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San Gorgonio, elevation 11,502 ft.

That skiing even exists in sunny Southern California is a curiosity due to the very high mountains hemming in the city to the north. Yet, skiing is a big enough deal in SoCal that a friend of mine from high school both bought a ski hill and then, after years of frustration due to poor snowfall as he was about to open it after the the immense snowfall of January 2005, as he was exultantly taking a last test run down his mountain, he hit a tree and died.

The strangest bit of SoCal skiing history was when Austrian Sepp Benedikter, who played ski instructors in movies, opened the Pine Needle Ski Slope in North Hollywood at the corner of Ventura and Lankershim Boulevards in the summer of 1939. He dumped 6000 sacks of pine needles on the northwest slope of Griffith Park above Universal Studios and Ginger Rogers and Gary Cooper skied down into the San Fernando Valley.

I’d can’t recall ever hearing of this local lore before, but perhaps it’s the atavistic source of my dream about a glacier pouring out onto Ventura Blvd.

There are, I believe, currently five real ski mountains in Southern California. They typically have their bases at about 7,000 feet and top out at around 8200 to 8600 feet elevation. (By the way, there should be an automated system for conversions to metric measures. For your assistance, 3000 meters = 9850 feet, while 7000 feet = 2133 meters.)

Temperature falls 3.6 degrees F per 1,000 feet of elevation, so at 8,000 feet it’s 29 degrees cooler than at sea level. That’s cold enough to make snow during winter nights, and some winters get a reasonable amount of natural snow. For example, Snow Valley near Big Bear has 72 inches of snow at its summit right now after a cold February. But it’s expected to rain this week, which won’t help.

On the other hand, from Los Angeles it is only a five hour drive due north to the much better skiing at Mammoth Mountain on the east side of the Sierra Nevadas. The eastern Sierras are typically too jagged for skiing, but Mammoth is an extinct 11,000 foot volcano of more rounded shape.

Also, as noted by a hydrographer named Dave McCoy (now age 101) who was employed by the water department to ski around the Sierras and measure the depth of the snow, more snow falls on Mammoth than nearby due to some microclimate quirk. Mammoth currently has 150 inches of snow at the 8000 foot base and 225 inches at the 11ooo foot summit.

Mammoth is not quite a world class ski mountain compared to the powder resorts of Utah and Colorado, but it’s an easy desert drive from Los Angeles.

The one mountain where Southern California could have had a near-Mammoth quality ski resort is 11,500′ (3,500 meter) San Gorgonio northeast of San Bernardino.

The north face of San Gorgonio gets a lot of snow, keeps it into spring, and doesn’t appear too overwhelmingly steep on its prime north face for skiing.

It’s more like a Colorado Rocky than a California Sierra in shape. But it does get some big avalanches, such as one a couple of weeks ago.

Southern Cal’s other two main 10,000 foot peaks, Mt. Baldy and San Mt. San Jacinto are too steep on their huge north faces for skiing by non-experts. Ski mountains in the northern hemisphere have to face north to keep the sun from melting the snow.

For example, here is 10,064′ Mt. Baldy’s north face. It gets lots of snow, but it’s too steep other than for adroit ski mountaineers. The north face of 10,831′ Mt. San Jacinto west of Palm Springs is even more immense, one of the most prominent peaks in the U.S.

San Gorgonio’s north face isn’t quite as suicidal to ski. Here’s a San Gorgonio video from May 1, 2010 to show the scale of “Old Greyback:”

San Gorgonio is also the finest high country wilderness in Southern California, with deep forest at 8,000 feet elevation, a couple of natural lakes (very rare in SoCal) at around 9,000 feet, and the top 1,000 feet or so are above the treeline. I climbed it three times in the early 1970s.

Whether to let San Gorgonio be developed into a ski mountain or make it a permanent wilderness was debated in Congress in the mid-1960s. Sports Illustrated ran a perceptive 1965 article on the debate, correctly seeing this as an early bout of a coming political struggle made inevitable by America’s rapidly growing population:




February 1, 1965

…By early spring, when most of the range and the crests of the adjacent San Gabriel range have lost their kiss of snow, big San Gorgonio often still shines white—the one true jewel of the lot. It is also the least spoiled today, because 34,718 acres of it above the 7,000-foot contour have been set aside by Congress as a wilderness area where there can be no road or building, or any use of land vehicles or planes. …

The battle is, in fact, only worth considering at this time because, sooner or later, similar fights will break out in other areas. … Now for the first time, on the high ground of San Gorgonio, we have sportsmen against sportsmen in a major fight.

The one real reason such a battle is taking place and that others will follow is that the U.S. population is becoming a burden. We are fast running out of room for working, decent living and playing. By present, crowded standards, almost all outdoor sports require an exorbitant amount of space—a large factory and housing enough for all its workers can be built in the same space needed by 18 men to play a game of baseball. In the U.S., east and west, there are wilderness tracts far larger and more precious than San Gorgonio, and there are other snowy mountains better for downhill skiing. San Gorgonio has become the first battleground of sportsmen simply because it is located near greater Los Angeles. In municipal Los Angeles and in the tangle of contiguous cities that lie with it under a blanket of smog, there are now more than 10 million people. The air they breathe on inversion days is only slightly better than the old foul breath of Pittsburgh. The particular virtue of the megalopolis is the complex of freeways by which ordinary men escape in their off time, some of them heading for the water, some for the deserts, some for the mountains, some for the ball parks and horse tracks, and many simply leaving home to find a louder jukebox playing a different tune. …

Through the whole argument the skiers have stressed one strong, logical point of the sort Congressman Kyl seeks. There is no doubt that if the high ground of San Gorgonio were opened up to skiing, the area would get far greater use than it does now. The sport of skiing flourishes in the U.S. wherever there are slopes, lifts and reliable snow close to heavily populated areas. On their side the skiers have the old and often valid doctrine of the greatest good for the greatest number. But weighed against this are two equally logical considerations. First, the American wilderness is disappearing, and we grieve already at its passing. Second, as soberly put in a committee hearing by a geologist named Barclay Kamb, “It is argued that the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number compels development because the downhill skiing facilities would attract so many more people than presently visit the area in its wilderness state. This claim takes us back to the basic question of values at the heart of wilderness preservation. It is like arguing that we should convert our churches to roller-skating rinks because that would get the attendance up.”

Eventually, Congress voted to include San Gorgonio in the new wilderness system, meaning it could never be developed for normal skiing.

To ski San Gorgonio this winter, you have to hike up. My impression is that the number of ski mountaineers in southern California, while not nonexistent, is tiny. As far as I can tell, it’s mostly a guy named Andy Lewicky and his pals. The good side of that is that, IIRC, fewer have died in avalanches in Southern California.

So practically nobody makes use of San Gorgonio in winter.

To keep fewer people from climbing San Gorgonio in summer, the Forest Service moved the trailhead back. When I climbed it first on July 4, 1971, the shortest way to the top was 16 miles and 3,750 feet of elevation gain. That took from 10am to 8pm of almost nonstop hiking.

Now, though to climb Mt. San Gorgonio is 21 miles and 4600 feet of gain. Why? The L.A. Times explained in 1989 that the government felt too many people were climbing the tallest mountain in Southern California, so they made it harder to make it more elitist:

This Year, It Takes Longer to Reach Mt. San Gorgonio
September 02, 1989 | JOHN McKINNEY

… It’s unlikely, however, that you’ll be able to climb Mt. San Gorgonio and return in a single day. The Forest Service has relocated the trailhead, and what was once a long (16-mile) day hike is now a very long and very steep 21 miles.

