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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 – December 18th, 2015

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

Hi backcountry skiers and snowboarders, The 2015-16 snow season is underway! Hopefully you have had a chance to reconnoiter with the white stuff, either at the resort or in the backcountry. If you haven’t, don’t worry, this season is still being hyped and prognosticated as the Donald Trump of El Niños, it’s HUGE! Since the beginning of December, there have been 3 small to medium sized storms that have impacted our area. From these, Mammoth Mountain recorded 24 inches of …

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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. …

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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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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 …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 31, 2014

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

Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders! May auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind. Goodbye 2014. We hardly knew ye. And frankly – other than a bare handful of backcountry days that were “the. best. ever.” – I’d be happy to delete your pathetic, dry excuse for a backcountry season from my memory. But here we are in virtually the same situation as a year ago – with a meager snowpack of 30-70cm in shaded and sheltered locations above the …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report

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

December 17th, 2014 Howdy backcountry skiers and snowboarders, The backcountry season has begun! Rarely have we seen such consistently inconsistent weather forecasting here as we have this month. The snow amounts have been way off almost every time, some in our favor and most not. Fortunately there have been enough of those disappointing little systems to leave us with a little backcountry. The December storms started warm and helped to pack in a good base. The more recent storms have …

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Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 13, 2014

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

Mount Tom near Bishop, CA at 8:30am on December 13, 2014   Hi bc skiers and snowboarders, This is a quick post-storm morning update. Classically, this storm was overhyped by forecast models and discussions, at least for this part of California. That said, we ended up with 1-2 feet of dense snow at the upper elevations, which is a decent start. We now have a backcountry, though not the coverage that we would expect to enjoy after what was hailed …