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Ascent of Mount San Antonio on 2013-06-16

Climber: Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach

Date:Sunday, June 16, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount San Antonio
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:10064 ft / 3067 m

Ascent Trip Report

Day 3 of Mt Baldy weekend - today's hike was with Christine Soskins, and included a 5-peak Baldy Boomerang day of Baldy-Dawson-Pine-Wright-(Pine)-(Dawson)-(Baldy)-Harwood. Full trip report on this ascent. Total stats were approx 21 miles, 8870 elevation gain, and a total trip time of 9:25.

Started up Manker Flats TH at approx 6:10. Followed Christine as she set a blistering pace up past the Ski Hut and towards the top. We took the scenic route past the airplane wreckage below Baldy. Felt a little sluggish and wasn't sure if that was because I had hiked the past two days, OR if she was just tearing it up (she was). At the summit in 1:50 or so after starting. Took 5 minutes to take a photo and talk with some people who had camped out overnight, and then descended Baldy (1200 feet) towards Dawson peak via the saddle. Great use trail on the way down... STEEP... but very easily discernable. Ascended 700 feet up to Dawson and took a 3 minute pee break. Then it was off to Pine - the descent felt like we lost more than we really had (maybe only 300 or 400 feet - NOT bad). Climbed another 600' up to Pine, tagged the top, and then descended a total of 1400' towards Wright and the PCT while eating an Apple LARA bar. Steep and beautiful trail - very much like Devil's Backbone, but with MORE exposure. We managed to not trip, fall, or maim ourselves in any way (which was a festivus miracle in and of itself). My knees were definitely feeling the descent, but we took our time and were careful with our foot placements. Ascended 300 feet to the road and then climbed another 250 feet over the PCT to Wright peak. Took a 15 minute break on Wright - forced myself to eat a lunch bar and drink 32 oz of water with 4 nuun tables. Regrouped and then back up up upupup to Pine and Dawson. At the half-way point, we had climbed 5600 feet, and knew that we had another 3000' feet of gain left. THIS was the hard part of the day - so often we hike up first and then down, but the challenge of this hike was in the fact that 1) it was rarely flat... either always up OR down steep rugged terrain. Mentally it was exhausting - but we decided to take it peak by peak and not think about the 3 peaks that we still had to climb. Weather was perfect - slight breeze and sunny.... not super hot, but even though - we were sweating buckets. First 1400' gain back to Pine was crazy... but we took :30 seconds at the top and continued back towards Dawson. The Dawson ascent wasn't as bad as I thought it would be - just because it was only 300 or so gain and NOT super steep. The slope felt flat, compared to what we had just climbed. Took 2 minutes at the top of Dawson to re-tag the peak and speak with a group who we had seen at the Manker Flats TH earlier in the day. At this point it was 12:20 or so - usually we're pretty good at keeping track of the time, but today both Christine and I were bushed. Descended the 700 feet off Dawson and tried to not look at the 1200'+ gain up to Baldy, even though it was staring us in the face. Quick pee break on the saddle and then it was up up up. We didn't stop - just kept going and honestly - even though it was tough, it wasn't as bad as we had thought. I took a few glances behind me, but didn't want to measure where we were elevation wise in comparison to Dawson. At one point I figured we were above it and had less than 500' to the top. When we could see views of West Baldy, we were close. There was a large rock formation that I thought was towards the top - but I didn't want to say anything for fear of a false summit. Pretty much past the rocks was the summit and both of us were blissful when we crested the peak. Surreal! We took a few minutes to grab water - I ate another LARA bar, as my stomach had been rumbling on the way up, and finished just a little bit of NUUN infused water. The time was 1:15. Sort of surreal to think that I had been on the summit with my family/friends exactly 24 hours ago. Weird! Descended the Devil's Backbone trail and tagged Harwood. Made it to the Baldy Notch by 2:25, bought the most expensive can of Diet Coke in my life (totally worth it), and we walked down the road back to the Manker Flat TH. Finished the hike at exactly 3:35 - total time on the trail was approx 9:25. EPIC day in the mountains with the best hiking partner ever! LOVED it - although it was hard. Great training for the hikes that we've got planned this summer! Hooray!
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