Every time I visit the Whitney Portal area, I always look up at Thor Peak and wonder about skiing it—but I never do. This time, erratic coverage in the Eastern Sierra had us scrambling for a backup plan, and when I looked up at Thor Peak’s east couloirs, they both looked pretty well filled in. The summit snowfield was smooth but much too soft (more…)
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Yes, it’s Southern California’s infamous steep-skiing classic, the Girly Man Chute, seen here in far from ideal conditions on an alternately foggy and sunny warm April day. Girly Man’s entrance seems to vary depending on coverage. On Saturday it was at least 55° at the entrance, maybe a tad steeper, with dangerously soft snow hanging above a rock garden (more…)
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Believe it or not, this actually started out as a business-as-usual review of the Icebreaker Quantum Liner Glove. Occasionally, however, a truly unique piece of gear comes along, inspiring me to really dig in and go the extra mile (original accompanying music composed and performed by me).
Cold Storm Good. Mmmm…
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Continuing my award-winning Top to Bottom video series, here is a POV ski descent of the Arizona Snowbowl via the Spur Catwalk, Lower Bowl, Logjam, Wild Turkey, and Round Up—or, as the locals like to call it, “Bowl”. Chair was running smoothly today, crowds were light, and sun was shining, so all is forgiven (more…)
You really can’t understand how extraordinary Telluride’s hike-to 13,320′ Palmyra Peak is unless you actually go up the bastard. This is wild country, fully deserving of its EX rating, offering the kind of remote and intimidating skiing you just don’t get within the bounds of (realistically) any other major North American resort (more…)
My history skiing Mt. Baldy’s north face has typically run in one of two flavors: terrifying, or abominable. Okay, sometimes both. Baldy’s north face seems particularly vulnerable to becoming icy, turning the entire north side of the mountain into a deadly-serious 40-45° skating rink. When the north side is icy (and sometimes it’s hard to tell from above), your only choice is to stay away—it’s not skiable (more…)
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Maybe I needed a little space to make sense of this past winter. It seemed at the time like I just wasn’t getting out there as much as I wanted, but now that I’ve edited all the photos into a single compilation, I realize…it was an amazing year. By any measure, it was the best year I’ve had in California. Any one of the many highlights would have made it a fantastic season on its own.
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It’s here at last: the Couloir to Nowhere DVD is now available, just in time for the holiday season! SierraDescents’ first-ever short film tells the story of our ski descent of Iron Mountain, deep in the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains. When I first took a photo of Iron’s north face, from atop Baden-Powell in 2008, I could have never imagined how much trouble that single photograph would cause (more…)
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Bill Henry and I made a go of Half Dome’s infamous cables route on a very crowded August day. This marked the last year of the no-quota era. Rangers have subsequently instituted a permit system for all hikers above Sub Dome to prevent exactly this kind of traffic jam. Still, the weather was perfect, no fights broke out, and this video includes I believe the only footage I’ve got of a girl in a bikini. So all in all—a great day! (more…)