Mt. Baldy, April 24, 2020

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Mt. Baldy, April 24, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:27 pm

snowave wrote:Pretty ballsy move by Baldy for a lot of reasons. Hopefully for them, it doesn't backfire and get them in the [censored] tank.

Mt. Baldy's reopening did attract the attention of the local media.
A neighbor told me that Baldy was mentioned on local TV news too.

On Friday they were more explicit about required safety measures. On both days two employees were stationed at the entrance to the parking lot to allow only people with prepaid tickets or season passes in.
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The lifties at both base and top of chair 1 reminded us to leave masks on and observe 6 foot distancing at the base of Thunder.

Riding chair 1 I observed that Bentley's has deteriorated over the last two days so even the nutcases probably weren't skiing it Friday.
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Core area of Thunder when I started skiing at 9:30AM:
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Snow was soft already as there was no overnight freeze, which also prevented grooming.

I warmed up on Bonanza, Skyline and Robin's. With no grooming there were some clumps so skiing was best in skier packed lines. This was "old school" Baldy skiing like in the 1980's. Back then there were intense moguls but with the current lower density I'd describe it as moguls under construction.

The slot I skied off the fire road on Wednesday was more marginal Friday so I took a pass.
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But the cover is still excellent on Skyline and Emile's.
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There was an extra attendant at the base of Thunder enforcing the masks and distancing. I was glad to see this in case any media or local authority decided to inspect. With the lift moving I never saw more than 5-6 people waiting. The exception was when Thunder stopped at 10:50 for 10 minutes.
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South Bowl was open but today you needed to go out the ridge a bit to ski a sheltered line through the trees as the main bowl had taken too much sun. I'm about to drop in here with 10,000 foot Baldy peak in the background.
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It was nearly noon so I stopped to put away my windbreaker and ski in a T-shirt the rest of the day. It probably hit 70F up there midday. A couple of other skiers came by.
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Getting back to Thunder was easier than Wednesday with a set traverse track, though it had burned off in a couple of spots.

Liftline was still good at 1PM.
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As on Wednesday I now finished up the most sheltered lines, Goldridge, Robin's trees and Emile's trees to Tortilla Flats. These runs took some more effort in the blazing sun but not quite as much as on Wednesday when I skied them an hour and a half later in the day.

I downloaded chair 1 at 1:45 after skiing 15,300 vertical.
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I was surprised to see at least 10 people riding up at this way past prime hour, all with skis or snowboards on the chair behind. Sightseers and snowplayers are not allowed past those parking attendants.

Friday was the peak day of the current heat wave. It was 102F when I stopped at In-N-Out in Glendora on the way home. The coastal area temps will moderate starting Sunday but the inland mountains and deserts are predicted to remain warm (Big Bear high 73, low 40) through Wednesday.

Baldy will be closed Monday/Tuesday but plans to reopen Wednesday. My first thought was to return Wednesday after the two off days, but by last night the earliest available Wednesday ticket was at 11AM. Today I reserved 8:40AM Friday, when temperatures are predicted about 10 degrees lower.
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Re: Mt. Baldy, April 24, 2020

Postby snowave » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:30 pm

Way to get after it, I guess!

I love Baldy, but I don't know how they continue to get their chairlifts approved every year by the state. Those things break down more often than anywhere, I bet. I will never forget one time i was riding down to get on the Thunder Chair, and the lift was stopped. There was a guy in the lift shack literally banging something with what looked like a baseball bat. Scared the hell out of me to get on that lift after that!
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Re: Mt. Baldy, April 24, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:42 am

snowave wrote:There was a guy in the lift shack literally banging something with what looked like a baseball bat. Scared the hell out of me to get on that lift after that!

Great story. From the telltale center pole on those chairs, the lifts appear to be the same 50-year-old Riblets that I rode at Sunlight this season; however, something tells me that the one at Sunlight has been better maintained.
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Re: Mt. Baldy, April 24, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:22 am

I can't say I notice lift stoppages much more at Baldy than elsewhere. Of course at big places there are often lift stoppages due to people not loading/unloading properly. There are also high wind stoppages at Mammoth and some other places, which might explain why Baldy doesn't look like an outlier to me. Long lift stoppages are definitely mechanical. The longest I remember was 55 minutes at Mt. High East in 1985. The scariest was 10-15 minutes at Coronet Peak in New Zealand in 1982. It was about 3:30PM and pouring rain. I could not see anyone else riding that lift and was concerned it might be shut for the day.

Age of lift is not the only factor in mechanical stoppages. The dogleg high speed Collins lift at Alta probably has at least as many stoppages as Baldy.

Late Sunday Mt. Baldy decided to reopen today instead of waiting until tomorrow. Garry told me last night he was going. I could have bought a ticket for 8:50AM but I already have a ticket for Friday when it's predicted to cool off. Today may be my first beach day.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
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Re: Mt. Baldy, April 24, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:37 pm

Garry finally made it to Mt. Baldy yesterday. His friends who have been skiing there a lot say Thunder lost 1.5 feet of base in the 3 days since I was there Friday. That bottom pitch of Skyline where I show excellent coverage Friday not has a growing bare spot in the middle. You can take the Tortilla Flats cutoff into Emile's higher up to avoid that part.

Garry said it was still very warm, same temps as I skied last Friday, essential to stay in skier packed lines or else the snow was too mushy. Hopefully it will cool off and set up a little better before I return Friday.

Mt. Baldy is shooting for May 10 closing date but Garry thinks it will be May 3. The market agrees with Garry. Tickets are already sold out before 11AM May 1&2 and 10AM May 3. Tickets are available from 7:30AM opening bell May 4-10.

I had my first beach day yesterday in Newport Beach. The usual line of beach spots 30 feet or so back from the water was continuously occupied from the Santa Ana River to as far as I could see into the residential district. The beach spots were socially spaced, though there were still more people than we see on a typical midweek summer day before the virus. No one on/near the beach was wearing a mask though it's not necessary in that environment with proper spacing (see Cliff Mass blog in the 4/22 Baldy thread). The closest spacing I saw was the surfers in the water clustering near the 56th St jetty point break.

LA County beach lockdown is definitely drawing more people to Ventura and Orange counties. What needs to happen IMHO is for LA County to open its beaches but close the largest parking lots that would produce excess density. Huntington Beach has much more parking than Newport Beach, and the LA Times pics from Huntington Beach over the weekend looked excessively dense to me.
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: 10580
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
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Location: Glendale, California


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