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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 29th, 2016

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

Howdy Skiers and Snowboarders, Just a quick update because we are getting lots of questions about recent backcountry conditions. Storms have been frequent and relatively small lately, but every bit counts. At this point the snow surveys are saying we are at just below average (93% of average to date) snowpack for the date in Sierra south of near the northern Yosemite border. The problem with this estimate is that it does not factor in that there is very little …

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Exercising the Power of Restraint

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

I quit drinking coffee this fall. Not forever, just for 5 weeks. I do this every fall. It is not easy as I have a mild addiction to the hot beverage. It is not the effects of caffeine as much as the taste. I compensated with more than enough black tea during that time, but it never satisfied the my craving for the ritual of the bean. The grind, the aroma, the percolation and of course, the rich, smooth taste. …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 11th, 2016

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

Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders! Wow, what a run we are having. Snow conditions have been incredible for almost 4 weeks now. Aside from immediately after the mega wind event that destroyed the snowpack and many trees in the Eastern Sierra just before X-mas, the powder has been light, fluffy, and cold, from boot top to waist deep. Avalanche conditions have been mostly manageable this season to date, other than a couple cycles of disconcerting direct action avalanche activity. This …

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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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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 27th, 2015

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

Happy Holidays backcountry skiers and snowboarders, December has been good to us. Small to medium storms with winds in between is the pattern. The winds of December 21-23 toppled dozens of full grown beetle-killed snags in the June Mountain backcountry and littered the snow surface with an unprecedented amount of detritus on top of sastrugi. Not such fun conditions, after a couple weeks of excellent cold powder skiing. Fortunately, it was a white X-mas and we got another 1’+ on top. …

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Backcountry Snow Report – May 6, 2014

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

Skiers and Snowboarders… …that is, if there are any of you left out there. After a lot of wrangling, I was able to find one interested and available ski partner for a 3-day tour who wasn’t busy shaving their legs for a bike ride, complaining about the short ski season. Although things look like late May-early June out there, conditions are absolutely all-time. We enjoyed some of the best spring skiing imaginable during the last high pressure window. No sun …