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Alpine Conditions Report – August 6th, 2016

In From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Hi mountain folk, We are in the full steamy heat of the summer season. Climate change is real and we have seen multiple days in the past month with high temperatures in Bishop above 105 degrees. Some days in the mountains have felt too hot and lately I have not had any need to zip myself completely into a 40 degree sleeping bag, even at elevations up to 12k’. It’s been a good summer though. More snow around in early season …

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Alpine Conditions Report – November 22, 2015

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by SMG OfficeLeave a Comment

Hi everyone, hope you have enjoyed the fall. The Eastside air is getting crisp and the sun has that low angle glow all day here where the desert meets the mountains. We have had a pretty good start to the super-hyped El Niño 2015-16 snow season. Mammoth Mountain’s study plot at 9000′ has recorded 47.5″ of snowfall since October 16. With some cold, easily transportable snow on the ground, a few big wind events and some unseasonably warm spells in …

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Alpine Conditions Report – July 8, 2015

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Howie Schwartz5 Comments

Hi Sierra Nevada aficionados and enthusiasts, Quick update to our last report on July 1, as things in the high country are changing quite rapidly. As we have been reporting, the Sierra remains in a steady stream of daily thunderstorm activity from monsoonal air flow and warm, moist air rising that condenses clouds, resulting in precipitation and electrical activity. Precipitation has been in the form of intense short or, in some cases, up to a couple sustained hours of rain …

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Alpine Conditions Report – July 1, 2015

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Howie Schwartz4 Comments

Howdy mountaineers and high country enthusiasts, Hope you are all enjoying summer at this point. We are! After the driest winter on record, the High Sierra experienced one of the wettest calendar months ever. The town of Bishop hit May records for amount of rainfall and consecutive days with precipitation. In June, mountain weather has remained somewhat unusual with daily high temperatures spanning more than 30 degrees F in many locations. In Bishop, 17 days have hit highs in the …

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Alpine Conditions Report – June 6, 2015

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Howdy Mountain People! Happy almost summer, as it may be. Certainly isn’t acting like summer. But 2015 is a year for weather extremes. After the biggest drought year ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada, somehow May was the wettest ever recorded in Bishop. The forecast is for more of the same lingering low pressure, with another 1+” of H2O projected over the next week with thunderstorms. The high country is currently in alpine form. Snow in couloirs ranges from styrofoam neve …

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Alpine Conditions Report – May 8, 2015

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report, Uncategorized by Howie Schwartz2 Comments

Crazy year. After the biggest drought on record in California, we enter late spring with a series of storms, the last two of which are the biggest of the year to date. This weather is wackbards! It’s supposed to be high and dry in the summer/fall and stormy in the winter/spring. That’s what all of us high mountain lovers have come to expect and appreciate. The situation is out of sync, like a mountain guide trying to dance to 90’s …

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Alpine Conditions Report – April 18, 2015

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Howie Schwartz5 Comments

  Hi everyone, Welcome to the High Sierra Alpine Conditions Report! This is the first one of 2015, transitioning early from the Backcountry Snow Report for skiers and snowboarders which we will not be updating further this season, courtesy of “the big dry” (the biggest drought on record in California). The drought is a bane for almost everyone, and we should all be a lot more concerned than we seem to be, but it does represent a boon for alpine …

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Alpine Conditions Report – November 2, 2014

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Split Mountain and the Big Pine skyline emerge from the clouds on November 1, 2014   Well mountain lovers, another summer has gone down in the books and autumn is in full gear. The High Sierra has just received its first fall storm, late enough where the short days, cool temps, and low sun angles will cause it to stick in high and shady places. For most people this marks the end of the high elevation hiking for the year, …

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Featured Alpine Route: The Southeast Ridge of Mount Russell

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Guide Tips, High Sierra Alpine Report, Trip Reports by Howie Schwartz1 Comment

The Southeast Ridge of Mount Russell (III, 5.9) is a classic alpine gem of a route that gets relatively little traffic or mention by guidebook authors. There are 7 different guidebooks for climbing on Mount Russell in my library and the route is listed in 3 of them. There are surprisingly very few details about this route that I could discover in these books, or from internet searches, so I figure this might be useful for someone.   A conversation …

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Alpine Conditions Report – September 5th, 2014

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Howie Schwartz1 Comment

Hi Sierra scramblers and ramblers, After a busy Labor Day weekend here, we are coming into our favorite time of year in the Eastern Sierra. The aspens are beginning to turn, the fireweed has gone to seed, the night air is getting crisp and cool, the sun is getting lower in the sky, the days are getting shorter, and the sunlight sparkles a bit more against the granite. These changes signal the coming of fall and we are pretty excited …

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Alpine Conditions Report – Incredible Hulk – July 2, 2014

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Howdy alpine rock climbers. This edition of the Alpine Conditions report is focused on the Sawtooth Range and specifically the vicinity of the Incredible Hulk. We just spent a few days there in Little Slide Canyon and would like to share with you our findings. Read our recent trip report from the Red Dihedral for a nice photo gallery that will further inform and titillate you. (Love that word titillate, and glad for the opportunity to use it with you …

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Alpine Conditions Report- Palisades- July 1st 2014

In Conditions Reports, From the Range of Light & Fast, High Sierra Alpine Report by Neil Satterfield2 Comments

July 1st 2014. Alpine climbers and enthusiasts, we just finished a trip into the Palisades.  Here is a breakdown of current conditions.             Approaches and Camps: The North Fork of Big Pine Creek is dry walking all the way to Gayley camp.  The sites at Gayley camp are dry. There is still water and melting snow at Gayley camp.  The mosquitos are out through Sam Mack meadow. The Bishop Pass approach is dry through Thunderbolt …