SierraDescents | Page 3

Defying Mother Nature

Defying Mother Nature

Where human behavior is concerned, insight has value only if it leads to change. Any good AERIE class can tell you exactly how to avoid getting killed by an avalanche, but that (more)

A Little Snow

A Little Snow

Snow has been hard to come by this winter for many of us. Here's a ten-minute shot of snow on my balcony a few days ago in Flagstaff, Arizona, where I spent the holiday. I was (more)

The Elephant in the Brain

The Elephant in the Brain

In the face of danger, human cognition is time-consuming and expensive. When the tall grass of the African Savanna rustled, those who deliberated got eaten. Those who ran away (more)

Bomb The Hell Out of It

Avalanche, Mammoth Mountain, California

If predicting the behavior of avalanches is so challenging, how do ski patrol do it? How do they make a mountain safe? Perhaps we should take a look at that—and see if we (more)

Turn Off Your Beacon

The San Jacinto Wilderness

You can do this experiment at home, or wherever you happen to be at this moment, but for maximum effect do it in the mountains, on a day where you believe there is significant (more)

Revisiting ‘A Dozen More Turns’

Ski Tracks on Snow

It would not be entirely accurate to call the Beacon-Shovel-Probe paradigm a failure. Since its mainstreaming in North America, advocates can rightly point to a huge increase in (more)

Everything Under the Sun

Extraordinary Ice Atop San Jacinto Peak, California

I worry a lot about ice. For skiers, ice takes a game of skill and perverts it into a game of chance. Whether you are hiker, skier, or just casual visitor to Southern (more)

The Life of Snow

Snowpack assessment near June Mountain, California

When used for the purpose of declaring a complex midwinter snowpack "safe," snow pit assessment is a fool's game. Never bet your life on a pit result. That said, learning how (more)

Learning To Read The Mountain

The complex avalanche terrain on Pine Mountain's north face

It's time to play God. Please take a gigantic bucket of water, dump it on your favorite mountain, and then watch carefully as all that water flows down the hill. Real or (more)

The Five-Minute Avalanche Challenge

The San Juan Backcountry

Snow falls from the sky, pulled by gravity, and lands on the ground. Snow falls from the sky, pulled by gravity, and lands on the ground. On the ground, gravity keeps pulling on (more)