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$59 season pass deal at Mt. Baldy -- ends Friday Dec. 20, 2013

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

For anyone that's never held a season pass at Mt. Baldy, you can a get one for $59 -- but the deal ends Dec. 20:  http://www.shopbaldy.com/Detail.lasso?id=958&loc=114&from=NEWSLETTER

 

That's unlimited skiing for the entire winter, with no blackout dates.  This is a great deal, since a one-day lift ticket is ~$50.  So if you plan to go there 2 or more days it's worth it.  The only catch is that you have to go online the night before and make a reservation.  You then print out the reservation (at least last year they required a hard copy) and present it at the ticket window for your lift ticket.

 

Again, note this is only valid for first-time season pass buyers.

 

[Would have posted this earlier, but just got an email about it from Mt. Baldy today.]

post #2 of 11

The other catch is that Baldy needs to get enough snow to be worth skiing there, which it was not at any time the past 2 seasons.

 

I think Baldy has great terrain and I've had some of my top powder days there.  It's worth a full price ticket ($50-$60???) when it's good, but it's so erratic I would never commit to going there more than one day in advance.  I've skied 67 days there since 1976.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yes it certainly is erratic. For those not familiar with Baldy, here are the snowfall totals for 2006 - 2013 (largest storm totals in parentheses) (with some El Nino/La Nina data added just for fun): 

 

2006: 170" (24") --weak El Nino

2007: 9" (3")--moderate La Nina

2008: 222" (30")--weak La Nina

2009: 128" (18")--moderate El Nino

2010: 318" (48")--strong La Nina

2011: 181" (48")--weak La Nina

2012: 78" (18")

2013: 40" (11")

 

So based on the above, while we could see a repeat of the past two years, overall you've about a 50% chance of having several good ski days at Baldy on any given winter.  Given how much nicer it is to do the 1:20 drive from LA to Baldy than the 1:45 drive to Mtn. High or the 2:30 drive to Big Bear/Snow Summit, and given how much better Baldy's terrain is, $59 seems like a reasonable risk.  YCMV (your calculation may vary :) ).

 

Or if you'd prefer a more formal calculation:

 

Let suppose there's a 50% chance it's a bad snow year, in which case you'd do 0 ski days, and a 50% chance it's good, in which case you'd do, say, 6 ski days.  Further, let's use their full day pass price of $50.  And let's suppose you use this strategy every year.

 

Then, if you don't buy a pass, your average layout per year would be .5 * 0 + .5 * (6* $50) == $150 (i.e., $300 on the good snow years, and $0 on the bad years).

 

So that means that any year you can instead buy a pass for under $150 you should, since that's a superior strategy. If you'd ski more days on good years, the cutoff goes up; if less, it goes down; likewise, if you can get discounted day passes, that also reduces the cutoff price you should be willing to pay.


Edited by chemist - 12/19/13 at 7:31pm
post #4 of 11

Where did you get those snowfall numbers?   The big years look too high, and interestingly the bad years look lower than they actually were.  Do they go back any farther than 2006?  2005 was the last big snow year in SoCal. 2010 was above average; I'd put Baldy in the low 200's for that one, but 2005 was likely close to 300.  The huge El Ninos of 1983 and 1998 were likely about 350 at Baldy.

 

I've tracked snow reports, averaging storms among the areas, since 1976.  The rule of thumb is that average is close for Mt. High, with Big Bear being 1/3 lower and Baldy/Waterman being 1/3 higher.  The last 2 years have been anomalies, with Baldy getting no more snow than Big Bear.

 

75-76 63.00
76-77 87.00
77-78 192.00
78-79 237.00
79-80 102.00
80-81 63.00
81-82 162.00
82-83 264.00
83-84 12.00
84-85 132.00
85-86 111.00
86-87 76.00
87-88 87.00
88-89 105.00
89-90 111.00
90-91 153.00
91-92 237.00
92-93 219.00
93-94 114.00
94-95 172.00
95-96 77.00
96-97 79.00
97-98 267.00
98-99 99.00
99-00 112.00
00-01 210.00
01-02 39.00
02-03 75.00
03-04 100.00
04-05 225.00
05-06 89.00
06-07 43.00
07-08 111.00
08-09 138.00
09-10 162.00
10-11 156.00
11-12 113.00
12-13 70.00
Observations 38
Average 128.00
Std. Deviation 64.94 
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

I got them from onthesnow.com.  The website only goes back to 2006.  Here's the values for 2010 -- you can click on the tabs to get the other years: http://www.onthesnow.com/california/mt-baldy/historical-snowfall.html?&y=2010&v=list

 

For each year, they provide not just the total, but the daily snowfalls for entire season.  This level of detail should hopefully help you to assess the accuracy of the data.  BTW, I just realized who you are -- you're the snowfall expert :).  Given that you have a professional interest, I'd suggest contacting the website and asking them exactly how they got their data; it's also possible they have data from before 2006 that they don't display.

 

They also provide this data for Mountain High (http://www.onthesnow.com/california/mountain-high/historical-snowfall.html), Bear Mountain (http://www.onthesnow.com/california/bear-mountain/ski-resort.html), Snow Summit (http://www.onthesnow.com/california/snow-summit/historical-snowfall.html), Mammoth (http://www.onthesnow.com/california/mammoth-mountain-ski-area/historical-snowfall.html?&y=2013), etc.  Just search for a resort, scroll down to SNOWFALL HISTORY and click on Yearly. If you click on Comparisons you can see all the years at once, displaying either snowfall or base depth.  There are also different display options.  You're also supposed to be able to compare up to 4 different resorts, but I'm not sure if that feature works

 

 [N.B.: You'll want to search for "Bear Mountain," not "Big Bear" -- the latter will give you a resort in PA.]


