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Backcountry Snow Report – April 27, 2014

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

Hi there skiers and snowboarders!  Apologies to all the followers of this blog. I hope both of you will forgive us, as we have been busy “getting it while we can” here in the Eastern Sierra. It has been great to run into so many friends from near and far around here with the same idea. Although it has been one of the driest seasons on record, the spring is actually shaping up for us. So many people are talking …

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Backcountry Snow Report – April 13, 2014

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

Eastside panorama: Williamson to Split in the southern zone.  Since the last report conditions have changed significantly, due to a major spring thaw in the past week. Evening temps have been below freezing above 10,000′ and radiation has been cooling the snowpack surface as well. Transitional spring snow conditions have transformed to Sierra corn and skiing has been excellent on most sun-exposed slopes with enough snow to ski, above 9500′, and without forest cover. Slopes that have yet to completely …

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Backcountry Snow Report – April 7 & 8, 2014

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Get it while you can – Janis Joplin Skiers and Snowboarders, The first half of April generally features the maximum snowpack of the season in the Eastern Sierra. This year coverage is thin, but surprisingly adequate if you choose your location thoughtfully. Yesterday on the 7th, SMG ski guide Mark Shelp and I were able to easily ski from and to the truck parked on the upper Buttermilk Road into Birch Creek. Today, we also skied from the Virginia Lakes Road …

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Backcountry Snow Report – April 4, 2014

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! Today’s conditions report features the Bishop zone (for a change). If you are reading this then it is possible that, like us,  you have not yet hung up your skis and skins and moved on to other endeavors like so many so-called Sierra skiers and riders. We are pleased as powder that our High Sierra has seen over a foot of new snow from the last series of spring storms. Temps have been cold too, …

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Backcountry Snow Report for March 26, 2014

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Hi there Skiers and Snowboarders. This is an addendum to the state of the backcountry report we already posted. Many of you are thinking about the spring ski options and making plans based on the current snowpack and anticipated future conditions. The good news is that things are starting to change for the better. We expect 1-2 feet of snow above 9500′ in the next week if all pans out. After that it looks like perhaps an unsettled weather pattern …

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Backcountry Snow Report – March 18, 2014

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The Sherwins on an avalanche course – March 16, 2014 Howdy skiers and snowboarders. We are just past St. Patty’s Day, and as an Irish citizen myself (Howie O’Schwartz is the name), I thought I would share some of me lucky charms with you so that we can still salvage the backcountry season here in the Eastern Sierra. If you haven’t already read my earlier State of the Backcountry report you should check that out too. At this point we …

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State of the High Sierra Backcountry – March 2014

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

Rock Creek – Pine Creek Divide, March 5, 2014 Skiers and Snowboarders! Here we are, in March of historic 2014. This is officially the driest year in California since records started being kept in the 1850’s. For all we know, it is the driest year in CA since dinosaurs walked the Earth. Other than one or two marginal days in late December my first time in the Eastern Sierra backcountry this season was February 2nd. Yes, Groundhog Day, one of …

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State of the High Sierra Backcountry – April 2013

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report by SMG OfficeLeave a Comment

What an interesting season it has been so far. The winter started off perfectly with big wet storms in early December, followed by high ratio snow dumps with uncharacteristically calm winds. This all gave us a very memorable early season of deep light powder skiing throughout the Sierra. It feels like a distant memory now. January featured it’s usual June-uary thaw and began a drought that plagued us all producing record breaking low precip for the two month Jan-Feb time …