“But that makes it impossible to reach the peak in a day,” you object.

Yep. Forest Service planners figure that foot traffic through fragile alpine areas will decrease if the great peak is harder to hike. And to the Forest Service, fewer hikers means fewer administrative problems and fewer rangers sent out on patrol. The Forest Service also figures that hikers will enjoy the new trailhead and that the day hike’s increased length will lead to increased solitude at South Fork Trail’s intermediate destinations: South Fork Meadows and Dollar Lake.

We respond to the pressures of a growing population by making life more elitist.

It’s interesting how the sensible arguments on both sides outlined in the Sports Illustrated article 54 years ago are kind of off-limits today because they touch on the sacred cause of immigration. The notion that immigration-driven population growth poses tradeoffs today is considered … HATE.

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  1. Of course the Pine Needle Ski Slope had to be eradicated if it was a spot for Nazi-Saluting Beckies to see and been seen.

  2. @The Alarmist

    Even though Sepp Benedikter was the most famous ski instructor in America (e.g, he is said to be the first person to ride the world’s first ski lift at Sun Valley, Idaho in 1936), he was interned as an enemy alien throughout the war. He apparently didn’t have hard feelings about it and was a fixture in California skiing into the 1980s. I think he owned the Rebel Ridge ski hill in Big Bear where I learned to ski in the late 1960s.

  3. And of course, one big hate fact is that most immigrants don’t care about the environment.

  4. @Steve Sailer

    To be honest, I didn’t notice until I had posted that der Inhaber was named Sepp Benedikter … I was more focused on the visual.

  5. Anon[293] • Disclaimer says:

    There’s Disney’s Mineral King ski resort.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
  6. Realist says:

    Yet, skiing is a big enough deal in SoCal that a friend of mine from high school both bought a ski hill and then,…

    Did your friend have DID?

  7. Mammoth is the only semi-serious ski hill I’ve ever been on, when I was 9, and my main memory was the seemingly endless chair lift to the base of all the ski hills (am I right that there was a long one to the base and then shorter ones to the individual hills?) and how you were seated open to the hundreds of feet drop to the trees and side of the mountain below you. Going along with Steve’s discussion of trade offs- There’s kind of a strange pattern where daily life often becomes increasingly overprotected for both children and adults even while high status activities are often those most objectively dangerous. Skiing is dangerous but fun, but a disproportionate number of upper middle class people I knew or heard about dying in NYC died biking in the city, which high status activity (for people who aren’t delivering food) presumably due to being dangerous, physically strenuous, and complicated to maintain a good bike.

    • Replies: @psmith
  8. Trevor H. says:

    Ahh westerners. Who else would refer to five hours as an “easy drive”? Just two hours on I-95 and I’m fit to kill.

    Meanwhile. There’s nothing wrong with your remaining wilderness that another 50 million immigrants won’t fix. Forever.

  9. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:

    As the gringo population of California is replaced by brown to black races that would rather drink Tequila and go to cock fights in their spare time than hike up Mount San Gorgonzola, we can rest assured that most of the high elevation areas will be preserved if El Blanco isn’t around to despoil them with his penchant for exercise and clean mountain air. I never can understand El Blanco, he could be taking it easy eating beans and rice and drinking Tequila in his free time, but he’d rather sweat all day like he’s worked in the citrus groves and drink crappy water and eat trail mix so that he can climb to dizzying heights and then walk down again. Never will I understand El Blanco in my lifetime.

    • Replies: @Seth Largo
    , @JMcG
  10. songbird says:

    Wow, that pine needle skiing thing sounds really dangerous. Mainly, I’m thinking fire, but sometimes they can go into your skin, if you hit them at the right angle.

  11. Dtbb says:

    One meter is 3.28 feet. Your 8200 feet is 2500 meters.

    • Replies: @Paul Yarbles
    , @AnotherDad
  12. JL says:

    Ski mountains in the northern hemisphere have to face north to keep the sun from melting the snow.

    My ski area in the northern hemisphere developed its southern slope with over 3000 feet of vertical, and terrain size to rival an entire resort in NorCal. It’s not very cold where I ski, nor is the elevation very high, but we have a lot of vert and get a ton of snow. Sun melting the snow isn’t much of a problem due to a lot of the lower elevation terrain kept in the shadows. It’s more of an issue at the top, but there’s more snow there anyway so it doesn’t present much of a problem.

  13. Mt Sam Jacinto is indeed very impressive. From its base to the peak, it probably is the most prominent peak in the continental US. Incidentally, I remember being slightly disappointed the first time I viewed the Rockies. Colorado has the most 14k peaks, but people forget that they rise from a very high plain. Pike’s Peak rises only 7000 feet or so from the surrounding plain. The Rockies may also dwarf the Appalachains, but they are really only slightly more prominent. The most prominent peak in the Appalachians is Mt LeConte in the Smokies. While only 6500 feet in elevation, it rises 5300 feet from the adjacent town of Gatlinburg.

  14. Dtbb says:

    When the british, after years of calculation, found that Mt. Everest was 29,000 feet high, they arbitrarily published it as 29,002 feet to avoid being accused of rounding.

  15. OT, more #MeToo news from the UK – Ted Baker CEO resigns. A familiar pattern of behaviour I seem to remember from another UK retail fashion tycoon (of the same background) quite recently.

    40 years ago, when you didn’t like your employer hugging you, you could tell him so and there were plenty of other jobs to take off for. Not so much today.

    “The cocksure corporate culture was very much built in Ray’s image. You had to have resilience to take the sex chat and the “banter”, to accept the often unwanted physical contact and to put up with the ritual humiliation: if you were late (10 burpees in front of the open plan office) or if you stood up to an unreasonable demand. It was acknowledged that that was “Ray’s way” and it was very much an accepted part of working there. Hey, who is going to say no to a hug from their physically imposing, larger-than-life, alpha male, multimillionaire CEO? Not me!”

  16. Anon[452] • Disclaimer says:

    Mineral King would have been closer than Mamouth had the Sierra Club not blocked Disney’s development: Yay Sierra Club! I guess they were still guilty about okaying the Hetch-Hetchy dam.

    Since its status was touch and go, a lot of people did farewell backpacking trips to the region before it was developed. I remember vividly the trip that my friends and my dad and a friend’s dad made a half century ago. We camped at Little Claire Lake and did some fishing. We almost made a detour to the Big Five Lakes, which would have been cross country, off trail, but unfortunately we didn’t have time.

    Columbine Lake deeply impressed me entering the col from the east and descending down to the lake and climbing back out. Very deep, dark water and scary but beautiful to me, above the timberline and remote feeling. I would later hike in actual remote locations like the John Muir Wilderness, but Columbine Lake somehow is more vivid in my memory.

    The loop we hiked:

  17. peterike says:

    Austrian Sepp Benedikter

    It’s largely forgotten now, but in the late 50s to early 60s, there was a small but palpable German/Austrian presence in American popular culture. But then the whole Holocaust Industry got turned on, and that was that. Germans melted into the larger culture (shamed into doing so, for the most part) and their distinctive cultural presence all but disappeared, other than a few specifically German-themed tourist towns like Leavenworth, WA and Helen, GA. And even these are incredibly off the radar.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    Too long to comfortably penetrate that particular virgin wilderness as it turned out.

    An omen of things to come.

