Ascent of Whitewater Baldy on 2015-08-01

Climber: BMS 914

Others in Party:Eric Kassan -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Tim Newman
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 1, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Whitewater Baldy
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10895 ft / 3320 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my fifth (and last) peak of Eric's annual Colorado peakbagging trip.

After driving for several hours from the trailhead of our previous hike (South Baldy) we arrived at Sandy Point, our campsite for the night, with a planned morning ascent of Whitewater Baldy starting at the trailhead just across the forest road. The weather didn't look good, with rain expected for most of the night, at times heavy, especially after midnight. Faced with a wet night in tents, we elected to get ready and begin the hike immediately, with a start time of just a little after 5:45 PM local time.

Headlamps at the ready with spare batteries, we set off. It was overcast and fairly pleasant, but became stuffy and humid once we got well into the forested area, particularly the new growth areas near the start of the hike. The trail wasn't well maintained and mostly level/rolling. Soon it got dark and we donned our headlamps.

One part of this trail looked just like another in the dark, and seemed endless. I was tired, and the two-in-one was one-too-many. I think I was the one who suggested the night hike, and either way I readily agreed, so I should have known better.

After what seemed like endless miles (and some whining how much I disliked the trail), we saw what looked like a fire ahead in the darkness. We had heard thunder from the approaching storms, but no rain, and this looked more like a campfire than a lightning strike of a tree. When we got closer, we saw that it was indeed a campfire, and some people were camping there for the night with fairly minimal gear. After chatting with them, we turned and headed up the saddle they were camped on, which happened to be where we needed to leave the trail. Not long after, we reached the summit.

After a summit interval spent watching the thunderstorms, we headed back the way we came. The campfire made a great navigation aid in the dark, and we hit the trail. After more seemingly endless trudging, we made it back to the trailhead around 1:11 AM, loaded up the SUV, and Eric began trying to navigate the maze of forest roads in the dark to find somewhere to get some sleep for the night that would be dry.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2277 ft / 693 m
    Extra Gain:251 ft / 76 m
    Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Route:Trail from North via Hummingbird Spring
    Trailhead:Sandy Point Trailhead  9120 ft / 2779 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Darkness. Muggy with thunderstorms in distance.
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:3 Hours 12 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:3 Hours 39 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by BMS 914
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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