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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 20th, 2017

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Good day to you backcountry skiers and riders, And a good day for all of us. We did it! Our collective pleas to the snow gods have been answered. A little late, but wow. The call has been answered in force. As I write this during a much needed rest day it is snowing huge flakes at around 2″/hour at 4000′ elevation in the town of Bishop. It has been a while since our last report, but I think everyone …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 2nd, 2017

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Happy New Year backcountry skiers and snowboarders! Early season snow conditions have been great and it was a wonderful holiday season… yadda, yadda. The relevant thing to be talking about though is not what has been (check out our earlier reports for that), but what is to come… Our New Year’s resolution is to ski more powder, and more powder we shall ski! At least if model forecasts have any credibility in this decade. The NWS is calling for over …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 23rd, 2016

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

  Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays backcountry enthusiasts! This installment of the BC Snow Report comes after an excellent week plus of early season backcountry skiing and riding. The last storm came in last Thursday wet and heavy with rain up to 9000’+ before cooling and amounting to more than 3.5 feet of snow in 24 hours at 9000′ on Mammoth Mountain. A record 14 inches of liquid water equivalent fell in this period but, unfortunately, a large amount of …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 1, 2016

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz2 Comments

Hello backcountry enthusiasts! Rock-tober becomes Snow-vember, and suddenly here we are, at the start of another backcountry season in the Eastern Sierra. We hope you all enjoyed that other part of the year where the remaining snow is generally unfit for sliding around on, assuming you have stayed here in the Northern hemisphere. Perhaps without the lure of backcountry snowsport, you were able to finally get some work done around the house, spend time with the family, and focus on your …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – May 14, 2016

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz2 Comments

Howdy Skiers and Snowboarders! I am starting to write this on Friday the 13th. Spoooooky. But weather and snowpack out there are producing some down home friendly riding conditions for those that are keeping the stoke of glisse alive into the heart of spring. Last installment of this report, we talked about the below average snow cover that exhibited consistently high snow quality. Since then that has remained the case. The spring thaw was delayed by a series of small, …

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State of the High Sierra Backcountry – April 9th, 2016

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz9 Comments

Happy April backcountry skiers and snowboarders! What a season. It is hard to process it all, but suffice it to say that it has been the best in years. Sure, the El Niño turned into something of an el None yo, and that left a lingering air of disappointment that many just couldn’t get over. On the bright side, complaints about snow quantity were tempered by consistently high snow quality. There were very few days this season where the goods …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – March 12th, 2016

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz6 Comments

Skiers and Snowboarders! Happy late winter to you all. We took a brief hiatus from writing this report so that we could do some investigative journalism on the topic of why this winter has fallen so short of the epic proportions that were advertised. I sacrificed some well-earned personal Sierra ski time to instead make a journey into the heart of the Pacific, to the source of our Sierra weather, to see what the heck is going on. What I found …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – February 14th, 2016

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  Howdy backcountry sliding enthusiasts and Happy Valentine’s Day! Mark here, reporting on conditions in the Eastern Sierra. The last weekend of January essentially brought the region its first big El Niño storm. It was more of a classic El Niño dump – coming in wet with rain around 9000 feet and then exiting quite cold, with temps dropping to single digits a mere 48 hours after the arrival of the storm. The cold exiting of the storm brought snow down …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 29th, 2016

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz2 Comments

Howdy Skiers and Snowboarders, Just a quick update because we are getting lots of questions about recent backcountry conditions. Storms have been frequent and relatively small lately, but every bit counts. At this point the snow surveys are saying we are at just below average (93% of average to date) snowpack for the date in Sierra south of near the northern Yosemite border. The problem with this estimate is that it does not factor in that there is very little …

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Exercising the Power of Restraint

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

I quit drinking coffee this fall. Not forever, just for 5 weeks. I do this every fall. It is not easy as I have a mild addiction to the hot beverage. It is not the effects of caffeine as much as the taste. I compensated with more than enough black tea during that time, but it never satisfied the my craving for the ritual of the bean. The grind, the aroma, the percolation and of course, the rich, smooth taste. …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 11th, 2016

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Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders! Wow, what a run we are having. Snow conditions have been incredible for almost 4 weeks now. Aside from immediately after the mega wind event that destroyed the snowpack and many trees in the Eastern Sierra just before X-mas, the powder has been light, fluffy, and cold, from boot top to waist deep. Avalanche conditions have been mostly manageable this season to date, other than a couple cycles of disconcerting direct action avalanche activity. This …