Ascent of Mount Baldy-West Ridge on 2015-11-01

Climber: William Inman

Date:Sunday, November 1, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Baldy-West Ridge
    Elevation:9040 ft / 2755 m

Ascent Trip Report

Followed the very good directions of John Sarna on this site, except continued up the dirt road to the second parking spot before starting to hike. I was driving a '99 Suzuki Swift hatchback, so the rocks were of concern, but only drug bottom once on the way out afterwards.

There was a storm coming in, and the weather forecast was for a high of 52 with 70% chance of rain and winds of 35 mph, gusting to 55. This made me extremely apprehensive, but since several inches of snow were predicted to start falling that night, I was beginning to believe this might actually be my last chance of the year to do a high Sierra peak without snow! When it was raining in Incline, and getting worse at Brockway Summit, I was thinking I would turn back, as I hate to get wet, however, I thought I could check out the road first. At the parking area, the rain seemed to have died down to no more than a drizzle now & then, and the predicted wind didn't seem to be blowing either - although I realized it might have just been blocked by the forest.

So I started to hike, rain gear on, at 12:30, and it was nice! Cool, but nice. Some breeze on the more exposed ridgetops, but not the howling gale I had feared. I was in the clouds, though! And occasionally, a few snowflakes would fall, but then stop. After 2 hours, my GPS said I was at 9135 ft. so I must have passed it. Had my tuna sandwich, some Gatorade, and texted the better half at home so she would know how I was doing, then started working my way back down the ridge watching the state line vs. my position on my GPS.

As others have reported, I was pretty uncetain exactly where the spot was. Several rocky outcrops going down the ridge, and I climbed each one until I got to one my GPS said was in California. No summit register was in view, though. Started back down, confident I had "bagged" it - or "close enough" in these conditions - until I discovered a survey marker along the trail. Being a retired licensed land surveyor, I had to check it out. The cap indicated it was on the state line. "Interesting", I thought, and continued down. But after awhile, I started thinking. . . if THAT was the state line, where was I when my GPS said I was on it??? I know a US BLM survey marker will be more accurate than a consumer-grade GPS reading any day, so what's up? Could I have been gong almost straight north along the state line all this way? Maybe. I wasn't worried about it enough to go back, as I was still wanting to avoid getting drenched if the predicted rain hit, so I made a mental note to myself to check the map once back home. After reviewing the map, I think that scenario is still possible. I also think it's possible the high outcrops I climbed were all in Nevada above the stateline. I'm still not too worried about it, as I know I walked all around it and above it even if I may not have been actually standing right ON it.

Time back down to the car was about 1:45. Wow, I'd gone farther than I thought! GPS said the round trip was 5.58 miles.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:672 ft / 205 m
    Elevation Loss:672 ft / 205 m
    Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
In the cloud, some snow flakes fell, wind was light
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:672 ft / 205 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:CA.Co.HP . Tahoe Rim Trail
    Trailhead:TRT trailhead  8368 ft / 2550 m
    Time Up:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:672 ft / 205 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:Tahoe Rim Trail
    Trailhead:TRT trailhead  8368 ft / 2550 m
    Time Down:1 Hours 45 Minutes

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