View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Ice Report – November 25th, 2015

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

Season’s greetings ice climbers! Once again, the nip is in the air and thoughts turn to climbing frozen waterfalls. That means we are excited to provide consistent, up-to-date reporting on local conditions throughout the season. We guide and climb in the best ice climbing venue on the west coast, and we hope you will get a chance to enjoy the ice here this season. We have been getting a lot of questions about how the ice is doing. We have …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report November 24th, 2015

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

Salutations backcountry skiers and snowboarders! The backcountry season is open! That means we at SMG now continue our tradition of reporting on the current and recent snow conditions for the Eastern Sierra. As a reminder, This report is not an avalanche advisory, nor is it comparable to information offered by any avalanche information center. The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center is the local avalanche center that keeps us all informed on snow and avalanche conditions for purposes of backcountry risk management. …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Ice Report – February 2nd, 2015

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

Hi Ice Climbers, Happy Groundhogs Day. 6 more weeks of winter, according to the little marmot. Hope you are enjoying the warm temps. The ice is hanging in there since last report. There are limited climbs for this time of year, but fortunately some lines that would normally be buried in snow are in great shape. anything that was thin or delicate has disappeared for now, but the fatter main lines are climbing well. Be wary of hollow ice with …

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 Ice Report – January 21, 2015

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

Hey Ice Climbers, Hope you get to enjoy the ice before it is gone. We usually don’t say that until mid-March, but this year all bets are off. We all know that ice does not fare well in a warming globe, and that goes for California too, not just polar ice caps. 2014 was the warmest year in recorded California history, by a long shot. December 2014 was incredibly warm and it wasn’t until the end of the month that …

View Post

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, …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …