The Gullies of Baden-Powell

The snow was not quite was I was hoping for, but Al and I nonetheless kept alive his annual tradition of skiing Baden-Powell this past weekend—and things in any case were definitely better than last year*.

Throughout the Southern California backcountry you'll find snow up high and things rapidly melting out down low. Unfortunately that seems to be true in the Sierra as well.

Even Baldy's north face looked like it was getting thin, which surprised me. Highway 2 remains closed at Vincent Gap, not that it matters much anymore. I'm not sure where the closure point is coming from the west, but once again, my Throop hopes have been dashed. We'll save that one for next year, bicycle included.

For all the grind of climbing up for marginal skiing, I really do enjoy these days. And even if the Spring skiing on Baden-Powell isn't quite what it used to be, it's still one fantastic mountain. How can you resist all those incredible ridgelines and gullies? With snow or without, Baden-Powell is such an aesthetic peak.

*now that I think about it, snow quality was actually better on that 2018 trip. There just wasn't very much of it :).

— April 30, 2019

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Matt D May 1, 2019 at 2:31 am

How far down were you able to make it in those north gullies? Looks like maybe between 7000’ and 7500’?

Charles May 1, 2019 at 8:34 pm

Fantastic! Was there a couple weeks ago for my intro to SoCal bc skiing- STEEP!
I put a meter down five times while descending the gully and it was well over 40 deg every time. Top that you skied must be 45-50 deg... Actually, most of the mountains seemed to sit at a 40-45 degree angle as far as you could see. What a stupendous mountain range...

Is your next stop SJ??

Andy May 6, 2019 at 4:09 pm

Matt we skied some snow threads to maybe ~500 vertical feet of the parking lot. BP is a fantastic peak! San J looking pretty much melted out, unfortunately, except for upper Snow Creek. There is snow on Gorgonio but you'll have to work for it--melted out below 9K!