  19. Wow, just wow, that Sports Illustrated article is hella sexist. “Sportsmen”? “Ordinary men”?

    Ski mountaineering is fairly common (ok, it’s not exactly a mass movement) on Mt. Shasta. You can hike to the very top and ski down without being either a super mountaineer or a super skier. (That is, a fit person can do it, but don’t go without an experienced companion or two or you will get into serious serious trouble.)

    • Replies: @Tipsy
    , @Steve Sailer
  20. IHTG says:

    That skiing even exists in sunny Southern California is a curiosity due to the very high mountains hemming in the city to the north.

    What city?

    • LOL: TomSchmidt
  21. Anonymous[250] • Disclaimer says:

    An omen of things to come.

    What do you mean?

  22. @Desiderius

    I think they mean, wild conservationist girls and the skiiers that dig them.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  23. psmith says:
    @Spotted Toad

    See also the increasing regulatory and financial burdens of general aviation, or for that matter terrestrial motorsport.

  24. psmith says:

    Given the choice between barriers of convenience like moving the trailheads back on the one hand and a quota/permit system on the other, I’d rather have the barriers of convenience. But then, being reasonably fit and young, I would, wouldn’t I.

    Dave Foreman (kicked out of Earth First! for being too sexist, partial inspiration along with Doug Peacock for the character of George Hayduke, etc.) suggested somewhere that the relevant agencies stop mapping wilderness areas and institute a policy of no search and rescue there, which sounds pretty good to me. Of course, it wouldn’t be good for places like Yosemite Valley that are already parked-out, but the map ought to have some gnarly blank spots where you’re on your own.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  25. Hey Steve, I don’t know if it is the kind of thing you mean or if you already know, but most search engines now enable you to type “n feet in meters” (or any other two units) and instantly provide the answer.

    I’m too lazy to check, but there are probably a lot of mobile applications that do the conversions too.

    It would be handy if operating systems automatically offered the option as one types, somewhat like autocorrect (which is increasinlgy atrocious as it assumes one means some simpler word than one does, probably yet another reason people are becoming stupider due to technology).

    • Replies: @James Speaks
    , @J.Ross
  26. Steve, your posts on California are simply depressing. I start reading and–only an occasional vistor–looking things up. And a sadness flows in at what we have lost.

    Terrific climate, stunning scenery, mountains, beach, desert all there. A demi-paradise for Americans. As a midwestern boy growing up, i’d thought there was a good chance i’d get to live there, doing some sort of science\tech career and enjoying all that.

    All destroyed by mass immigration–and the Democrat (state party) rule that came with it.

    Paradise Tossed.

    • Agree: BenKenobi
  27. The best skiing in the world is in the mighty Pocono Mountains of wonderful Western Pennsylvania.

    When I become president, I will not allow foreigners who run scholastic scams to remain in the USA — that most certainly includes the Pocono Mountains.

    The beautiful Pocono Mountains must not be sullied by foreigners brought in and protected by the DEEP STATE scum in the treasonous JEW/WASP ruling class.

    Pocono Mountain Black Bears? Yes.

    Pocono Mountain foreigners running scholastic scams? No!

    Is that a Loblolly Pine in the right of that first picture?

  28. This was a really interesting piece! I didn’t know that people skied in SoCal or that the famous Mammoth Mountain was not part of the Rockies.

  29. San Gorgonia sounds like a frozen lasagna brand.

  30. @The Alarmist

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  31. Neoconned says:

    I love the North Gulf of Mexico region this time of yr because it’s when the water temps are at their lowest of the yr where as September is the hottest water temp month and thus the height of hurricane season.

    Temps now are cold to say low 50s high upper 60s…..reminds me of L.A. in the summer….

  32. @Dtbb

    One meter is 3.28 feet. Your 8200 feet is 2500 meters.

    The 10 to 3 thing works very well. It’s a bit more than 1% off (fewer ft or more meters). Don’t by a house in France with it, but for “how big is that” it’s fine.

    So the famous 8000 m peaks — 26600 ft (close enough–the real number a few hundred less)

    America’s 14ers — 4200 m

    5000 m peaks — 16600 ft

    1000 m vertical — 3300 ft. (Generally my comfort range, though will stretch for something good–ex. Mt. St. Helens.)

    • Replies: @Jack D
  33. Skiing is a complete waste of time and money.

    I will never understand why people would want to spend thousands of dollars on skis and ski boots and fashionable preppy snow gear, and then ruin a perfectly good weekend by piling into a car and driving for hours (in the winter weather, in the tourist traffic) only to spend even more exorbitant sums on lift tickets and overpriced resort amenities, all for the pleasure of whooshing down a mountain for a few minutes at a time, after which they will spend several more hours driving back to their ordinary lives, sore and jaded and with stinky feet. In general, I do not understand the penchant so many people have for “recreations” which just seem like more work.

    But skiing is one of the worst. It is the epitome of the whole consumerist, faux-Middle-Class, fake prosperity attitude which is the characteristic American ethos. This is why Americans are broke and apathetic and clueless. The care for nothing but sports, entertainment, baubles, and the pursuit of credit so that they can consume more sports, entertainment, and baubles. Nobody can take seriously a people who dedicate their lives to such things; and history, too, dispenses with them.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  34. Pericles says:

    what was once a long (16-mile) day hike is now a very long and very steep 21 miles.

    “But that makes it impossible to reach the peak in a day,” you object.

    Not if they simply use the helicopter.

  35. Thirty miles west of Las Vegas is Mt. Charleston with its 11,919 ft peak and a small ski hill, Lee Canyon, to its north with the base lodge at 8510 ft. I skied there a number of times as a youth, but the real skiers would drive 3 hours up to Brianhead near Cedar City, Utah. I remember telling a friend at school about my fun Saturday on the southern Nevada slope, and he told me about the day the previous spring when he had skied at Lee Canyon in the morning, then water-skied on Lake Mead in the afternoon. (Lake Mead is approximately the same distance from Las Vegas in opposite direction.)

  36. Whiskey says: • Website

    OT Gavin Newsome is proposing Californians register their cars every six months to pay for free illegal alien healthcare.

  37. Jack D says:

    In other words, to quickly convert to (approximate) meters from feet, multiply by 3 and shift the decimal one to the left.

    5,000 feet x 3, shift 1 = 1,500 meters

    And for the opposite conversion, divide meters by 3 and shift 1 to the right.

    3,000 meters /3, shift 1 = 10,000 feet

    • Replies: @Reactionary Utopian
  38. res says:
    @Trevor H.

    Who else would refer to five hours as an “easy drive”? Just two hours on I-95 and I’m fit to kill.

    If you have done both drives it makes a bit more sense. I-95 (in the megalopolis area, at least) is much more stressful than I-5 in the Central Valley.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Carol
  39. This is completely OT but I just had to share it: A reporter at CBS Chicago just announced, in passing, that intelligent monkeys have an IQ of 70. It should be interesting to see how this plays out. I expect that this poor young lady is about to discover that ignorance often does not lead to bliss.

  40. Jack D says:

    Keep in mind that the postwar prosperity of California (and Texas) was largely fueled by Cold War priorities. Money was drained by the government from the industrial cities of the Midwest and Northeast and diverted by the government to build defense and space propaganda industries out West and in the South.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @BB753
    , @Anonymous
  41. Irwing says:

    This reminded me that Obama flew over here for a few days during the last year of his presidency, and began declaring protected national parks around here like it was nobody’s business. The San Gorgonio mountains fell under his magic wand as protected for prosperity.

    It was almost as if he knew the Mexican peasant scourge was coming, and his angel side wanted to mitigate what his devil side had wrought.

