Skiing Baden-Powell, 2018 Edition
You should have seen the look on my wife's face when I brought out my skis this past weekend. For the record, this was 100% Al's doing, not mine. He's the one who had a twenty-year streak of skiing Baden-Powell at stake.
Me, I wanted to stay home and play video games. I did my best to tempt Al into other options: a lavish Chardonnay-swilling barbecue at my place, a day hike with the kids. I even mentioned, if he was bent on doing something silly, that San Gorgonio still had snow.
Nothing doing. One of the truly evil genius things Al kept doing was sending me photos of San Gorgonio's north face—the wrong frickin' mountain!—and passing it off as Baden-Powell. Hey look: there's snow in the north gully. It'll be great!
Maybe, I thought, I'll just ride in the car with him, and offer moral support when we crest the rise on Highway 2 past Mountain High, and the reality of the situation (no goddamned snow!) hits him. I could talk him down, maybe convince him to stop at a Nudie bar on the way home...
The thing is, when it comes to doing extremely ridiculous things in the mountains, I kind of figure I owe Al. After all, he's joined me on more than one of my own misadventures (the dreaded "Andy Specials"), so come 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning I got out of bed, put my skis in the car, and went "skiing."
The good news, despite how BP's east face looked (see above), is that we did in fact find patches of snow hiding in the shadows at the top of BP's north gully. Maybe even two hundred vertical feet of it. The bad news is this meant we both had to carry skis all the way up there, and then all the way back down.
For those of you who are similarly not screwed down properly, if you do go, bring a good backpack—one that can comfortably carry the weight of your skis and boots and water. You'll be carrying them a lot, let me tell you. In fact, maybe pass on Baden-Powell this year. Go ski San Gorgonio, if you must, or heck you could even drive up to the Sierra.
Or just stay home, and enjoy the vicarious pleasures of our BP 2018 "skiing" video...
Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents
charles April 18, 2018 at 2:04 am
I love it!
Will continue looking here for spring time reports from up 395!
Dan Conger April 22, 2018 at 10:56 pm
I watched the video ... you guys are hardcore and earn the “Skied it just to say I did” medal for 2018. I would have stayed home to play video games ... hands down (and I did, too!).
Andy April 23, 2018 at 1:01 am
Joey G April 27, 2018 at 6:36 pm
North gully of throop still had snow week ago but not as much as you had. It was more narrow but no tracks and complicated descent through drops, narrows and pitches. It was my first time there, very beautiful and desolate.
It's still april, we might get a another blast yet.