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Throop Peak – North Gully

Matthew Testa skiing Throop Peak's north gully

Believe it or not this is the first time I've skied Throop Peak from its 9142' summit; I've come close previously, but always ascended/descended the big northwest face over Lily (more)

Skiing Rosie’s Alley

Al Preston Skiing Rosie's Alley

On various adventures past I vaguely recall noticing a possibly-skiable line through Baldy Bowl's east buttress—but somehow I never got around to actually trying to ski (more)

A Very Wet Waterman

Skiing in a blizzard at Waterman Ski Lifts

With weekend snow levels forecast to dip as low as 4000', it was possible to believe there'd be cold April powder turns in the mountains this weekend. The reality was quite a (more)

Skiing Kratka Ridge

Skiing SoCal's lost ski area, Kratka Ridge

Yesterday I took my daughter to ski Kratka Ridge, one of Southern California's "lost" ski areas. It was her first official day backcountry skiing in Southern California. I do (more)

Wright Mountain via Heath Canyon

Matt Dixon contemplates the crux on Southern California's Wright Mountain

Here's Matt D earning his handle in Wright Mountain's Heath Canyon. 8505' Wright Mountain is the highest point along Blue Ridge, which we traversed yesterday from Mountain High (more)

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)

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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.