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Islip’s South Face

Islip's South Face

In the aftermath of the giant February 2023 storm, which put snow at unusually low elevations throughout the San Gabriels, I urgently wanted to ski Islip's south face before it (more)

The 2023 South Sierra Snowpack

Owens Valley, Owens Lake, & the South Sierra from Mount Baxter, California

Beware those tempting faces and gullies, my friends. At nearly 300% of normal, we've got yesterday's snowpack, to be sure, but we've still got today's temperatures. Dave (more)

The San Gabriel Traverse

The San Gabriel Traverse

I don't know when, exactly, I first started thinking about skiing across the San Gabriels, but 2008 (the first time I climbed and skied Baden-Powell) is probably a good (more)

Telegraph’s South Face

Telegraph's South Face

Looking at Telegraph Peak's south face from Ontario Peak in 2006, I remember thinking, if that ever has snow on it, I should ski it. Well snow finally arrived, and I was lucky (more)

Kendrick Peak

Kendrick Peak

As you all know, my fondness for off-the-beaten-path adventures sometimes often goes awry, but in this case, I found surprisingly good skiing on Kendrick Peak, just northwest of (more)

Skiing the Kuna Crest

The Kuna Crest, in the Eastern Sierra, from Highway 120/Tioga Pass

After having loads of fun skiing Mammoth Mountain's closing day in the rain, I drove up Tioga Pass, wanting to see if any promising hike-and-ski opportunities remained. The (more)

Grinnell

Grinnell

10,294-foot Grinnell Mountain lies in the San Bernardino Mountains toward the northeast corner of the San Gorgonio Wilderness. I've had my eye on Grinnell for a long (more)

Freidlein Prairie

Andy Lewicky at Freidlein Prarie

Freidlein Prairie is where it all started—sidecountry access from the top of the Arizona Snowbowl's chairlift to the southside of the San Francisco Peaks and beyond. As (more)

Gorgonio

Gorgonio

Yes, there is snow on Gorgonio's north face—but if you want it you'll have to work for it. Things were melted out all the way up to about 9400' yesterday, meaning you'll (more)

Mount Islip

Mount Islip

The easy snow along Highway 2's Waterman Crest is all but gone now, melted out by late April's furious heat waves. That said, what a treasure this part of the San Gabriels is, (more)

Vail, All These Years Later

Vail, All These Years Later

Originally an unnamed Colorado sheep hill near the training grounds for the US Army's 10th Mountain Division, Vail was born in winter 1957 when hunter, prospector, and skier Earl (more)

Christmas Snow

Christmas Snow

We were just about to head to the car yesterday when they suddenly opened Chair 23. A mad every-man-for-themselves dash later, Al and I flashed through an empty maze and boarded (more)

My Dreams of Vail

My Dreams of Vail

I have a number of recurring skiing dreams, all of which start happening around this time of year. The best involves me skiing down and disconnecting from the snow and pulling (more)

Return to Dana

Solstice Couloir - Mount Dana

With Tioga Pass Road now open to the east Yosemite gate (and intermittently all the way through to the Central Valley), this past weekend seemed like the perfect time to revisit (more)

Mountain High East

Mountain High East

I knew I loved to ski Mountain High East, but I had forgotten why: MHE offers by far Southern California's best intermediate/cruiser skiing, reminiscent of Colorado groomers, with (more)

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About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.