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Backcountry Snow Report – April 7 & 8, 2014

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

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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Rendezvous in Red Rock – March 28-29, 2014

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie Schwartz1 Comment

Not to be confused with the Red Rock Rendezvous, the mass gathering of climbers and gear manufacturers which happened to be going on the same March weekend, Alex Stepanek and I went ready to get up early and beat the crowds onto some of the most classic routes in Red Rock. In 2 days we logged about 20 pitches of rock climbing, none of which were short of excellent. Great days with a great partner and looking forward to more …

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Backcountry Snow Report for March 26, 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. 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 …

On June Mountain by Backcountry Magazine

In From the Range of Light & Fast, News & Press by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Did you catch this article in last month’s Backcountry Mag about June Mountain’s incredible backcountry and future potential? Witten by our friend and talented skier/ski writer Megan Michelson. Features quotes and photo from us. Leave a comment and we can tell you more of our thoughts on what Mammoth ought to do with June Mountain, if not sell it to someone with money and real vision. What an overlooked gem!

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Backcountry Snow Report – March 18, 2014

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

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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Trip Report – Mammoth to June via the Ritter Range, “A Tale of 2 Aussies”

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie Schwartz2 Comments

From March 10-13, 2014, I had a chance to spend some quality ski time with two “mates” from the land down under. JP Darby and Mike Garret were certainly Men At Work out there but they know how to play too on skis in our Sierra Mountains. What a pleasure it was to show these guys around in our backyard including the spectacular Ritter Range where they could not believe we saw nobody in 3 days. Enjoy this video SMG …

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Eastern Sierra Ice Report – March 18, 2014

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

Hi there ice climbers! Well as you may have noticed, Our ice report got a facelift along with our entire website. Unfortunately, we are guides and are not really competent with websites. If you are reading this you may be interested in one last ice climbing hurrah here in the Eastern Sierra. If that IS you, then read on… This winter has been one for the record books. California experienced the driest winter on record in many locations including the …

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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 …

AMGA Certified Guides

In From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

*Sierra Mountain Guides was the first, and is currently one of the few, guide services in the US that require guides to be AMGA certified or actively on track toward certification in the guiding disciplines they work. Elevation Outdoors The Guide Line by Doug Schnitzspahn on June 27, 2012 Haul Bag? Nope. The six-day AMGA rock guide exam requires climbers to learn client care beyond belays. The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is attempting to make sure people who go …