Edited by chemist - 12/20/13 at 1:49am
post #6 of 11
Still not biting. I have a left over set of tickets for last season that i have to see them about getting a food credit. Ridiculous, that i have to eat $40 worth of overpriced food
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 

I got them from onthesnow.com.  The website only goes back to 2006.  Here's the values for 2010 -- you can click on the tabs to get the other years: http://www.onthesnow.com/california/mt-baldy/historical-snowfall.html?&y=2010&v=list

 

I've used their data before and it appears to be ok.  Their Interface is poor in that "2006" data is from jan 1 2006 to dec 31 2006.  (it would be much more logical to use data from aug 1 2006 to july 31 2007)

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoben02 View Post

Still not biting. I have a left over set of tickets for last season that i have to see them about getting a food credit. Ridiculous, that i have to eat $40 worth of overpriced food

Plus their food, like their facilities, is not up to modern standards.  Given this, think it would be worth asking if they'd be willing to bend the rules and let you instead use them as credit towards '13-'14 lift tickets.  Some of their front office staff can be touchy (at least that's been the case in the past -- that may have changed), but if you ask nicely it might work -- I think they are sympathetic to how bad last season was, so they might be willing to do that.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post
 

I've used their data before and it appears to be ok.  Their Interface is poor in that "2006" data is from jan 1 2006 to dec 31 2006.  (it would be much more logical to use data from aug 1 2006 to july 31 2007)

That's a good point -- I'd forgotten about that quirk!  To get the seasonal totals for each season, you need to subtract any December snowfalls listed for that year, and add those from the previous year.  When I get a chance I'll do that and post the corrected numbers (though since December snowfalls at Baldy tend to be modest, the changes shouldn't be that large).

post #10 of 11

I will review that website.  In general you have to be very careful about "consolidator" websites, which can miss or double count days quite easily.  The daily records will help get a feel for accuracy.  Mammoth will be an excellent test for that.  It's too bad they don't have 2004-05, where I skied powder at Snow Summit on Oct. 30.

 

I'm not biting either since my average number of days at Baldy per season is 2, with a maximum of 7 in 1997-98.   I'm retired now and could ski more at Baldy when it's good.  On the other hand I'm more likely on destination trips away from SoCal in February/March, historically Baldy's best months.

post #11 of 11

Comparison of onthesnow.com snowfall for SoCal areas with my figures and with the Mt. High website.

 

  bestsnow  Mt. High  Mt. High Baldy Summit
  blend website onthesnow onthesnow onthesnow
06-07 43 29 5 16 26
07-08 111 124 163 111 123
08-09 138 130 95 210 90
09-10 162 153 136 315 149
10-11 156 155 157 203 144
11-12 113 45 88 83 196
12-13 70 77 45 45 85 

 

My summary of Dec. 2011 from http://50.87.144.177/~bestsnow/cal1112.htm:

Quote:
December: The Nov. 30 windstorm brought 10-16 inches of snow to the San Bernardino Mt. areas, and terrain steadily expanded with over a week of ideal snowmaking weather. With 10 inches more snow and more snowmaking the Big Bear areas were close to full operation with the most terrain in California for Christmas. 

 Here's an example of bad data from Dec. 2011: http://www.onthesnow.com/california/snow-summit/historical-snowfall.html?&y=2011 

 

Onthesnow shows  18 inches at Summit Dec. 1-2; that's my "10-16 of snow to the San Bernardino Mt. areas" Reasonable

Onthesnow shows  12 inches at Summit Dec. 13-18 : that's my "10 inches more snow, etc." Reasonable

Onthesnow shows  16 inches at Summit EACH DAY Dec. 19-21: That's pure fantasy, it never happened. I was here in SoCal at that time; I never would miss something like that. 

 

 Nov/Dec. 2009 has a similar problem, showing 12 inches EACH DAY Nov. 29 - Dec. 1.  My narrative says:

Quote:
....November was very dry, but with low humidity there was intermittent nighttime snowmaking. There were 3-5 inches snow over Thanksgiving weekend.
December: The Dec. 7 storm was 12-18 inches 

There was no Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 storm that season. 

 

Note the close correlation between my stats and the Mt. High website for every year except 2011-12, where we know there was an abnormal relationship between San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mt. snowfall.  By comparison the onthesnow stats are all over the map. As far as Baldy is concerned , they like to quote from the top of Thunder, which is often not representative of the area as a whole. 2009-10 was a good year at Baldy and I skied there as late as May 1, but I don't think it was over 300.

 

I'm not sure how this stuff happens. As many of you know Snow Summit is the most competently run ski area in SoCal.  It's reliability is almost entirely from snowmaking, and I've never had reason to believe the daily new snow amounts on their website have been exaggerated. When you see the exact same new snow quoted 3 days in a row on onthesnow.com, I think there's a programming bug.  It has to be some kind of automated cloud program to search ski area websites.  They are not doing it by hand every day.  I'm probably the only person obsessive enough to do that, and even I do it only once a week early season and twice a month after that.

 

Onthesnow.com was not capturing Mammoth snowfall until late February 2011.  For 2012-13 it agrees closely for the lean snow months Jan-Apr but is about 10% too high for the big snow months Nov/Dec.

 

I expected onthesnow.com to have data quality problems.  I was hoping it would be better, because if so it would be a reliable data source for areas that I otherwise can't get.  I appreciate the reference because it could still provide helpful guidance in-season for some areas.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 12/21/13 at 10:58pm
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › $59 season pass deal at Mt. Baldy -- ends Friday Dec. 20, 2013