can’t say if Snow Summit is currently offering the best skiing in California, but I can say their snowmaking capability remains unmatched. Where Snow Valley just down the road seems about ready to flatline, Summit’s ski runs feature full, abundant, rock-free coverage from top to bottom and edge to edge (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment

January 19, 2014

On the Leacock Trail

On the Leacock Trail

Hiking the Leacock Trail this morning, I found myself contemplating the viability and/or wisdom of selectively removing unpleasant memories from our minds. This is apparently a new avenue of research in the various behavioral sciences, as a possible means of cutting-edge treatment for people suffering from things like PTSD (more…)

Posted in Musings | 6 Comments

January 13, 2014

Skiing’s Man-Made Future

Skiing's Man-Made Future

As I contemplate the reality of what appears to be the worst Sierra winter any of us have ever seen, I find myself thinking about the obvious importance snowmaking is going to have for the survival of many ski areas. We’re back from a week in Flagstaff, skiing the Arizona Snowbowl, which has recently installed (after endless legal battles) a working snowmaking system (more…)

Posted in Musings | 6 Comments

December 28, 2013

Downtown Driest Ever

Downtown Driest Ever

Are we really already in hoping-for-March mode? 2013 isn’t even over yet. I was doing okay until I checked the numbers for Mammoth: last year, Mammoth Mountain saw 147″ of snow in December on top of 60″ in November. This year, Mammoth is poised to report 24.5″ for December on top of a pitiful 10.5″ November. (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 11 Comments

December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas 2013!

No snow for us this year, so we went for the traditional and festive Southern California bike ride. At least we’ve got the beach! :) Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Posted in California | 1 Comment

December 18, 2013

Just Add Snow…

Just Add Snow...

Please!!! Was I really driving with the A/C on today, mid-December, at 7000 feet in the San Bernardino Mountains? Alas, yes: NOAA gave the high temperature in Running Springs as 67°. At Snow Valley, with not a whisper of wind, it was T-shirt weather on the slopes, and mind-blowingly hot even then (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 3 Comments

December 9, 2013

Reading the SoCal Backcountry

Reading the SoCal Backcountry

I know what you’re thinking: it’s snowing! How much has it snowed? Has it snowed enough? It is worth it to try hitting the SoCal backcountry? How do you know if it’s deep enough out there? Well, as it turns out, there’s a great and easy way to find out what’s happening in the local mountains that involves neither freeway driving nor hours of possibly futile hiking (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 4 Comments

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