    I remember thinking it was odd at the time. Being somewhat sensible isn’t an Obama habit, but I wasn’t complaining.

  42. BB753 says:
    @Jack D

    So California ‘s prosperity was largely a delusion propped up by government money? Let’s nuke the place from orbit and get out of there, Steve!

  43. Anonymous[528] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: This is funny. It would be even funnier to see what would happen if an artist satirized the performance by reversing the roles.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  44. Anonymous[931] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Money was drained by the government from the industrial cities of the Midwest and Northeast

    The industrial cities didn’t need government funding.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  45. @Jack D

    That’s a good scheme. My usual habit has been to think of a meter as 10% longer than a yard, which is also plenty close enough for most purposes.

  46. @Trevor H.

    Meanwhile. There’s nothing wrong with your remaining wilderness that another 50 million immigrants won’t fix. Forever.

    I don’t comment frequently enough to be permitted the use of the “agree” button, so I’ll manually say: you’ve written a world of truth there, in one tiny paragraph. Well done.

  47. What, no mention of Wrightwood and the nearby Mountain High ski resort?

  48. Sally says:

    Keep in mind that the postwar prosperity of California (and Texas) was largely fueled by Cold War priorities. Money was drained by the government from the industrial cities of the Midwest and Northeast and diverted by the government to build defense and space propaganda industries out West and in the South.

    So what? Pre-war prosperity in California was pretty great. We had relatively very few blacks here before the war. The worst we had to deal with were the primitive Arkies and Oakies.

    You cannot properly imagine California Paradise unless you can conceive of California with less than half the population it’s burdoned with now, not many Mexicans, virtually no black people.

    • Replies: @Buck
  49. Anon1 says:

    California was Republican-run until the late 90s.

  50. anon[163] • Disclaimer says:

    Except Mammoth is reached via 14/395……..and once you hit the junction going north, you are treated to some of the most dramatic mountain vistas anywhere on the continent.

  51. theMann says:

    I would suggest better skiing at Bachelor or MHM, but the last thing I want to do is encourage a Californian to go to Oregon.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  52. to build defense and space propaganda industries out West

    As opposed to the earthly propaganda industry which was already long established by that time.

  53. Tipsy says:

    Just south of Tahoe off of Hwy 89 there is what would seem to be a perfect ski mountain: Waterhouse Peak. Relatively easy to get to, north facing, relatively mild slopes, 1600′ vertical drop, and already a favorite of back-country skiers. If I were a developer, I would be eyeing this location, particularly given the fact that most Tahoe ski resorts are bursting at the seams. It seems, though, that ski resort development is somehow in the same category of dam building: It’s just something that is no longer done.

    Back to SoCal, though: What about Pine Mountain at 9600′, at the end of Lytle Creek Canyon, just north of Mount Baldy?

  54. Carol says:

    US 395 up to Mammoth is nicer yet albeit 2-lane.

  55. @Redneck farmer

    And of course, one big hate fact is that most immigrants don’t care about the environment.

    They know it’s a great resource for growing various controlled substances.

  56. J.Ross says: • Website

    Disney is working with 200 universities to give away free tickets to the upcoming superhero movie Captain Marvel. This joins an existing effort to help little girls see it for free, which mirrors campaigns to give free showings of Black Panther to black kids.
    Every year, more and more young people volunteer to work at the koloniya. Siberia will bloom with maize. Our tanks will be in Moscow by Christmas.

  57. @AnotherDad

    As I’ve had occasion to remark many times here: if you outsiders get depressed, just think how miserable reading these stories makes those of us who experienced California’s glory years?

    That San Gorgonio north face looks like something I could have handled, particularly, as in the video, with nobody else around to run into. I was never more than a relatively good skier, but I can state with the best of them that the exhilaration it conjures up takes some beating.

    As many here know, the other races don’t care for it, so I think that, if we survive, it will too, rather like fresh-water fishing and riding to hounds (admittedly not much of a California pastime).

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  58. Nearby Mammoth Lakes is the highest settled community in California.

    The highest point in California, and the lower 48, is Mount Whitney, named for Josiah Dwight Whitney (Jr), who surveyed it.

    His brother William Dwight Whitney was among the first great linguists this country has produced, and our first professor of Sanskrit. No pure bookworm, William “assisted his older brother Josiah Whitney on a geological survey of the Lake Superior region in 1849. On this expedition, he began the study of Sanskrit in his leisure hours.”

    They were the product of the crossing of two accomplished families, the Whitneys and the Dwights.

    William “married Elizabeth Wooster Baldwin. She was the daughter of Roger Sherman Baldwin, US Senator and Governor of the State of Connecticut. They had six children:” His father-in-law was the grandson of Roger Sherman, who invented the bicameral Congress, and who signed every document of import in our founding days.

    William’s descendants with this illustrious lineage include grandson Hassler Whitney, whose other grandfather was mathematician Simon Newcomb.

    Okay, enough of peaks of blood and back to peaks of rock…

  59. @Old Palo Altan

    As many here know, the other races don’t care for it…

    I remember watching a news report about whitewater hydroplaning or whatever in Zimbabwe, with a fellow from that country. All he could say was, only white people are crazy enough to do things like that.

    …and riding to hounds (admittedly not much of a California pastime).

    Though horse-tripping and cockfighting are known to occur, if you can find the lairs in which they take place, so it’s not like they have no interest in animals.

    A Spaniard recently told me that, though they’re famous for bullfighting, cockfighting has never been known in Spain. So that leads to the question of where the Latin Americanss got it from. Possibly the Philippines, where it has always been big. Or even from us.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  60. Benjaminl says:

    It’s interesting to compare and contrast Steve’s writing with that of Victor Davis Hanson.

    Hanson was (and is) from a farming family in the Central Valley, far away from the gilded coastal enclaves. That gave him a much more up-close view of blue-collar California than people in Malibu and Palo Alto ever had.

    At least by the Bush years, Hanson was quite clear and blunt about the impacts of mass immigration.


    And of course, he is among the few Respectable Conservatives to appreciate the value of Trump.

    If anyone might have had reasons to throw in the towel on California, you might think it would be him. And yet, he has not quite completely given up hope. In the midst of severely criticizing the current regime in California, he will occasionally offer a few words of cautious hope for the future.


  61. Paul says:
    @Steve Sailer

    My parents took me to Rebel Ridge for my first time skiing. Not very challenging but okay when you are just beginning.

  62. Anonymous[403] • Disclaimer says:

    When I began going to high school in North Hollywood at the tail end of the ‘nineties, I got a copy of John W. Robinson’s Trails of the San Gabriels and Trails of the San Bernadinos and went nuts hiking. I recall the San Gorgonio hike was 23 miles round trip and 4,700 feet elevation gain and loss. I did it in preparation for hiking Mt Whitney, which was 20 miles round trip and 6,600 feet elevation gain and loss.
    I enjoyed the Gorgonio hike far more because when I went during the work week, there were no other hikers, whereas Whitney….
    Personally, I’m glad so many wilderness areas were created in the southern California mountains, making them off limits not only to development, but to wheeled vehicles. A pleasant drive from the valleys will take you to a trail-head parking lot, whence you can hike into wilderness that will amaze you with its stark beauty while offering the chance to encounter big horn sheep, perhaps a bear, and, if you are really lucky, a mountain lion.
    Even if you had only a few hours of free time, the mountains so close offer easy adventure.
    My friends and I used to meet before dawn at the parking lot of Lloyd’s in La Canada, then, with our skate boards strapped behind, race our motorcycles up the Crest, peg-scraping all the way, to Colby Canyon.
    We’d park there and hike/jog the Strawberry Peak trail, scramble up the Class 3 boulder climb, skipping away from sleepy rattlesnakes, to the 6,200-foot summit, watch the sun soar up in the eastern sky, then head down via the Red Box trail, running most of the way.
    When we got back to the Crest highway at Red Box, we’d jump on our skateboards and race each other the four downhill miles back to Colby, get on our bikes and speed back to La Canada, rocket onto the freeway and lane-split on to school, having only missed a couple of morning classes, striding in with the glory of life on our faces, smelling of sunshine, wind and chaparral.

