Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

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Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:14 am

B.C.’s Highway 3 along the border is a tortuous road but still the most direct route from Rossland to Vancouver. I broke up the 8 hour drive by stopping by the local Mt. Baldy on the way and spending the night in Princeton, 3 hours short of Vancouver, where Liz arrived at noon Thursday.

Mt. Baldy has B.C.’s highest base elevation at 5,800 feet, but is in a relatively dry sector of the province. Oliver and Ossoyos at the southern end of the Okanagan Valley west of Mt. Baldy have a Great Basin type desert climate. The primary mountain also faces south.

I was blown away by the walk up ticket price.
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Yes, that’s 10 bucks on Tue/Wed/Thu in March!

The original Eagle chair climbs the south face of 1,300 vertical feet.
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That chair is reminiscent of that other Baldy some of us know well.

Weather was cool and windy, cool enough that the 8 inches new snow from Monday did not form a crust on top. The more open terrain up top did have wind irregularities but also some blown-in spots. The few places that rolled over to a steeper pitch had a firm subsurface. Overview of the Eagle terrain from the Sugarlump chair:
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The lift does not go to the top but to that horizontal line of trees. I suspect there would be a lot of wind holds if the lift went farther up.

Sugarlump is a fixed quad of 750 vertical feet with several groomed runs, in background here viewed near the top of Eagle.
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Sugarlump faces west so the wind was in my face skiing most of those groomers, two before lunch and three late in the day.

On Eagle only one blue run Dividend is groomed from the top. A couple of others are groomed about ¾ of the way up with the open terrain at the top left in its natural state. Far skier’s left the terrain is gladed about half way down to a runout groomer. I went over there three times.

The lodge at Baldy had a typical display of retro skis. The Marker bindings here are the same as on my first skis bought used from the other Baldy in 1976.
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The Rotomat heel binding was considered a safe design, but when it released the springs separated into two pieces that needed to be put back together, hence the nickname “Explodomat.” A later Rotomat design kept the springs together upon release.

It was also interesting to see this poster in Baldy’s lodge.
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I wonder how many other people have skied both Mustang and Baldy on the same trip.

Total for the day was 15,000 vertical, and Mt. Baldy B.C. was my 212th ski area. I arrived at Baldy from the southeast on a 19km gravel access road. I exited the 35km road west to Oliver, of which the bottom half was paved. Just past Oliver I made an unscheduled stop here.
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Inniskillin is noted for its Ontario icewine, but they now own vineyards and make wine in the southern Okanagan Valley too. I tasted some and bought their Dark Horse Vineyard Meritage and Cabernet Franc.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby jasoncapecod » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:43 am

This place is right out of Mr Deluxe's play book..
Nice report..
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:39 am

jasoncapecod wrote:This place is right out of Mr Deluxe's play book.

Except I would've included a trail map in the report. :x
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby Admin » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:52 am

Those Explodamats (minus the brakes that whoever owned those skis added much later) were my very first ski bindings as well. Imagine being a 5-year-old trying to get that spring back in.
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby berkshireskier » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:43 am

I believe I had those same Marker binding on a pair of Rossi skis I had in the mid-70's too! I sort of remember that ALL of the cool skiers in those days used that binding.
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby egieszl » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:20 pm

This place almost looks as lousy as the Mt. Baldy in SoCal.

I must add that I'm terribly disappointed at the lack of reports from Southern California's Mt. Baldy. Finally there is enough snow to ski that hole and it appears no one has done so!
2014-15 ski season stats- Vertical: 1,154,634, Days: 42, Lift rides: 729, Top day vertical: 45,444;
Total past nine seasons as of 1/22/16- Vertical: 10,344,359, Days: 407, Lift rides: 6,541;
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:57 pm

There was one good week at Baldy SoCal starting around Jan. 24, but we were in the Alps then. It then rained 4 days between Feb. 3 and Feb. 10. Next 2 foot storm was Feb. 17 but it rained again Feb. 19.

The core area of Thunder mountain has a decent base according to Garry Klassen, so should have a window of good spring skiing sometime. Chair 1 terrain is marginal and I suspect chair 4 terrain won't hold up long with the current weather.

Some people may think this is a good ski season in SoCal with all the rain in the L.A. but it's not. There been 12 days of rain in the ski areas in 2016-17 vs. a prior high of 9 in 1996-97 by my estimate.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:57 pm

egieszl wrote:This place almost looks as lousy as the Mt. Baldy in SoCal.

On an absolute scale you can't say it's that lousy. You have a 750 vert chair of nice cruisers and a 1300 vert chair of fairly wide open upper intermediate to low advanced terrain. If it were in SoCal or east of the Rockies, the locals would be glad to have it.

The worst flaw is the south exposure but at Mt. Baldy's B.C.'s altitude/latitude that's not a big problem until March. But any ski area needs to be analyzed in regional context. The area is remote and the closest towns Osoyoos and Oliver have a lot of vineyards but not that many people. The closest larger town is Penticton, but Penticton has Apex half an hour away and Apex is on a completely different level in ski quality. Thus Baldy B.C. is indeed marginal as a financial proposition.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:01 am

egieszl wrote:This place almost looks as lousy as the Mt. Baldy in SoCal.
Tony Crocker wrote:On an absolute scale you can't say it's that lousy.

Funny how much an outlier I am in actually searching out places like this on destination trips. I like to mix up local joints with the more high-profile places instead of spending an entire vacation with other tourists.

I've never been to SoCal Baldy and am aware that opportunities to ski it (or Waterman) are few and far between, especially these days, but it looks pretty decent to me.
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:52 am

Waterman is an apples-and-oranges comparison to Baldy B.C. in topography but somewhat comparable in scale. Baldy CA is on another level. Mad River Glen is probably the best comparison I know to Baldy CA but Mad River is more reliable for snow.

Baldy B.C. was below the standards I would go out of my way to seek out, but I was on a rather unusual drive itinerary that took me nearby, so I couldn't resist adding #212 to my ski area list. Another example of that was Kimberley in 2010, which was an easy day on the way between cat ski reservations at Chatter Creek and Island Lake.

A few of the under-the-radar areas really rock in terms of terrain quality, Castle and Discovery being the best examples I know. And of course this is the type of area that scores big when there's powder and little competition. It's clear to me that this is james' powder strategy for his advance booked trips and it's worked quite well for him.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9801
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Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby Marc_C » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:54 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Inniskillin is noted for its Ontario icewine, but they now own vineyards and make wine in the southern Okanagan Valley too.

Actually they've been producing wine in the Okanagan since 1994.
-marc
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Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:04 pm

How long has Inniskillin been making icewine in Niagara?
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9801
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Baldy, B.C.(!), Mar. 1, 2017

Postby Marc_C » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:32 am

Mid 70s or so.
-marc
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