Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

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Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:07 pm

I returned to Baldy Tuesday, alone again as Liz had another appointment. I was the one with a dental appointment Monday, so I didn't get up there first thing after the 8 inches that fell over the weekend. I heard that Monday was quite busy, not only for the new snow but because San Diego and a few other school districts had the day off. Tuesday was very quiet, didn't even fill completely the upper parking lot.

It was 33F when I arrived, 10F warmer than last Thursday. However there was thin overcast in the morning that thickened after 1PM. Winds increased in the afternoon too, so there was much less softening in sunny exposures than last Thursday.

Here's the first view of Bentley's riding chair 1.
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There's more debris in there than last week though much of it is pine needles.

Sugarpine about halfway up with the bottom of Nightmare at right:
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Sugarpine had more noticeable ice patches, as it probably got a fair amount of weekend traffic. Also, those huge rime deposits last week fall out of the trees, and the resulting death cookies tend to roll downhill into gully runs like Sugarpine. I was concerned about this, but on Thunder there were not so many in Emile's, Robin's and Bonanza. I think the weekend new snow helped a lot with that.

Approaching the notch:
IMG_0703.JPG

Rime has melted off the building. Most of what's on the trees is probably from the weekend storm.

I was on Thunder by 9:05. First view there, quite similar to last Thursday:
IMG_0704.JPG


There was more grooming than Thursday, notably Skyline. The upgraded groomers from the Tom Treaccar era ~9 years ago are still much appreciated. My first 3 runs on Fire Road/Bonanza, Skyline and Short Cut/Robin's were soft packed powder and skied like a dream, and not much different a couple of hours later as so few people were there. View down Shortcut near the top of chair 3:
IMG_0706.JPG

Cajon Pass is in the background.

I skied Emile's and Goldridge, which were similar to last Thursday, then ventured into South Bowl, which had been closed then.
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South Bowl had patches of untracked, a bit thick two days later but still manageable.

South Bowl's skiing was good, but the traverse out was heinous, especially in the morning.
IMG_0709.JPG

Those death cookies were solid ice and much of the underlying surface was frozen granular.

After that traverse was when I reran a couple of those ego pleasing groomers. By 11AM the sun was above the top of Thunder, illuminating the parts of Liftline that you didn't want to ski.
IMG_0710.JPG

I wondered if the weekend new snow would reduce those hard spots, which they did a little bit.

Robin's trees and those between Skyline and Emile's were excellent, just like last week. Also like last week, the drops off the Fire Road still had a mix of packed powder and frozen granular.

After 11 runs on Thunder I took a short lunch break. As it wasn't all that warm I waited until after noon to try chair 4. View from the lift, skier on Turkey Shoot at left:
IMG_0711.JPG


Ungroomed on chair 4 was only partially softened, and probably the same Monday because it wasn't that icy either, more of a variable crunch. Groomers were not as soft as on Thunder but still decent. Here's the view of Thunder from the other chair 4 groomer Rollercoaster:
IMG_0716.JPG

The tubing park has been expanded and now blocks the gravity ski from the base of chair 4 into Beginner Gulch. I squeezed from the end of Rollercoaster through a couple of narrow openings beyond the end of the tubing park to avoid having to hike up the hill past the Notch restaurant.

As it was now 1:30 I gave South Bowl another shot. This time I traversed far along the ridgeline to where the fall line drops steep and north facing. View back across to where the open and still icy part of South Bowl drops off Skyline's ridge:
IMG_0719.JPG


Here's looking down where I skied:
IMG_0721.JPG

The traverse out was tedious but less so than earlier as some of the subsurface was softer.

I repeated a few of the better runs on Thunder until 3PM. As the clouds above thickened, the clarity of the air below improved. This view of Catalina was about as sharp as it gets 76 miles distant.
IMG_0724a.jpg

Even more noteworthy was the view of San Clemente Island 110 miles away. San Clemente is about as long as Catalina but less mountainous, so only visible from anywhere on the mainland with very clear skies.

For my run to the bottom I decided to look for Psych Out beyond Bentley's which I had last skied in December 2004.
IMG_0725.JPG

This is not advised for people who have not been there before as you can get cliffed out, but fortunately I ended up in the right place. I put the second track in there, then bailed skier's right when I saw an opening into Bentley's.

At the bottom of Bentley's the skier's right side that had softened Thursday afternoon was still firm in the overcast today. But overall coverage down below was similar.

I skied 22,700 vertical with some bits and pieces of powder and was home before 5PM.
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, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby reefuss12 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:39 pm

Great pics. Baldy bowl looking. Seems like after Presidents day baldy slacks off a bit. Still like to see a good ol fashioned massive dumper hit before the winter ends. Need the snowpack.
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Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:23 am

As most of you know the current storm is all rain to the top of the SoCal ski areas and will remain so all day today. All areas other than Big Bear are closed today due to high winds. It may snow tonight and Friday. Models used by OpenSnow call for 6-12 inches. I suspect that's not enough to repair the rain damage on Baldy-type terrain.