  63. @Reg Cæsar

    Proposed a bicameral congress might be better than “invented” it?

  64. Screwtape says:

    Old baldy is a fickle mountain but I was able to ski it a handful of times over the years in the early 90’s.

    I think a lot of it – including the time warp of a little lodge and bar up there burned in one of the fires a while back, but hard to keep track. Probably as many big fires as big snow years.

    Back in college, we used to do a surf n turf. Get up and hit baldy in the AM then drive the hour (or so) out to newport and surf the afternoon/eve. A true california experience.

    I used to do a similar thing when I lived on the central coast. Mountain bike until it got hot then go surf ‘the rock’ at morro bay, assuming the wind hadnt kicked up too hard.

    California was a treasure. But like my youth: its gone. Just nostalgia, with the corners of my memories curling up and the sepia haze replacing the vivid dreams of my tan and fit and optimistic life as a surfing, lifeguarding, and hard-charging blonde kid blessed by that great state.

    As for mammoth, the 395 is a highway of death and I never much liked the drive from LA even though it is beautiful at times. 5 hours is generous too. You gotta like to pass while trying to make out cars in the blurry waves of heat ahead of you. Na, just fly into salt lake and drive 40 min up the hill.

  65. BenjaminL says:


    Oxford-educated rapper ‘smashes female weightlifting records while identifying as a woman’ in row over transgender athletes

    * Southampton-born Zuby, broke various female lifting records ‘without trying’
    * The 32-year-old claimed to have done so whilst ‘identifying as a female’
    * It was a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ response to an issue that is raging in the world of sport

  66. @Charles Pewitt

    The best skiing in the world is in the mighty Pocono Mountains of wonderful Western Pennsylvania.

    The best skiing in the world is in the mighty Pocono Mountains of wonderful Eastern Pennsylvania.

    Yawgoo Valley in Rhode Island is a close second in terms of great skiing to the mighty Pocono Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  67. Thanks for digging up this So Cal mountain lore, Steve. I was unaware of the battle over San Gorgonio. I’m glad the backpackers won that fight. Pushing back the trailhead was unnecessary, though. That’s the difference between “citizenist” and “elitist” in a land use context.

    I did Gorgonio in winter of, oh, 2004. I don’t think it was a very big snow year, as I don’t remember more than a few sections on the approach where I was sinking into snow.

    It is a shame that Mt. Baldy didn’t form its south face on its north side. I don’t know how the Baldy Ski Resort stays open. I gave up skiing after a few seasons there. I would probably be a decent skier if I’d just dealt with the drives to Big Bear or Mammoth.

  68. @theMann

    I would suggest better skiing at Bachelor or MHM, but the last thing I want to do is encourage a Californian to go to Oregon.

    Holy cow! The PNW is deteriorating fast enough as it is. Don’t invite them across the 42nd!

  69. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Your Spaniard was wrong – the Spanish brought cockfighting (and chickens) to Mexico. What probably happened (this happens a lot) is that the custom died out in the mother country but continued in the colonies.

  70. @anonymous

    There are a lot of Hispanics in the mountains around L.A. every weekend. They bring back snow in the back of their trucks this time of year, dump it in their neighborhood streets for the kiddies to play in.

    Hispanics are much more “into nature” than blacks, though less so than whites, and much less so than East Asians, who take to the trails in droves every weekend. Nevertheless, there is nothing in Latin American history to suggest that the Latins will destroy the Anglo national forest and park tradition. Mexico has some of the most beautiful national parks in the Western hemisphere.

    As Steve has pointed out, Hispanics are like whites circa 1950s when it comes to nature. They think the wilderness is pretty cool, but they haven’t developed a wilderness “ethics” yet. Hence the Tecate cans all over the trailheads. But this is a behavior that can probably be changed, at least among that subset of the Hispanic population that sees value in nature.

  71. California must be fought over and retaken by White Core America.

    When the next phase of the Global Financial Implosion gets started will be the time to do it.

    That’s why I want the federal funds rate to be set at 20 percent like it was in 1981.

    20 percent federal funds rate will pop the asset bubbles in real estate, stocks and bonds. We don’t have an economy, we have asset bubbles. We don’t have capitalism, we have Central Banker Shysterism.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series over the New York Yankees in 1981.

    California had a population of a little over 24 million in 1981. California now has a population close to 40 million.

    California could be 10 million population again, if we play our cards right.

  72. Jack D says:

    Right, because Detroit, Cleveland, Newark, etc. all thrived in the 1960s when Californians were living a dream life on Pentagon $ via Lockheed and Douglas.

    There were other factors – air conditioning to make warm climates more livable, the automobile to enable life in a sprawling city without a single main core, but the billions of tax $ were a major factor. Pre-WWII LA was even more of a paradise – LA County went from under a million in 1920 to 6 million in 1960.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  73. Uncle Sailer’s neighborhood had just lost Jeremiah :

    And, for all of you peasants – who were fully cartoon-stripped from the real graphic novel experience during your arrested development on The Marvel Farm – this is Jeremiah :

    Now, y’all better try to catch up on your comicbook story line – before the comicbook story line catches up on you….and trope you to the rope :

    Jeremiah has been translated into 26 languages [2], and has a large fan base in Europe.

    Various attempts to introduce the series to the American market have had middling results, mostly due to the different tastes of the American and European comic book public.

    After failing to reach American audiences in the 1980s and 1990s with such publishers as Fantagraphics, Catalan Communications, and Malibu Comics; Jeremiah (and SAF) found success with Dark Horse beginning in the 2000s

  74. @Whiskey

    OT Gavin Newsome is proposing Californians register their cars every six months to pay for free illegal alien healthcare.

    Gavin Newsom and the Democrat Party Bolsheviks and the Bohemian Grove “old money” plutocrats in California and the non-Whites and the JEW/WASP ruling class of the American Empire are Hell bent on turning California into a Third World hellhole.

    One finds some solace in the hope that the Bohemian Grove plutocrats are nibbling on their shrimp salad sandwiches in somewhat soggy conditions.

    White Core Americans must push for a complete and total financial implosion to retake California and the American Empire.

    You have to get control of the American Empire to retake the United States of America.

  75. Ok, White people ski, hike, camp, fly fish, ice fish, deep water fish, white water raft, ride snowmobiles, ride ATVs, hunt, trap and mountain climb. Then we get articles by the NYT and WaPo that minorities do none of these and don’t even visit National Parks which needs to be corrected. So my take away is whites need to stay home and blacks and browns need to get outdoors more. I don’t think that Orvis and LL Bean having minority models in their catalogs will change this. And wilderness isn’t disappearing, farm land is.

  76. For what it’s worth, Los Angeles and Reykjavík are equidistant from Hartford, Connecticut. Perhaps the Whalers were in the wrong league.

