Gorgonio & San Jacinto

Gorgonio & San Jacinto

Here's an aerial view of the north aspects of the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Jacintos, taken yesterday Feb 11, 2018. Gorgonio, at least, has more snow than I was expecting.

Weather this coming week, amazingly enough, looks unsettled, so maybe that endless blocking high is doing...something.

This Southern California (non) winter has made me wonder what, exactly, the mission here at SierraDescents is supposed to be. We are a happy, jovial bunch when those big Pacific storms smack into our mountains.

Things get dark and moody pretty quickly, on the other hand, when we go a year, as we are about to, with only one day—one day!—of significant rainfall.

What do I have to offer you, if not snow? It's an open question. For now, I see enough white on Gorgonio to justify a low-expectations visit, and I see light snow in the Mammoth forecast. March, please be kind.

— February 11, 2018

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Bill February 15, 2018 at 2:46 am

Indeed, what will happen to our sport? Southern California mountains were a special kind of place. Overlooked by backcountry adventurists in places like Utah, Colorado, or Wyoming. Free of the snow mobiles and heli-skiers of those places. A best kept secret under the noses of one of the most populated areas in the country. I keep reading articles about making coastal cities resilient to a 4 foot increase in sea level, as if that was all there was to worry about. Not only will our snow be gone, but all our mountain trees will be gone, our sea life, our forest life, many regions of the world will face famine and displacement. A revolution must happen. People must be held accountable. And most importantly, we must act quickly and massively to stem catastrophe. (Sorry to be so dark).

Andy February 20, 2018 at 12:46 am

Bill it was certainly not my intention to induce despair with this post; rather, I'm genuinely wondering what to write about in our increasingly snowless winters.

Oddly enough I find myself taking comfort in that old Heraclitus quote, Nothing endures but change. All over the world, people in mountain towns are asking the same question: what will become of us? The answer, I think, is things will change, and so will we, because we must.

gregg February 25, 2018 at 11:20 pm

Do you know of any source for snowfall totals in socal over time? I'm curious how we compare with mammoth mtn totals or sierra snowpack measurements. Are we worse off, or were we just closer to the edge to begin with?

Andy March 6, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Gregg I'm not aware of water content measurements ala what you see in the Sierra watersheds, but you can track snowfall at the major SoCal resorts, which gives a very good idea of what is happening out there at the 7-8K foot range.

ffelix June 13, 2018 at 4:26 am

Your musings are interesting. I find the rising tide of backcountry skiing hysteria that coincides with the climate conversion from snow to rain in most of our Cali mountain terrain to be an interesting correlation. It's almost like Greek tragedy, with our skiing hubris somehow causing our own destruction.

In any case, neither is a recipe for delight and I, too, am wondering how to fill the now angry, frustrated, empty hole where skiing alone in the backcountry used to live.