Mountain Gazette subscribers, an eclectic bunch, are located all over the world. We never really know why we choose the places we live, but maybe, in part, the places we live actually end up choosing us. For subscriber Christian Sander and his brother Colin, Los Angeles is where they make a living in the film and television industry. The two run Pense Productions (who made a cult-ish hit called Resident Advisor). They're avid skiers. The former Yinzers call Mammoth their home resort.
After the recent Sierra storm, Christian, known as "Cheech" amongst longtime ski buddies, Colin, and their backcountry partners headed to their own backyard of LA rather than risk getting smoked in the sketchy Eastern Sierra snowpack.
After a lengthy drought+pandemic-induced delay, Colin & I skied our first day of the season January 30th, 2021. Extreme avalanche conditions in the Eastern Sierra meant that we had to ski our own backyard. This is what skiing in Los Angeles looks like, from above.*
4,000+ feet of climbing on day 01 was no joke! We had intended to ski the "Girly Man chute", but despite breaking trail before 4AM, and being the first to summit, we found ourselves blocked by snow hikers in the choke of the couloir. It's about 50 degrees at the top, so dropping in on them was out of the question. A little frustrating since we were there first, but they have a right to the mountain too, so we skied the shoulder. Next time, leave earlier to beat traffic. It's still LA, after all.