View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – February 25, 2015

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz8 Comments

Hi bc skiers and snowboarders, The pictures tell most of the story. Best worst winter ever! People are asking us about where to find the goods. It is a bit tricky at the moment but if you succeed then you will be welcomed to nirvana. Cold smoke and face shots are so cool and refreshing after an eternal indian summer. Here’s the secret: The snow is incredible between 10,000′ and 12’000′ where the terrain is sheltered from the wind, shaded …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – February 21, 2015

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz1 Comment

Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders! Since the atmospheric river weather event hit 2 weeks ago, the backcountry has been in excellent conditions. This is definitely a good news-bad news scenario though. The coverage below 10,000′ and on sunny aspects at all elevations is sparse, but what we have is very supportable and skis well. The storm finished colder leaving a skiff of snow on top of rain crust and densely packed storm snow. Warm days with unusually high temperatures and …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – February 13th, 2015

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

Backcountry skiers and snowboarders, Happy Friday the 13th! Well, in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Groundhog Day spell has been broken. Today is tomorrow! We had an atmospheric river weather event that put up to around a foot of snow down at the higher elevations. For such a significant moisture tap this was disappointing but this season we’ll take what we get and like it. The bad news is that most of the precipitation fell as rain in …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – February 2nd, 2015

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

Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders, It’s Groundhog Day!!! Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow this morning which means 6 more weeks of winter. We had a couple weeks of it so far this season and we are looking forward to some more of it. Fortunately, the Sierra backcountry season really is best and most reliable in what is technically considered spring, but the spring season is usually just better and longer when we have a big winter too. Though we die …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 28, 2015

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz1 Comment

Not feeling too inspired to update the last report, but I figured we all could use another shot of Groundhog Day humor. Maybe we are all becoming better people for living the same dry and stormless winter weather day after day: Unfortunately, this is not looking to be like last year where the end of January yielded a decent winter storm to end the dry spell and we could ski again on Groundhog Day. This year we are currently having …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 12, 2015

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

Hi there backcountry skiers and snowboarders. I hope you have been getting out in the backcountry lately. But not in the Eastern Sierra. Here, cold temps and north winds turned to warm temps and sun, which turned to warm temps with clouds and showers. When I say warm, I mean above freezing temps early Saturday morning up to ~8500′ that contributed to the calving of a large central section of the Horsetail Falls ice climbing area Saturday afternoon. And when …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 31, 2014

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

Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders! May auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind. Goodbye 2014. We hardly knew ye. And frankly – other than a bare handful of backcountry days that were “the. best. ever.” – I’d be happy to delete your pathetic, dry excuse for a backcountry season from my memory. But here we are in virtually the same situation as a year ago – with a meager snowpack of 30-70cm in shaded and sheltered locations above the …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report

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

December 17th, 2014 Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders, The backcountry season has begun! Rarely have we seen such consistently inconsistent weather forecasting here as we have this month. The snow amounts have been way off almost every time, some in our favor and most not. Fortunately there have been enough of those disappointing little systems to leave us with a little backcountry. The December storms started warm and helped to pack in a good base. The more recent storms have …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 13, 2014

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

Mount Tom near Bishop, CA at 8:30am on December 13, 2014   Hi bc skiers and snowboarders, This is a quick post-storm morning update. Classically, this storm was overhyped by forecast models and discussions, at least for this part of California. That said, we ended up with 1-2 feet of dense snow at the upper elevations, which is a decent start. We now have a backcountry, though not the coverage that we would expect to enjoy after what was hailed …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 8, 2014

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

Bishop Skyline 12/7/14   Howdy Backcountry Skiers and Snowboarders! Hope you are all well this holiday season and looking forward to more snow. We are all due for it here in CA. Nature owes us big time. That said, the last 3 years of drought have provided a few of my best Eastern Sierra ski days ever. Just imagining what a return to average might yield is as exciting as anticipating the coming storm. But before I go into that, here’s …

View Post

Backcountry Snow Report – May 13, 2014 – Season Wrap-up

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

Well, it’s an early wrap-up for this season’s edition of the Backcountry Snow Report. We may update again if something noteworthy happens with the weather, but overall things are settling in to their predictable spring patterns. Expect sunny warm days with cool nights to provide epic corn skiing above 10,500 to 11,000 feet for a little while yet. So far, we are not seeing any major sun cups or penitentes forming, which means I, for one, have not necessarily hung …

View Post

Backcountry Snow Report – May 9, 2014

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

Howdy Skiers and Snowboarders! Hope you have been getting into the Sierra in the past month or so. The end of season wrap-up has been as good as it gets, considering the winter drought. Corn conditions have been excellent and some cold storms have kept the powder skiing dream alive. On Monday and Tuesday we had a fantastic cold front pass through that dropped 2-4 inches of snow that stuck down to 8000 feet. A little moderate winds from SW …