My guess is that only Thunder will be skiable at Baldy this weekend, and probably less of Thunder will have good snow than the 3 days I've skied Baldy during the past week.

Nonetheless there is a base and several more weeks for potential significant natural snowfall. SoCal big storm probability doesn't diminish much until April.
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, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby egieszl » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 pm

This storm is a disaster for some Southern California ski areas. Mountain High is getting destroyed by the rain with a mud river flowing down East and the natural base being destroyed at West.

It's really sad. Mt. Waterman couldn't open last weekend and now rain will likely destroy their chance of opening this weekend.
2018-19 ski season stats- Vertical: 526,029, Days: 27, Lift rides: 319, Top day vertical: 38,370;
Total past 12 seasons- Vertical: 13,318,068, Days: 529, Lift rides: 8,374, Top day vert: 64,867;
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Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:44 am

The news this morning is grim.

Big Bear and Baldy report 1-3 inches new snow. No new snow is reported by Snow Valley or Mt. High.

Mt. High had all of West and 90% of East open Tuesday. Today it's just 35% of West open; East is closed and probably back to square one at its base.

Baldy and Snow Valley are closed today because their roads have flood debris that needs to be cleared. Baldy expects to be open Saturday, but I think it will be limited to groomers on Thunder. I saw Snow Valley in 1980 after 5 inches of rain and it was not pretty. The ground saturated and took out gully runs from the bottom up.

Big Bear still claims all trails open. However with Route 18 closed from Green Valley to Big Bear Dam, you have to use 38 through Redlands or the Lucerne Valley road to get there.

Big Bear's extended forecast shows mostly below freezing temperatures through President's weekend with a scattered 6-12 inches of snow possible. With assistance from their big snowmaking system I'd expect Big Bear to be in good shape after the holiday. The holiday weekend itself will be a masochistic experience between the traffic and the mostly frozen granular snow.
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, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby jojo_obrien » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:50 am

80 mph winds yesterday at my house in lake arrowhead. it was gnarly. rain washed away all the snow...snow valley's pack is crap now......pretty unfortunate.
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Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:31 am

L.A. Times says 4.56 inches rain at Wrightwood yesterday and 8.25 inches at Big Bear Lake!
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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Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10091
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby berkshireskier » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:21 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:L.A. Times says 4.56 inches rain at Wrightwood yesterday and 8.25 inches at Big Bear Lake!

Good for drought relief?
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Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby ShiftyRider » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:42 pm

Road stuff...
http://twitter.com/MtBaldyFire

Other worse pics were sent to me prolly from FB -- Manker area just below The Bowling Alley big parts of road are kinda missing, eroded from side/underneath.
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Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:44 am

Saturday update:

Total new snow after temperatures fell is about 6 inches.

Mt. High will run both East and West over the holiday weekend, says they are making snow at East.

Baldy still hopes to run this weekend, but the road is not open yet.

The Snow Valley road situation is more severe.
Unfortunately, due to road closures caused by recent storm damage, Snow Valley Mountain Resort will be closed through the President’s Day Weekend and likely longer, based on Caltrans’ estimates for the completion of repair work on Highway 18. There is currently no highway access to the ski area.

The road between Snow Valley and Big Bear Dam was closed for at least 2 months in 1978. The rockslide potential there is obvious. The shorter distance between Snow Valley and the Green Valley road will presumably get Caltrans priority.
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: 10091
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:06 am

Sunday update:

3-4 inches new snow with a bit more possible, interesting as it was clear nearly all day yesterday in L.A. and not a cloud in the sky now.

Mt. High claims 90+% open both East and West.

Baldy remains closed through at least tomorrow Feb. 18 with the road repair.

Mt. Waterman will open tomorrow Feb. 18.
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: 10091
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby egieszl » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:01 pm

Snow Valley remains closed as well due to road damage. This is really unfortunate for Mt. Baldy and Snow Valley. I really want these ski areas to have an outstanding season and yet they're missing one of the holiday weekends. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Snow Valley has business interruption insurance.
2018-19 ski season stats- Vertical: 526,029, Days: 27, Lift rides: 319, Top day vertical: 38,370;
Total past 12 seasons- Vertical: 13,318,068, Days: 529, Lift rides: 8,374, Top day vert: 64,867;
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Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby CWV » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:58 am

After living out of state and very little skiing for past 20 years I bought a Baldy 2020 pass on Feb 6th and have had 3 days on it so far -- Feb 6, Feb 12, and Feb 24 -- all excellent ski days. \:D/

Keeping my fingers crossed the snow gods will continue to deliver. [-o<
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Re: Mt. Baldy, CA, Feb. 12, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu May 02, 2019 11:07 am

Based upon my 9 seasons of retirement, CWV already has more use of that Baldy pass than would have been worthwhile in 6 of those 9 seasons. Two of his days overlapped with two of my four.
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: 10091
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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