View Post

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 …

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

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 …

View Post

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 …

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 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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 8, 2014

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

Bishop Skyline 12/7/14   Howdy Backcountry Skiers and Snowboarders! Hope you are all well this holiday season and looking forward to more snow. We are all due for it here in CA. Nature owes us big time. That said, the last 3 years of drought have provided a few of my best Eastern Sierra ski days ever. Just imagining what a return to average might yield is as exciting as anticipating the coming storm. But before I go into that, here’s …

View Post

Alpine Conditions Report – November 2, 2014

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

Split Mountain and the Big Pine skyline emerge from the clouds on November 1, 2014   Well mountain lovers, another summer has gone down in the books and autumn is in full gear. The High Sierra has just received its first fall storm, late enough where the short days, cool temps, and low sun angles will cause it to stick in high and shady places. For most people this marks the end of the high elevation hiking for the year, …

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 …