An awesome day trip up Mt San Antonio
Yesterday myself and 3 friends summited Mount San Antonio and then snowboarded down. Despite the arduous going heading up, the run down was awesome and amazing. Conditions in the bowl are both sweet and sketchy. The snow is deep and there are plenty of good turns to be had. However, multiple pits and columns revealed two super weak and faceted layers in the snow. I by no means am claiming on the avy knowledge but the column testing didn't lie. About 8-10 inches down there was a break and then a solid 18 inches down there was some more sugar and and another breaking point. A lot of times couldn't even finishing cutting the column before the top layer would shear...guess we'll be staying in the trees for the most part.
Started from Manker flats around 6:30 and were blessed with unbelievably clear weather thanks to light NE winds. Once we got further up it was just super still. Having been turned around on Baldy last year during a storm (just terrible visibility) we were all pretty stoked. Saw one other guy all the way to the ski hut. Got to the hut around 8 or 9 something and built a small feature while we waited for the lagging member of our group (first time for Travis hiking in snow). Hung out at the hut for awhile before heading up all the way lookers left of the bowl. Greg broke trail with his split (errrr) and demonstrated why it is sooo much more efficient and superior to snowshoeing. Tax returns cannot get here soon enough!. The going was slow but eventually we made it to the top. The trees near the top were absolutely covered in rime....felt like another world. Ate, drank, got weird and proceeded to take the best backcountry run I have ever ridden in my life. The snow quality, the availability of natural hits and wide open pow fields mixed with incredible scenery and views of all the channel islands made this an awesome descent. Straight shot all the way to the stream (not frozen over) just before the ski hut. A short walk and we were back at the hut strapping in and traversing high above the trail back to Manker. I'm not sure how far we were able to go but the rock damage to the bottom of our boards says pretty far. Another spate of walking and we gained the road which was easily board-able by connecting a couple of tricky sections all the way back to the car, getting there by 3:00. The amount of stoke from everyone was palpable and we finished off the trip with some Inn n Out in some inland city (Greg's people). Awesome day, good friends and probably the best conditions I've ever had on Baldy
[img:http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5290/5329278473_ebc8b252bd_m.jpg:alignleft:medium:Lookers far left chute]