  77. Alfa158 says:

    The air was really terrible back in 1965, but nevertheless I have fond memories of the Southern California of “only” 10 million people. Iowa on the Pacific as it was sometimes called because of the demographics. Sic transit gloria mundi.
    Now the place can be mistaken for a movie set. Blade Runner.
    There actually was an attempt to develop the north side of Mt. Baldy for skiing.I recall the last attempt died because the environmentalists claimed that it would disturb the mountain sheep habitat. When a wildlife survey revealed that there were, in fact, no mountain sheep in the region, the environmentalists declared that was even more reason. If you put in ski lifts, there never WILL be any mountain sheep. Case closed.
    Today skiing has become a sport for elites with Disneyland level pricing, typically running into three digits for a daily lift ticket. Supply and demand. Steve didn’t mention it, but Mammoth lift tickets skyrocketed particularly after the McCoy family sold out to the Vail corporation. A one day ticket is now $179. I used to look forward to getting old enough (65) to ski for free at Mammoth, but now that I’m 70, the age for a free ticket is 80.

    • Replies: @Zell
  78. Rayman says:

    Don’t wish to be persnickety but Wiki states his actual age as pushing 104 and still with his one and only wife.Remarkable.

  79. fitzGetty says:

    … and, of course, the sclerotic old Sierra Club avoids any mention of immigration hoards’ impact on the environment after various big financial ( of course ! ) donations …

  80. anon[166] • Disclaimer says:


    Woman calls cops on black man whose dog humped hers at dog park.

    The video I think this is instructive on how these seemingly ridiculous 911 calls/racism incidents go down. The women are “difficult” but the guy is excited, somewhat loud, and clearly furthering the confrontation– he’s relishing the conflict.

    the link, which seemingly didn’t work:

  81. Okel says:
    @Trevor H.

    Ahh westerners. Who else would refer to five hours as an “easy drive”? Just two hours on I-95 and I’m fit to kill.

    Maybe it’s because we’re lounging in a Mercedes, and you’re driving a piece of shit.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  82. Zell says:

    Steve didn’t mention it, but Mammoth lift tickets skyrocketed particularly after the McCoy family sold out to the Vail corporation. A one day ticket is now $179. I used to look forward to getting old enough (65) to ski for free at Mammoth, but now that I’m 70, the age for a free ticket is 80.

    They pulled that?!!

    God help me, sometimes I REALLY find the Jews to be a bit much!!

  83. @Steve Sailer

    Benedikter was interned, while Minoru Yamasaki was designing bunkers for the U.S. Army. Skiers are more of a risk than architects, I guess.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  84. J.Ross says: • Website

    Re Angelinos skiing on needles, and it’s not a heroin joke.
    A lot of bizarre urban projects appeared in the 20s and 30s and were never used again. The “bat-signal” (a searchlight projecting an image onto a convenient cloud) was actually a common thing at the beginning of the Batman comic franchise, and was heavily exploited in Weimar Berlin. It was used often to advertise restaurants and is therefore connected to the old cartoon cliche “Eat At Joe’s.” The European music video for Real McCoy’s pop house tune “Another Night” (which contains the best fourth wall breakage outside of Moonlighting) includes unexplained vintage footage of people voluntarily lying on a sort of public spinning rink made up of huge rotating metal platforms. They’re all flush, so you can be spun one way and then “connect” to an oppositely spinning disk. I have to imagine that ended badly. (The American version of the music video is about an abduction. So.)

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  85. Anonymous[179] • Disclaimer says:

    OT/ NYmag did a feature on the hot new craze in Brooklyn these days: Socialism. Here are the list of names mentioned as supporting this movement:

    -Katie Halper (Jewish)
    -“Eli Valley” (J)
    -“David Klion” (J)
    – Sarah Leonard (J)
    -Marissa Brostoff (J)
    -Mindy Isser (J)
    -Arielle Cohen (J)
    -Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Puerto Rican)
    -Bianca Cunningham (Black)
    -Will Menaker (J)
    -Nikil Saval (Indian)
    -Audrey Gelman (J)
    -Lena Dunham (J)
    -Michael Kinnucan (goy hipster)
    – Julia Salazar (Conquistador American who pretended to be jewish)
    -“Virgil Texas” (Real Name Justin Cass, Jewish)
    -Nicole Carty (Black)
    -Sam Adler-Bell (J)
    -Bernie Sanders (J)
    -Cynthia Nixon (Convert to Judaism)
    -Ross Barkan (J)
    -Corey Robin (J)
    -Sean McElwee (goy)
    – Bhaskar Sunkara (Indian)

    So only 16 out of 24 people mentioned in this article are jewish. That’s only a slight over-representation. Move along goy. Nothing to notice here.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  86. istevefan says:
    @Redneck farmer

    That depends on what exactly you mean by the environment. In the proper context, immigrants care very much about the environment.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  87. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    The Japanese went crazy with bunkers in WWII and there is still some interest in them; they had some that could conceal airstrips and resist poison gas. They were something like a better-supplied and planned foreshock of Vietnamese tunnels. Having a Japanese bunker designer would be like having a German airplane designer.

  88. J.Ross says: • Website

    There are no sun people who have the concept of criminal littering. Right now in Britain there is an epidemic of “fly tipping” or taking a lot of your household trash in your car out to a spot that you don’t care about (say, the lake district) and illegally dumping it there. Because the culprits are overwhelmingly of a certain complexion, the state aggressively and publicly punishes white people with food wrappers in their cars. A recent headline, nonsense without this context, described a tradesman complaining about a fine for having his lunch packaging in the front seat of his truck. And then there’s the literal dumpster fire situation in Lebanon a year ago, where a collapse of municipal garbage collection was kludged in the worst possible way. is home to the West London Islamic Centre and mosque.

    • Replies: @istevefan
  89. @Autochthon

    3 meters = 10 feet

    3m x 100cm/m x 1″/2.54 cm = 118.1″ = 9′ 10″

  90. @J.Ross

    The giant spinning disk at the amusement park is used as the central metaphor in Waugh’s novel “Decline and Fall.”

  91. J.Ross says: • Website

    It’s great that we allegedly have technology that performs unit conversions, but I’m too lazy to verify this, so we need more technology that examines the other technologies.

  92. @Peripatetic Commenter

    A Neon-Nazi? Leni Riefenstahl nods.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  93. @Whiskey

    “OT Gavin Newsome is proposing Californians register their cars every six months to pay for free illegal alien healthcare.”

    Welcome to The Land of the Free®.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  94. @Charles Pewitt

    The best skiing in the world is in the mighty Pocono Mountains of wonderful Western Pennsylvania.

    Balderdash, Charles! This is enough to make me close to signing up for twitter just to tweet you a new one.

    They got some real snow once in a while, Charles? What’dya got 600 ft drops? WOW! At Mammoth Mountain, they don’t talk about 15 to 20 in. of snow – they talk feet, as in 20 or 25 ft. I’ve seen trees all over the mountain that I thought were for sale as Christmas trees, but they weren’t. They were just the top 1/2 or 1/3, as the rest of each was UNDER THE SNOW!

    You can go from 11,000 ft down to 8,000 ft, and you have to TAKE OFF CLOTHES, as the day goes on, when the sun shines (with 1/3 of the atmosphere below you) and it gets up to 45 F.

    Poconos, get the F out, Charles:

    • LOL: Charles Pewitt
  95. @Hapalong Cassidy

    Mt. Whitney in California rises more than 10,000 feet above the town of Lone Pine in the desert about 20 miles away. The East Side of the Sierra Nevada is spectacularly precipitous and it goes on and on without any low passes through the crest for hundreds of miles.

