June 26, 2013

The South Fork Loop

The South Fork Loop

“Don’t tell me how far it is,” I say. I don’t want to know. We’re at the Mill Creek Ranger Station, waiting for it to open so we can get hiking permits. You need permits to enter the San Gorgonio Wilderness, even for day hikes, and in Summer there’s a trail quota to deal with as well. Our planned destination today is the summit of San Gorgonio Mountain, officially 11,499′, unofficially a few feet higher (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 0 Comments

June 16, 2013

San Gorgonio Panorama

San Gorgonio Panorama

At just over (or maybe under) 11,500 feet, San Gorgonio Mountain is Southern California’s high point, considerably eclipsing rivals San Jacinto Peak and Mount San Antonio. This might just be the most inspiring summit view in SoCal, but you’ll have to work for it. The shortest approach, via the Vivian Creek trail, is about 8 miles and 5.5K of vertical. The South Fork approach, from the north, chops a bit of vertical (more…)

Posted in video | 3 Comments

June 12, 2013

Mount Hollywood

Mount Hollywood

Rising only 1625 feet above sea level, Mount Hollywood may sound lowly. But it is surely one of the must-do summits in Southern California. You won’t need much more than a pair of sneakers and a water bottle to make it to the top, and from there, you’ll be rewarded with incomparable views of Griffith Park, Los Angeles, and the surrounding L.A. Basin (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 4 Comments

June 8, 2013

The Winter Wrap

The Winter Wrap

Well it looks like I’m finally hanging up the skins on this unfinished-business of a 2012-2013 ski season. I’d hoped to add a volcano trip here in the waning weeks, but even that has fallen through, so I spent the day instead looking over posts and pictures from these past few months, thinking about some of the highs and lows of what turned out to be another record-dry Sierra winter (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 2 Comments

June 3, 2013

OR Cirque Pant

OR Cirque Pant

At some point I realized my backcountry ensemble was starting to enter a Mao phase. To combat the trend, I’ve begun seeking cheerier gear and clothing choices. So I was drawn to Outdoor Research’s Cirque pant not so much because of my high regard for OR’s Igneo pant, but because of the Cirque’s ‘glacier’ blue option. How are the pants themselves? Who cares—the color is awesome! Seriously, I was looking (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

May 27, 2013

The Bonafide Strikes Back

The Bonafide Strikes Back

While I had a fine time breaking in my new Soul 7′s two weeks ago, I ended that trip worried I’d just killed my Bonafides. How do the two skis compare, and can they coexist (peacefully) under one roof? There was only one way to answer that question—head back to Mammoth Mountain for some extended head-to-head testing (more…)

Posted in Gear | 1 Comment

May 27, 2013

Wahoo Gullies Are Burnt

Wahoo Gullies Are Burnt

Here’s a view that so struck me I had to jam on my brakes to pull over and take a picture of it: Mount Locke and the Wahoo Gullies, a favorite Bishop-area spring ski descent, almost totally devoid of snow as of today, May 25. Some of these Eastern Sierra classics are so bare right now it’s just hard to believe. Normally this would be prime time for the Wahoo (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment

May 13, 2013

More Thoughts On the Soul 7

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 give me a liberating sense of freedom when it comes to making public comments about their gear (more…)

Posted in Gear | 15 Comments

May 13, 2013

White Mountain Is White

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, say Bishop area, there wasn’t nearly as much in the Sierra. But look at White Mountain! (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 Comments

May 9, 2013

Principles of Steep Skiing: Revised

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 feats, which led to a visit to France that vastly expanded my horizons (more…)

Posted in technique | 22 Comments

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