Back To Snow

Back To Snow

I am pleased to report I got back into ski boots and successfully carved GS turns on the groomers at Snow Summit yesterday. What a magical thing it is to return to skiing after the long hiatus of summer.

These past few weeks of waiting have been challenging.

My foot is still a bit wonky, no doubt. 6000 vertical foot hikes will not be in my immediate future, but everything is otherwise healing nicely, and I expect to return to normal soon—whatever that is.

I have finished my stint as house-painter/restorer. It only took me—what?—four months. Plus one broken foot. In hindsight, taking on the exterior of a cute but rotted-out 1940's rental strikes me as the the sort of bucket-list accomplishment best avoided. But it does look nice.

There is snow. It feels good to write those words here mid-Decemberish. It would feel better if I could say there is SoCal snow, but alas there is not. You'll find good inbounds conditions at Summit and even Snow Valley, thanks to their formidable snowmaking systems, but the San Gabriels were virtually dry yesterday, and the San Bernardinos aren't much better.

Overnight we got a great deal of rain here in the basin (more than forecast, I believe), but it's warm—Summit reports no new accumulation and Mount Baldy is as usual yet to open. I see snow on the Long Valley cam, but not enough to declare a SoCal backcountry season.

Everything feels strange.

Body, mind, weather, world. And website. I am realizing as I get older that my tolerance for change is plummeting while simultaneously the pace of change is accelerating. I was talking to one of our local ski filmmakers a few weeks ago, and we were both wondering: who are we? After four years of drought (and shifting risk priorities), are we still Big Mountain skiers? Do we still want to be?

Right now, for me, those big Sierra peaks seem a long, long way away.

That's a story thread I imagine I'll be tracking this year, along with other Big Questions like what will all that El Nino energy do to our winter this year?

For now, there is snow (!), so I say we all begin the process of becoming skiers once again. I myself recommend little bites rather than big gulps here at the start. And we'll watch that SoCal storm track very closely...

— December 22, 2015

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Ken Herzog December 22, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Glad you are "re-booted" for the season. :) I hope your foot continues to heal rapidly. Mammoth has been blessed, and is a blessing. I will have accumulated 9 days by Christmas - Yay! Wishing for us all a very, merry, snowy season!

Greg R December 23, 2015 at 4:33 pm

About time you posted something, we've all been waiting :). PRAY FOR SNOW!!

Andy December 24, 2015 at 3:00 am

I have been slacking, for sure. Time to Reboot!

Brad Brown December 25, 2015 at 1:54 am

I was about to send LAPD for a welfare check on you Mr. Lewicky, nice to see SD back in biz. Glad your DIY adventure was successful (enough?) and mobility is on the horizon. 3 generations of boys skiing together begins next weekend as we introduce Ryan (3) to winter transport along with pa and grandpa (his dad was 2 yr, 9). If grandson is like son, quitting time will be very sad indeed. Can't wait, been dreaming of turns for months. My foot has been healing for 53 weeks now and nearly full strength though stiff before and after workouts. Looking forward to executing even radius turns off both sides at long last, my track pattern last season looked like I was skiing on a cross slope on every run.

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