  96. @Charles Pewitt

    Oh, and when you go flying and land on your shoulder, instead of busting it on a chunk of ice and getting taken down the hill on a sled, on Mammoth Mtn. you just make an extended snow angel for a hundred yards or so, get up, brush it off, and ski!

    • Replies: @Brutusale
  97. About Mt. Baldy, Steve, when I was out in LA a number of years back, we went up to as high as you can drive and then hiked the steep slope up to the top. I think it’s only a 2 or 3,000 ft climb, right? (But up high enough to feel it.) We were in our mid-20’s to 30’s, and as we took a breather, this guy who couldn’t have been a day under 80 went jogging up past us, and never stopped! We were pretty damn impressed by you California health nuts.

  98. J.Ross says: • Website
    @The Alarmist

    Wait till he realizes that he can make sure you’re changing your underwear frequently by having folks wear it on the outside.

  99. @International Jew

    More often the (unrequited) love runs the other direction. Hence such phenomena as blue hair, pink hats, and green new deals.

    All to distract from being red in the face.

  100. @peterike

    90% of Americans live as far of the radar as we can reasonably manage for reasons which are entirely credible.

  101. anonymous[354] • Disclaimer says:

    Andy Warhol would probably have enjoyed it. Mapplethorpe, too.

  102. JMcG says:

    I WAS El Blanco in my younger days. Even I’m not sure that I understand El Blanco anymore. No beans and tequila though, thank you very much.

  103. Buck says:

    On that note, I spent most of February in New Zealand. Same size as California, about the same latitude, no Mexicans, nary a black and only 5 million folks.

    • Replies: @Trevor H.
  104. JMcG says:

    Ed Abbey said much the same thing in Desert Solitaire. I don’t think you’ll ever get people to agree to no search and rescue. You’ll have folks like Larry Ellison who can afford to have a helicopter on standby, and then the worlds beautiful places will be reserved for the wealthy.
    No easy answer I’m afraid.

  105. @Redneck farmer

    More work for modern-day missionaries without even having to leave the comfort of their own homes.

    Affording said home of course another story.

  106. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Alarmist

    A Neon-Nazi? Leni Riefenstahl nods.

    I’d rather she filmed Mick Jagger controlling a crowd in ways no one since The Great One had. In many ways even more so: the old corporal’s dance moves were lame and he never had a rhythm section like Keef/Charlie/Bill cranking out the jams behind him.

  107. @The Alarmist

    The real Nazis in LA, technically The Silver Legion of America aka The Silver Shirts, were on the other side of the Santa Monica Mountains at Murphy Ranch in the Pacific Palisades on land recently purchased from Will Rogers.

  108. Anonymous[931] • Disclaimer says:

    Ocasio-Cortez said recently that she has Jewish ancestry.

  109. istevefan says:

    The point I was trying to make was that immigrants do care very much about the environment. That is why they like to go to environments filled with White people. Maybe ecosystem would have been a better word.

  110. @Hapalong Cassidy

    Mt Sam Jacinto is indeed very impressive. From its base to the peak, it probably is the most prominent peak in the continental US. Incidentally, I remember being slightly disappointed the first time I viewed the Rockies. Colorado has the most 14k peaks, but people forget that they rise from a very high plain.

    Indeed striking north face of San Jacinto. But the most prominent peak in lower 48 by both mathematical defintion and visually is easily Mt. Ranier. It’s topographic prominence is 13,210, and it rises over 12,000 from the park boundary–the town right outside, Ashford, is at 1700 ft. Basically when you look at it from far away–Seattle–you see that 12,000 feet. But even from Paradise–where you start hiking or climbing–already well up the flank of the mountain, you have 9000 more feet. (Mt Shasta is very similar to this, but the surrounding terrain 1500 feet or so higher.)

    Agree on the Rockies. Some very striking mountains and very beautiful vistas, but all those high elevations are launched off the high inter-mountain plateau, and even higher Colorado valleys. Dillon with the surrounding ski areas is at 9000, Vail and Aspen at 8000, Leadville next to the highest peaks is at 10,000 ft. So Mt. Ebert the highest point in the Rockies at 14,400 is only “sticking up” about 4400 ft. Even if you look at the very striking front range from way down in Denver, you’re a mile up and the rise all the way up to Mt. Evans or Longs Peak summit is only the 9000ft from Paradise–already well up Mt. Rainier–to its summit just four miles away.

    Which is of course not to say Colorado isn’t a great place–it is. (Although like every place else it’s being wrecked by immigration and oh so trendy good whites.)

    • Agree: prosa123, Desiderius
  111. @AnotherDad

    San Gorgonio and San Jacinto would make run of the mill mountains in the Colorado Rockies: big impressive but not sheer vertical mountains like eastern Sierra, Grand Tetons, Dolomites, or southern Chile.

    But Colorado mountains are more habitable and drivable than High Sierra. Getting across the Rockies Front Range at Colorado Springs is pretty calm, while the Sierra go about 200 miles with no passes for vehicles and then Tioga Pass at Yosemite NP is pretty terrifying.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  112. @Reg Cæsar

    Similarly, Mt. Everest is named after surveyor George Everest whose niece married the math genius George Boole and had 5 high IQ daughters.

  113. vinny says:

    Of note that the southernmost continental US alpine ski area is Mt Lemmon just outside of Tucson.

    Though with a 30 inch base of snow right now, it’s not exactly Mammoth.

  114. @International Jew

    Ski mountaineering in Southern California is mostly practiced by transplants from snowier places. My guess would be there might be a half dozen weekends per year when conditions are optimal, and they are kind of intermittent and hard to plan more than half a week ahead, so it’s hard to make ski mountaineering your main hobby.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  115. @Okel

    My carefully-considered, topical missives languish for days in moderation limbo, but a pithy nugget such as this sails right through. Welcome to UNZ.COM, Okel. I can tell you’re gonna like it here.

  116. @Steve Sailer

    Right. Whereas Shasta is skiiable year-round. Even in July you have a 3000′ run if you start at the top. (In January,

    But I repeat: go with a group that includes someone who really knows what he’s doing!

  117. @Hapalong Cassidy

    Coming from that state, I’ve written about this before here. The Rockies are older and thus more rounded and eroded. Plus they sit on a high plain, as you point out. The state has the highest average elevation of all fifty.

    What makes hiking up those fourteeners a little different is the altitude. Those last couple of thousand feet take longer because you have less oxygen.

    Speaking of Colorado disappointment, I have funny memories of flying home and listening to visiting passengers saying, “where are the mountains?” during final approach to Denver. The city and airport are way out east of the front range, surrounded by brown, dead, high-plains grasses.

  118. @AnotherDad

    Rainer is just nuts. Remember driving through the park and marveling at the various peaks reaching up into the clouds then wait, what’s that, a peak going way on top of the clouds, how is that even possible?

    It’s really breathtaking in person.

  119. Brutusale says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    It’s why we of the Northeast laugh at Western skiers and that mysterious, snow-like substance called “powder”. Ski conditions here create crazies like Bode Miller, an NH guy raised like a stereotypical Californian.

