Ascent of West Baldy on 2013-08-03

Climber: Haris F

Date:Saturday, August 3, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:West Baldy
    Elevation:9988 ft / 3044 m

Ascent Trip Report

Baldy + Harwood + West Baldy via Register ridge

First time up Baldy and first time hiking with Socal Altitude adjustment group. Had hiked with some of the folks before - Nina, Sid, Andrew. The main organizer ended up having to drop out. Met at Manker Flat past the Baldy village. We start out around 6:20am hiking up the Falls road. Nice view of San Antonio falls at the first switchback that I wasn't expecting. Falls were kind of weak though, being late summer. We get onto the Ski hut/Baldy Bowl trail to start. In a short while we pass the 'register' which is a rusty old thing on the side of the trail. Just after passing the register there is a faint trail that starts on the right side going straight up the ridge. Kick ass steep trail that climbs almost directly up the ridge. Real slow going, but impossible to get lost as there is only the one trail and you can clearly see where you are going - straight up the mountain.

Finally the register ridge trail ends intersecting with the Devil's backbone just under the summit of Harwood. Most of us go directly up to tag Harwood (short gain). There is no trail, but you can see the summit, and the mountain is more like a scree dump. Short stop to take in the views and then it is cross country down to join the Devil's backbone which is clearly visible going up to Baldy summit. It looks easy from a distance, but do need to give myself a little push to keep a good pace to make the top. Great views from the top. Stop for lunch and photos.

Now it's on to the West Baldy which is just the next peak over. Part of the way is on the trail that is going down to the Baldy village. I decide to jog over and don't realize that the trail is going to the village and not West Baldy summit. I lose quite a bit of altitude and am at the south face of the peak before I realize and then have to scramble up to the summit. Still get there before the rest of the folks since I was running. Wasted breath. No one but our group on this one either just like Harwood. All 3 peaks bagged before 10am.

We head down cross country along the south face of West Baldy and Baldy and meet up with the Ski Hut trail to go down. High traffic, lots of people heading up. I thought the ski hut was going to be the Baldy notch, but it is a completely different green ski hut. I have some problems on the way down with a headache. Altitude? Anyway I get the group to stop and eat a little and pop an Advil. Still don't feel too great, just try to keep up with the others, but feel much better by the time we get down to the Falls road.

Great day. Great hike. Fantastic weather. And top it off with hikers tea and lunch at the Baldy lodge. Beautiful Saturday. Sabi I miss you.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:200 ft / 61 m
    Elevation Loss:3900 ft / 1189 m
    Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:200 ft / 61 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Route:Cross country
    Trailhead:Baldy/West Baldy saddle  9788 ft / 2983 m
    Time Up:10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:3900 ft / 1189 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Ski hut trail
    Trailhead:Manker Flat  6088 ft / 1855 m
    Time Down:2 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: Harwood Baldy West Baldy Register Ridge

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Harwood2013-08-03
2Mount San Antonio2013-08-03
3West Baldy2013-08-03

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