Monday, February 9, 2009

Amazing Pow Day

Today we managed to catch the tail end of a storm and get an amazing powder day at Mt. Baldy ski area. Even better, they closed the road up to the parking lot shortly after we got there (was no problem for the Lesbaru...I don't know what everyone else's problem was), so we had the place almost entirely to ourselves. We were riding untracked powder all day long, even through the last run (on which we took almost all of these pictures). If this had been any ski area in the northwest, the powder we found would have been chop by 9:30; we had to do no hiking, no traversing, nothing. Just hop off the lift and enjoy.

We had originally intended to tour today, but all the fresh snow and storm we drove up in convinced us that it was worth it to shell out for the ski area. It was definitely well worth it. The absolute lack of lift lines allowed us to get over 20,000ft of vertical by the end of a half day. Plenty of steeps and trees to be had here, and over 1,000ft on every single run, almost all untracked pow.

The wind with the fresh snow was crazy. It was depositing it sideways in hard crusts on everything, a la Mt. Washington. Luckily the north side of every ridge was sheltered from the wind and the snow on it was perfect.

We were the first to make tracks on this. In fact, we tracked it out almost singlehandedly and like fifteen other runs just like it or better.

Yes, that is the ocean in the distance.

Seeing yucca while skiing is an experience somewhat unique to SoCal. While yucca in the summer is pointy death, in the winter it just looks sad and droopy (or as Carie impersonates them, "What is this cold shit? I'm a desert plant!").

It's steeper than it looks, and oh-so-soft.

Carie's in there somewhere. It was nothing but dry Colorado sugar for us the entire day.

People were riding the lift down for myriad reasons, ranging from "the run is too difficult" to "it's too cold". If the suckers are willing to give up such great snow, fine by me!

We also learned something today: I am much better at holding a camera while skiing than Carie is (though I still need some work). My video of Carie tearing it up on the last run down to the parking lot:

Carie's video of "me" (do not watch if you are prone to motion sickness):

Sorry, Carie, looks like you're going to have to do the extreme crazy stuff while I film and not vice-versa.

On the way down we picked up two hitch-hiking snowboarders whose truck had been plowed in and dropped them off at the nearest town, hopefully doing our good deed to appease the mighty snow demons. We also told them to enjoy it while they could because once they turned thirty and had kids it was all over. We then drove home and sat in our hot tub and ate steak. Life doesn't get much better than this.


  1. "We also told them to enjoy it while they could because once they turned thirty and had kids it was all over."

    Love it -- looks fun!