    “Born in Easton, New Hampshire to Jo Kenney and Woody Miller, Miller grew up in nearby Franconia, a small community in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains that comprises the Cannon Mountain Ski Area. His family, including older sister Kyla, younger sister Wren (short for Genesis Wren Bungo Windrushing Turtleheart), and younger brother Chelone (full name Nathaniel Kinsman Ever Chelone Skan),[4] lived on 450 acres (1.8 km2) of land in a forest, where his parents celebrated solstices, in a log cabin without electricity or indoor plumbing. He was raised a vegetarian.[5] He was homeschooled until the third grade, but after his parents divorced, he began attending public school.–Wikipedia

    You want to hike with a sense dread lurking? Try this little 6000-foot hill in New Hampshire, #8 on this list.

    FYI, check out the snow depth on Mt. Washington’s skiable section, Tuckerman Ravine.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  120. @Steve Sailer

    San Gorgonio and San Jacinto would make run of the mill mountains in the Colorado Rockies: big impressive but not sheer vertical mountains like eastern Sierra, Grand Tetons, Dolomites, or southern Chile.

    But Colorado mountains are more habitable and drivable than High Sierra. Getting across the Rockies Front Range at Colorado Springs is pretty calm, while the Sierra go about 200 miles with no passes for vehicles and then Tioga Pass at Yosemite NP is pretty terrifying.


    Non-Californian, i’ve only been up that southern part of 395 once–30+ back–when AnotherMom wrapped up her dissertation and we left Austin to start up our lives in the PNW. Previous overnight in Vegas, then through Death Valley, and you climb up and the Sierra wall with Mt. Whitney just looms up over you–“damn!” Super impressive.

    And yeah it is a 200mi wall. Tioga–super pretty–is not so much of useable pass as a terrific tourist road. I guess there’s some paths you can wiggle through south of Tahoe as well. But basically there’s no real transport through the Sierra between Tehachapi and Donner\I80. And none at all between Tehachapi and Tioga. It’s a really impressive wall of mountains.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  121. @Brutusale

    Nah, see, that’s just it, Brutusale. I like to hike and I’ve skied in the past, but I never cared to do the hairy stuff. That’s why I like the blue slopes. Of course, green is for the beginners and too slow, but even if I were good enough to get down the black diamonds without knocking my skis off every 100 yards, I don’t like the moguls really.

    I like to ski for the speed. On the blue slopes, you can get your speed up, but with plenty of width to cut across to slow down (or just lean over at a 45 and cut into the hill for 50 feet to stop).

    Yeah, Mt. Washington, huh? I don’t know what the 55 ft of snow does for you when it’s -10 F outside and the wind’s blowing at 120 mph at the top! By all means, though, knock yourself out! ;-}

    • Replies: @JMcG
  122. @AnotherDad

    I went through 4 different passes through the Sierras there in one long weekend one time, back and forth from Reno to the Bay Area. One was the hairy Tioga pass, and one was the calm Donner Pass on the I-80. I’d have to look up the other 2 on a map.

  123. Anonymous[536] • Disclaimer says:


    It is cool when you get all SOCAL geography and all. I think you liked the hydraulics in Chinatown more than Faye and Jack mugging for the screen!

    Makes me want to tell the story of myself and my gf lost in Anzo Borrego in July. Lots of funny aspects. Weed smoking bus drivers, Sand Dog wardroom, flares, offroad 280ZX, “this property protected by Smith and Wesson”, 85 year old retired priest.

    It was sort of like the scene in Breaking Bad where Walt wheels the barrel until he gets to an old indian to buy a truck from. But it was EVEN MORE in that direction. The newer truck was from the 50s. And the wardroom just laughed their asses off at me and teased me at subsequent hail and farewell. But there was something about that 125 in the shade (and there was no shade) that was just otherworldly. Like a Heinlein juvenile. Or the tesseract house. But I still remember timing the cars going down the literal state highway through A-B. And there was 1 (one!) every 45 minutes.

    What can I say…I was young and strong and stupid. Or two of those.

    Miss me some Sand Dog. We use Camp Pendleton to keep greater LA from creeping down and taking it over.

    Oh…and don’t get me started on the stories I can tell about OB (last real beach town in SOCAL). Seeing Jewel and saying why do the Rugburns have a chick playing with them. How the break closes out in winter at the pier. Being dragged out of the surf in my reg PE Academy crest t shirt. SEALS telling me I was silly for surfing without a wetsuit (truth was i was lazy and it is less work to paddle without the shoulder constriction). And, and and.

    Then again, there are stranger places to be. Lost parts of Los Alamos, the Test Site, or INEL.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  124. JMcG says:

    I drove out to Seattle in 1986 to do some mountaineering in the Cascades. We arrived at night. When I woke up in the morning, Mt Rainier was framed in the window, magnificent against a deep blue sky. I was entranced until it dawned on me that we were 85 miles away from it. It is huge. Climbing it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, physically.

  125. JMcG says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    After 12 attempts, I finally completed a winter ascent of Mt. Washington in early March of 2011. While crossing the plateau beneath the summit cone, I was down to a t-shirt and had the side zippers open on my wind pants under a bright blue sky.
    A little later, on the summit? 50+mph winds and blowing snow. Not enough visibility to take pictures. It’s a crazy place for sure.

  126. @Intelligent Dasein

    What you describe is indeed ridiculous, but it is not skiing as it is traditionally understood.
    No one for whom skiing is part of life goes to the slopes for a day and then drives frenetically back to town. One goes to a sky resort for a week at least. One either owns a chalet, knows someone who does, rents one, or stays in a hotel, but a small and cozy one.
    My favorite ski hotel is in its own private valley outside Bad Gastein (my tastes are for the quiet and subdued, so the more fashionable resorts do not interest me). The drive there from Salzburg takes one through magnificent country and then down country roads into the afore-mentioned valley, and there one is greeted by four or five chalets: chalets in the Austrian style, which means crucifixes in every room and antlers on every wall. There is a chapel too, placed like a sentry just before the final turn into the principal chalet’s courtyard. The restaurant has booths not tables, and the food is rib-stickingly hardy, which one needs after a day on the slopes. The beds are eider-down quilted and snugly warm. But the chalets themselves are kept warm, and fires are lit to make them even cozier when the temperatures drop unexpectedly, or when the guests arrive back at dusk looking decidedly worn out. I nearly forgot the heated swimming pool, with soothing jets of air bubbling under the surface to sooth aching muscles.
    A waste? No, a benediction.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  127. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    I had a friend, now deceased, who was an aircraft mechanic. He used to live in that area and told me he had hundreds of hours flying a homemade gyrocopter around there. He had it registered with the DMV as a motorcycle and it had lights and a license plate and he’d land on the roads and taxi in to gas stations for gas and food.

    That would have been in the seventies. He tried to get me to buy real estate in some place in Southern California that he figured would go up by many multiples, eventually collapse because heat and steezers, but if I got out on a timely basis I could make 10:1 profit.

    He was dead right. Of course, I also turned down the chance to put ten grand into Sun Microsystems at their IPO. Even if I rode it out to the Oracle buyout I’d have been a multimillionaire.

    Then again if I’d been really ambitious I could have went to Bowery and Bleeker and bought SOME obscure little chunk of real estate , hung out with a certain female I really had the hots for-she was field married to a guy who was a lot better guitar player than I am, still is, but they broke up eventually and I could have moved …..either way, the real estate now would have made me a billionaire. She’s sixteen years my senior and hates Trump, but who gives a shit what women think?

  128. @Anonymous

    Hope some day you get to try traversing the Okeefenokee by canoe. Similar feeling.

  129. Trevor H. says:

    Sadly–tragically for their country–New Zealand has its own “Goodwhites” and they are hell-bent on wrecking their country same as every other civilized place. When their work is done, all of the previously white countries will resemble Lagos and Calcutta.

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