The Best Mountain South Of Mammoth

by: John Nelson - Dec 20, 2013

  • Overall Rating 5
  • Family Friendly 4
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 5
  • Terrain Park 3
  • Nightlife 2

    Pros: Best Terrain South Of Mammoth, Best Staff, Best Bar, Best Crowd, Best Runs, Closest Location, Best Prices

    Cons: Slow Old Lifts??? Limited snow making...

    Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters


Full review

I've been visiting Mount Baldy for the last four years and though it's had a couple dry seasons I still love it.

I really don't know what people are talking about on the reviews that say the service was bad. I've never met friendlier staff. Coming to Baldy is like visiting family that you actually like. On my first trip to Baldy I got a personal tour of the mountain from one of the ski instructors while my daughters were at ski school. He highlighted his favorite runs and gave me plenty of tips for finding the best hidden stashes. I haven't had bad service at the other SoCal mountains, but I would say they are like Guitar Center and Baldy is like McCabes Guitars in Santa Monica.

Now onto the really important stuff. There is, flat out, no other mountain in SoCal that has runs as steep or as long as Baldy. None. That's just a fact. There are no other true double black runs in SoCal. That's a fact. It is by far the largest mountain in SoCal (excluding Mammoth). That is also a fact.

Now, I'll highlight the only real downfall of Mount Baldy (which incidentally is likely also the cause of it being so likable) . It is not backed by some large, well funded corporation. Therefore, it has really really limited snow making. In the past couple of years, it sadly hasn't been able to open most of the mountain, though Bonanza and Robins are both killer and worth spending a day or even a season on (Snow making is happening on those runs and other than a wind hold happening, you can almost always count on them being open.). Truth be told. If I won the lottery, I'd dump as much money as I could into getting the yet undeveloped north side of Stockton Flats developed with snow making, and the entirety of Thunder Mountain covered as well. Those two spots alone would be more mountain than anywhere else in the area and have the direction and the altitude to keep snow for long seasons.

The best thing about Mount Baldy besides the killer runs are the people that work there and the visitors that it attracts. If you want a real mountain, if you want a seriously chill mountain top bar with fair prices, if you want really really amazing views, if you want true mountain terrain unlike anything you can find elsewhere, then Baldy is your place. If you want to pay too much, be just another rider caught in traffic on a tiny way overcrowded mountain, if you need to be entertained by DJ's, need a kicker to be able to make a jump on every single run, can't handle a real steeps, are too much of a p*ssy to ride an old lift, are really only there to flirt with drunk sluts, or are just another douche bag asshole wanna be.... Then Baldy is not for you, and they wouldn't want you anyway. Well, they might, they need the money... But I wouldn't...

Peace...


PS - Yes, if you're a beginner, there is less of the super easy almost completely flat bullish*t you'll find at the other SoCal mountains. The instructors at Baldy are top notch though. My kids were skiing Bonanza (blue) by the end of their second day at Baldy. And, The Gulch, can actually be fun to ski for a beginner and the person that's hanging back with them. When there's good snow coverage there are two spots where you can get some decent air if you're going fast enough (in the dip just before the base of Bonanza and coming out of the trough that borders the left side of the run).



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