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SkiMo is neither.

In From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz9 Comments

  If you appreciate words, like I do, you may on occasion grieve the loss of them. Our culture changes and so too does our language. Handheld communication devices incentivize us to seek to conserve increasingly in demand stores of linguistic energy to create more time in our lives. We are quick to embrace language shortcuts like lol, lmfao, and cul8r. These abbreviated sentences, when used effectively, can save valuable seconds that grow to minutes, that add up to hours, days, …

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State of the High Sierra Backcountry – April 9th, 2016

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz9 Comments

Happy April backcountry skiers and snowboarders! What a season. It is hard to process it all, but suffice it to say that it has been the best in years. Sure, the El Niño turned into something of an el None yo, and that left a lingering air of disappointment that many just couldn’t get over. On the bright side, complaints about snow quantity were tempered by consistently high snow quality. There were very few days this season where the goods …

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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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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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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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State of the High Sierra Backcountry – March 24, 2015

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

I know it’s been a long hiatus from this report skiers and snowboarders, but we wanted to keep the pictures up as long as possible from the epic 2 days of backcountry powder skiing we had reported on at the end of February. Plus, there just hasn’t been that much to report. I presented “Skiing the California Drought & The State of the Backcountry 2015” in Mammoth Lakes this weekend at an event hosted by Community Skis and will post slides …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – February 25, 2015

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz8 Comments

Hi bc skiers and snowboarders, The pictures tell most of the story. Best worst winter ever! People are asking us about where to find the goods. It is a bit tricky at the moment but if you succeed then you will be welcomed to nirvana. Cold smoke and face shots are so cool and refreshing after an eternal indian summer. Here’s the secret: The snow is incredible between 10,000′ and 12’000′ where the terrain is sheltered from the wind, shaded …

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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 Backcountry Snow Report – February 13th, 2015

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

Backcountry skiers and snowboarders, Happy Friday the 13th! Well, in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Groundhog Day spell has been broken. Today is tomorrow! We had an atmospheric river weather event that put up to around a foot of snow down at the higher elevations. For such a significant moisture tap this was disappointing but this season we’ll take what we get and like it. The bad news is that most of the precipitation fell as rain in …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – February 2nd, 2015

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

Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders, It’s Groundhog Day!!! Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow this morning which means 6 more weeks of winter. We had a couple weeks of it so far this season and we are looking forward to some more of it. Fortunately, the Sierra backcountry season really is best and most reliable in what is technically considered spring, but the spring season is usually just better and longer when we have a big winter too. Though we die …

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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 …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – January 12, 2015

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. I hope you have been getting out in the backcountry lately. But not in the Eastern Sierra. Here, cold temps and north winds turned to warm temps and sun, which turned to warm temps with clouds and showers. When I say warm, I mean above freezing temps early Saturday morning up to ~8500′ that contributed to the calving of a large central section of the Horsetail Falls ice climbing area Saturday afternoon. And when …