Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

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Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:43 am

I assume that Tony is stuck in traffic on the access road right now given the pent-up demand:
https://unofficialnetworks.com/2020/04/ ... or-skiing/
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Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:29 am

Garry texted me last night. It's very restricted who will be allowed to ski there.
Garry qualifies and will be there. I'm a gray area but will give it a shot. Based upon yesterday snow will not be good anywhere on what's open until after 11AM, and overall the Thunder terrain (main exposure NW) is best after 1PM.

I was hoping that this would not be promoted on widely viewed ski media in advance. Someone on PugSki saw that Unofficial Networks piece too. The restriction to admit 4 people every 10 minutes will generate a big backup if a lot of people try. But maybe the limits on who is allowed to ski there will prevent a backup.

I assume Garry found out because he's local and knows people who work there. If I go, I was considering delaying posting a TR here. Based upon observations on the Angeles Crest Saturday and Tuesday trying Baldy on a weekend might be problematic.
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Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby Marc_C » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:15 am

I thought you guys were under a stay at home order?
-marc
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Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:50 am

Marc_C wrote:I thought you guys were under a stay at home order?

Just like before, it's self-enforced! :-"
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Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:00 pm

San Bernardino County is less restricted than LA County. Baldy decided that if golf courses could reopen they could too. Baldy having idiosyncratic ownership sometimes has an upside.

I got up there, no media deals, had to go down to the village and buy a ticket on WiFi. Tickets are at a specific time because of the 4 people per 10 minute rule and cost $99 vs. normal operation $69. No bitching about that price from me as it’s the only lift service in North America AFAIK. My ticket is for 1PM today.

I’m curious, what prompted James to check out Tahoe-based Unofficial Networks today?
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Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:13 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I’m curious, what prompted James to check out Tahoe-based Unofficial Networks today?

Someone posted the link on the NY Ski Forum.
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Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby tseeb » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:44 pm

I got the email about Baldy opening from Unofficial Networks at 4:05 AM. I didn't read it that early. It seems like if Tony Crocker had purchased (11 AM?) lift ticket in advance he would have met Baldy's criteria for going there. Hopefully, he got $79 senior ticket.

Our county was part of SF Bay Area shelter in place/social distancing that started March 16 and has led Northern CA in covid-19 cases and deaths. Yesterday it was announced that testing showed that deaths on Feb 6 and 17 were from community-spread covid-19. See https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/04/21/ ... not-march/ (may be behind paywall/limited no. of articles per month).

But our county has not yet required facemasks (although we wear them if we go into stores where we limit our trips as much as possible) as most Bay Area counties have for shopping and public transit and has not said travel for exercising should be limited to 5 miles as San Mateo County did. We've hiked hill behind nearby (and closed including parking) Junior College the last two days where some decorated rocks have been left for inspiration.
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Re: Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:26 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:
Marc_C wrote:I thought you guys were under a stay at home order?

Just like before, it's self-enforced! :-"

tseeb wrote:travel for exercising should be limited to 5 miles as San Mateo County did.

Cliff Mass has weighed in on this topic.
As far as I'm concerned, outdoor exercise within commute distance from home is generally fair game. Baldy had one person per chair and never more than 3 people at the base of Thunder. Density was less than at China Peak March 19. This was Day 1 so that may change, particularly on the weekend. Nonetheless the rationing of 4 online tickets for every 10 minutes should maintain adequate social distancing.

With warm weather finally arriving, the SoCal beaches will become tempting. I'm sure I can find quiet ones midweek, but they are all closed in LA County. Ventura County opened some beaches this week.

As for today, I drove from Baldy village back up to the ski area at 11:30AM. They gave me my ticket when I showed them the phone receipt and they told me I could load chair 1 at noon. I did not notice a senior ticket price on the phone app, but I did see it on the computer tonight when I bought a ticket for 9:20AM Friday.

I skied from 12:15 to 3:30. Coverage on the core area of Thunder Mt. is excellent, better than it was in early January. They got 3 feet over a few storms during the second half of March, most of which did not melt out, followed by another 3 feet Easter Week.

The initial surface was smooth corn, already soft well before I got on it. There was no grooming so the usually groomed runs were uneven by the time I got there but still skied well. Some of the off trail was still very smooth. Most runs skied quite well up to about 2PM. From 2:30 on the snow was quite heavy, even on the 4 most sheltered runs that I was seeking out at that time.

Temperatures hit 90F in the LA Basin, probably 60ish midday while skiing at 8,000 feet. The hot weather is expected to continue, so I think NW facing Thunder will soften earlier than usual. I looked at a TR from April 16, 2005. Chair 4 was open that day and I did not start skiing Thunder until 11:30. I suspect some Thunder runs will be good to go when I get up there before 10AM Friday.

I'll post some pics and more detail later.
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Re: Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:23 pm

Just before noon here's view from Baldy's parking lot.
IMG_5850.JPG

Cars are supposed to be socially distanced 20 feet apart.

Top of chair 1 is very quiet.
IMG_5852.JPG

The Notch was closed except for the restroom.

Right half of pic below shows wall-to-wall 4-foot base on core area of Thunder.
IMG_5853.JPG

Goldridge is the run on the left half.

View up Emile's after boarding Thunder lift.
IMG_5855.JPG

Skyline at far right was wide open too.

I started with Robin's, Skyline and Bonanza. The looker's left from Robin's up to the fire road is more sun exposed and thus patchy.
IMG_5857.JPG

But I saw a group find a clean line through there.
IMG_5861.JPG

So I went that way twice, finding pristine corn.

Upper Emile's and Liftline are deep and wide open so you could really rip when the snow was right as it was here.
IMG_5860.JPG


There was still room to maneuver lower down on Liftline.
IMG_5858.JPG

Coverage was much better than my last day here January 7.

After Liftline and Toilet Bowl I couldn't resist checking out South Bowl.
IMG_5862.JPG

What's above me was still excellent at 2PM, but it was on the late side for lower down. I paid the price with a slog out.
IMG_5863.JPG


By 2:30 the snow was heavy everywhere. I chose the most sheltered direct north facing runs like Goldridge here.
IMG_5866.JPG

The patchy chair 4 terrain is in far right background.

The other runs were in the trees dropping into Robin's and Emile's. Profile from top of Emile's:
IMG_5867.JPG


Emile's trees:
IMG_5868.JPG

The snow had been forgiving for the first two hours. But now I was working hard and probably feeling the effects of the prior day climbing Mt. Waterman too. So I quit skiing at 3:30PM after skiing 12,300 vertical feet.

I rode chair 1 down but Patrick would have skied Bentley's like these guys.
IMG_5872.JPG

I've skied Bentley's when I've had to walk out under the lift but never this sketchy. Those guys had to walk to the top of the run as well.
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Re: Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby pat banning » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:50 pm

Great pics. It makes me long to go! =P~
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Re: Mt. Baldy Reopens April 22, 2020

Postby snowave » Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:51 am

Pretty ballsy move by Baldy for a lot of reasons. Hopefully for them, it doesn't backfire and get them in the [censored] tank.
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Postby ShiftyRider » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:48 am

If it really is no grooming, that's the best social distancing ever. Kooks'll show up, do 3 or 4 runs, and bail for lack of skills (shoulda taken lessons when they were offered)...
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