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Eastern Sierra Ice Report – March 21, 2016

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

Happy Spring Ice Climbers! Ice has been good this season, and we haven’t had many interesting ice happenings to report on until now. Spring is in the air and has recently sprung in force, so we are looking at the tail end of the ice climbing season around here. That said, we had some thick and fortuitous ice formations this winter that are holding on well at this point. As most climbers shift focus to the sunny rocky crags, the …

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Eastern Sierra Ice Report – December 27th, 2015

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

Happy holidays ice climbers, Not a whole lot of new to report from the Eastside. It was a strong start to the season in December and the ice remains in good form. The trail in to Lee Vining Canyon is currently decent, with a few large holes that are to be expected. The Main Wall and Chouinard Wall are looking good and climbing well. Horsetail Falls was getting there, then fell down, and now has reformed. There is climbable ice …

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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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Eastern Sierra Ice Report – February 25, 2015

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

Hi there ice climbers, We are finally having a return to winter! The high temperatures have dropped around 25 degrees F over the weekend and have remained cool at night since. We even have received some much needed snow. That means the ice is back to growing and solidifying instead of shrinking and delaminating. It also means the approaches are back to their least favorable state with a bit of slippery snow on talus. Horsetail Falls is still out of recommended …

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Diversify!

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Guide Tips by Jediah PorterLeave a Comment

We are not parents, we’re mountain guides. Well, some of us are parents, but that’s not the point. Point is, we’re not your parents. Because we’re not parents, we can choose favorites. It’s true; we have our favorite guests. Our favorite guests don’t have any certain level of skill. Nor do they have any particular personality attribute. Nor do they come out with us any certain amount of time. The thing that unites our list of favorite guests is the …

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Eastern Sierra Ice Report – January 12, 2015

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

Howdy Ice Climbers!  It’s been an exciting week here on the Eastside. June-uary is in full effect with mega warm temps and amazing rock climbing weather. Unfortunately, this is not good news for ice. After an awesome cold snap, warm temperatures returned a bit too soon, culminating in a Friday evening that didn’t freeze below 8500′. This resulted in late March conditions in early January. We witnessed the center of Horsetail Falls, which was completely covered in ice 1 week ago, …

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High on Crystal!

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

Yesterday, we had a fine traverse of Crystal Crag, the monolith that towers over the Mammoth Lakes basin and offers fine, moderate, multi pitch rock climbing with an exciting alpine ridge traverse. The group consisted of Clark Harding – a writer for Outtraveler online travel magazine  and Hollywood visual effects technician, and Lara Kaylor – a Mammoth local writer and media specialist for visitmammoth.com. Thanks to both Clark and Lara for being excellent climbing partners and for a fantastic day …

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Alpine Conditions Report – May 13, 2014

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

Hi there mountain people! It is that time again when we start getting calls and questions asking us about mountain conditions for alpine climbing and general mountain access. We have been running this report for the last 7 or 8 years, but we hope to up our game this year with this new website format to give you the best, most useful, and most up-to-date information on the web about conditions in the High Sierra.   History & Background After …