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 been colder. The one from the last two days was a perfect 1-2 feet of stellar hero pow. The catch is that there are currently few places where the snow is deep enough and the ground cover is smooth enough to ski without risking damage to your gear, and yourself. One more big Sierra storm soon will open everything up. Looks like a week of high pressure with a few possible showers ahead. Hopefully we’ll be back in the storm track again before the end of the year, or shortly thereafter.

I took some time today to check out the season’s snowpack-to-date in Red Cone Bowl in the Mammoth Lakes Basin and recorded a discussion. The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center is looking to be operational in a week or so in some capacity, so hopefully will be useful in the meantime. Some skiing footage at the end. Enjoy! ~ Howie


  1. Author

    Hi Michael. I’ll try to have a new report up by tomorrow evening after our first AIARE 1 Refresher Course. Unfortunately, in spite of a small 4-5″ storm on Mammoth last week, we have seen a net loss of snow since this last report thanks to several days of strong north wind. We are finding some decent snow, but only in very specific terrain features. Looks like a possible breakthrough of the westerlies in the early part of January will give us a much needed recharge.

  2. Howie,
    Thanks for sharing! Assume there is much better coverage now! Looking to enjoy some eastside bc skiing in January and Feb. Best Regards.

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