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Ascent of Mount San Antonio on 2008-08-03

Climber: luscious lars

Others in Party:the italian
Date:Sunday, August 3, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount San Antonio
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:10064 ft / 3067 m

Ascent Trip Report

the italian and i first visited the mt baldy visitor center to find out if we needed more than our adventure pass. (i couldn't figure out about permits from the angeles website.) what a beautiful ranger station! when one walks in he finds he is in a diorama of sorts. trees, stuffed animals (impressed with the brown shouldered hawk and fox), and little waterway with nicely-done back panels. the clerk-ranger person told us that a disney employee constructed the exhibit. outside we found a pyre (not sure that is the best word), granary, living shelter, and hogan-kiva structure. additionally, we noted the miner's camp.

at 10:00, we parked at manker flats and began toward the locked gate on baldy road. we stopped at the san antonio falls which was flowing nicely. no fish; cool, clear water in the middle of summer, however.

we headed up baldy bowl trail (which is not signed-- maps are good!). there were quite a number of folks on the trail. we hopscotched up the trail with a group of japanese tourists and a jewish couple. we took a couple of short breaks; stopped at san antonio ski hut.

just before reaching the hut, the italian spotted what, by his description, matches a western skink, eumeces skiltonianus.

the trail, baldy bowl trail, which had up to now been well maintained (up to the hut), turned hazardous. we began to encounter switchback cuts. many times it was difficult to figure out which was the legit trail. had the same problem with the second set of switches. it appeared that the trail was built on top of what was originally a ridge run. too bad. the trail really should be extended to eliminate as many switches as possible.

at the top, views of san g., saddleback (?), the mojave. very smoggy day! a few clouds gathering leaving the pct in shadow. we found no register or benchmark. we stayed about an hour, i think. the italian was having some problem with the altitude. we ate and relaxed, got watered, and caught our breath. there are half a dozen camping sites (dry) guarded by rock-piled walls. near the highest point, one finds a iron sign indicating the mountain name and elevation. we also noted tibetan prayer flags. (some one has added a red bandana to the flags-- interesting....)

we picked up the devils backbone trail (south) here. it is some of the worst trail i have seen-- lots of ankle breakers. once one gets down off the peak, however, it regains sanity. i saw a purple finch on the backbone!

you see some strange things in the woods. at the terminus of the second ski lift, a young man sat on one of the chairs waiting for it to start. it will be ski season before they fire those up!

we reached the notch just before closing, 17:00, and took a short break.

as we head down baldy road, we saw a mountain biker riding down a very steep use-trail. some of these use-trails are insane. i hope he made it off the mountain w-o busting a gonad. he did have sense enough to get off his bike and try sliding down with it.

as we headed out, several families were headed to the falls. it was not quite 18:00 yet.

thus ended our first venture into angeles territory. we will be back.



Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3964 ft / 1208 m
    Elevation Loss:3964 ft / 1208 m
    Distance:13 mi / 20.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3964 ft / 1208 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:baldy bowl tr
    Trailhead:manker flats camp  6100 ft / 1859 m
    Time Up:6 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:3964 ft / 1208 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:devils backbone tr, baldy rd
    Trailhead:manker flats camp  6100 ft / 1859 m
    Time Down:2 Hours 



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