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Ascent of Old Baldy Mountain on 2010-08-23

Climber: Eric Noel

Others in Party:Ken Jones
Date:Monday, August 23, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Old Baldy Mountain
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:7511 ft / 2289 m

Ascent Trip Report

It took a little poking and prodding of some roads but we were able to find an easy way up Old Baldy MT. No access issues. Probably will require high clearance for some folks but a determined sedan driver could make it. Definitely only 2WD is fine.

Approach from Brock Creek from the S. Follow mainline road to 4900T junction at 46.6252 and -112.8477. We went L but later we think we found where the right fork merges back in and the right fork looks to be maybe a little smoother roadbed and also more direct. Anyway, switchback R uphill at 5580' at 46.6713 and -112.8658 as going straight led us quickly to a gate and negative sign. Go L at 6550T at 46.6753 and -112.8369. The key is that you will then find an unmapped road at about 46.6860 and -112.8440 heading R. This road will go NNW and round Point 6960+ and then curve back E to meet the mapped road near 7021T. Then follow the obvious route via mapped roads until more or less due S of the peak. Here we found a gate and a No T sign at about the Section 17 boundary. We parked and ambled up the unsigned and unfenced S ridge in Section 16 which is open forest and then we had an open bald summit with views. Class 1.

We found and tried this route because the Benchmark Atlas showed a connector road and while we did indeed find an unmapped connector it is important to note that that road is not where the atlas shows it. To make a long story short, the atlas route does not really seem to go.

I think there may have been some signage about the area being closed to motorized vehicles after 9/1 due to hunting season? I don't recall the details but certainly if you go in summer rather than autumn then you avoid that issue.

The peak is nothing special but this was fairly satisfying as we spent a lot of time driving around on slow and mediocre roads trying to find a magic unmapped connector road and eventually we came up with it just as we were starting to run out of options and time.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:551 ft / 168 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:South Slope
    Trailhead:Unknown Road  6960 ft / 2121 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear



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