Ascent of Mount San Antonio on 2013-06-01

Climber: Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach

Date:Saturday, June 1, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount San Antonio
    Elevation:10064 ft / 3067 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Baldy Boomerang Hike that ended up being Baldy to Iron via the San Antonio Ridge and down to Heaton Flats.

Started at Manker Flats TH at 4:30 am. Nice trail and easy to navigate with headlamps. Were on the top of Baldy by 6:30-ish - first group up... Beautiful! Made our way over to West Baldy and then descended via the San Antonio Ridge. 2300 feet down - it wasn't that bad. Well ducked trail and you could see a faint use trail.

From there - we would skirt to the north side of a few bumps to avoid the buckthorn (fuckthorn) and manzanita. Slight use trail that we would occasionally see. Over bump 7309 (I think that's the peak...? I'll have to look it up). And eventually we hit the Gunsights.

Some people would say it's class 2, others clss 3 with exposure, and some class 4. It's totally up to your own comfort level. While there were times I was scared shitless - I didn't feel it was any worse than class 3 with exposure. Made sure that my pack was tight and our group of 4 took our time. Lots of loose and slippery rocks - but we were careful and took our time. There's a chute to the south of the fist gunsight that we went up, and from there it was just climbing with exposure. And 3 points of contact.

At one point, one of my parnters kicked over a basketball sized rock and we heard it falling falling falling - over 6K feet... with the ocassional crash into the rock or bouncing off the rock wall. It reminded me of the well and bucket scene from Lord of the Rings 1. Oh well.

Made our way up to Iron by 12:30 (so at that point - 8 hours of hiking time). Quick break and lunch just below the peak.

Originally we were set to return to Baldy via the San Antonio Ridge - but given the heat (it was 90 degrees at the top of Iron), we decided it would be safer to descent Iron than risk heat + altitude. As the decision was made a few days earlier, Ignacia's husband Peter was waiting for us at Heaton Flats. I wasn't super excited about the Iron descent & neither were my knees - but oh well... that's The Big Iron. And it just got hotter and hotter, so we made the right call rather than climbing back up to Baldy. I drank most of the 7 liters of fluid that I carried, and thought about stealing a cooler from one of the kids at the Heaton Flats Campground - but my leg's wouldn't have carried me fast enough to run away. Back to the Heaton Flats TH by 4:40. Total hiking time 12:10 for one of the most epic dayhikes in LA County. Woo hoo!

Overall - epic hike! Mt Baldy to Iron via the San Antonio Ridge! Awesome!

Thanks to great hiking partners - Christine, Ignacia, and Jose! And Peter for meeting us at Heaton flats in 111 degree heat with Gatorade. Yea!
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