Al Preston Skiing Rosie's Alley

Skiing Rosie’s Alley

On various adventures past I vaguely recall noticing a possibly-skiable line through Baldy Bowl's east buttress—but somehow I never got around to actually trying to ski it.

Maybe it wasn't filled-in enough? Maybe it looked too dodgy?

Who knows.

In any case, on Sunday that intriguing z-shaped bit of white once again caught my attention, so I pointed it out to Al Preston as we were crossing the bowl en route to West Baldy. This time, happily, something clicked. We decided to check it out on our exit.

Rosie's Alley: The Entrance Al Preston & Rosie Andy Lewicky Skiing Baldy Bowl Baldy Bowl: Rosie's Alley

When it has snow, "Schizo Alley" (as named on this old CalTech Alpine Club map) is actually the highest and tallest of Baldy Bowl's technical chutes.

The route is spicy but not desperate, offering an unlikely descent right through the spine of the bowl's otherwise-impassible east buttress.

You have to be positioned correctly to spy it from below (otherwise it appears discontinuous), and if you manage to find the correct entrance, dropping in does require a leap of faith.

Still: I rate this as easily among the bowl's best technical steep-skiing lines. The exposure is considerable, the pitch sustained, and the views outstanding.

Despite getting on the chute late in the day, we found generally good snow, though the top few inches did shear off at times as we descended. Better too soft than hard, I say: as with all the Baldy Bowl chutes, you do not want to be here if things are icy.

I suppose there is the matter of the original name to consider, which by the standards of the day is less than ideal. Here is my proposal: Al's dog Rosie accompanied us while we skied down the couloir (she likes snow—a lot).

I can't say who did or did not descend this line first on skis, but I feel reasonably confident Rosie nabbed the first canine descent. So I'm calling it Rosie's Alley. Regardless of what you call it, if you can find it, it's worth a look.

— April 24, 2024

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Dan Conger April 26, 2024 at 5:56 pm

A group of billionaires need to install lifts on that mountain.

Andy April 27, 2024 at 7:04 am

We think a tram from Azusa to the summit would be a perfectly reasonable compromise

Brad Brown May 2, 2024 at 12:58 pm

lol Andy and Dan, don’t let age corrupt you into only lift served skiing!?!? Although a tram to Whitney🤔🤔🤔…………….………….. never mind 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🙈🙈🙈⛷️🎿⛷️🎿⛷️