Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:09 am Post subject: Baldy Mega Loop - 15 Peaks in Day (6/11/11)
Might be a stretch to call this a loop (it's more of a figure 8) but I did return to my car.
It's been a little under 8 months since my ankle was badly broken after being crushed by a boulder. I got back to attempting activities as soon as I was able but it wasn't easy. The prior 4 weekends to this one I finally started to feel like I was getting a little closer to normal. Those weekends included the Baldy 11 peak loop, Mount Whitney, Grand Canyon rim to rim, and the Iron-Baldy traverse (from Baldy Village). The ankle is not pain free (I feel every step) but it is definitely stronger. After 4 good weekends I felt it was time to give it a true test and see if I push it into the exteme. And I did.
My goal was to expand on the Baldy Loop -- tagging as many peaks in a single continuous hike as possible. The most peaks I had done in a Baldy loop previously was 11. I knew Rick Graham had done 13 peaks (adding on Dawson & Pine). I figured I'd add on Wright and Gobler's Knob. If the hike ended there that would be a substantial challenge on its own however I wanted to see if I could do it without a car shuttle (what was I thinking?).
I succeeded in tagging all 15 peaks in around 16 hours. That all went pretty well (except for annoying snow on the north sides of Baldy, Dawson, & Pine). I started at 4:30am and summitted Gobler's Knob at 8:35pm just as it got dark.
So now there was just the small matter of getting back to my car at Icehouse Canyon (yes, Icehouse!). It seemed like a logical solution: just drop down to the north fork of Lytle Creek and then hike up and over the Baldy Notch and then back down to Icehouse. I suppose the fact that it worked lends support to the initial decision but the execution was another matter. After 15 peaks hiking back what turned out to be 10.5 miles in the dark was a true test of fortitude. There were a few times I seriously considered a bivy. I came back over the notch a little after midnight and returned to Icehouse Canyon a few minutes after 2am. No dinner. Slept in the car. Distance: 40.5 miles. Elevation Gain: Plenty. Total time: 21.5 hours.
Started with around 1.5 liters of liquid drinks. Just enough to reach the notch. Refilled at the notch (downed a soda and half a bottle of cranberry juice). Left the notch with 1.5 liters again. Ran short of water on Pine Mtn. Added small amount of snow to bottle before leaving snow zone. Short again on Gobblers. Tried to stretch last few sips but had to consume final drops about an hour before reaching the notch. Didn't see a drinking fountain or faucet anywhere so proceeded down. At the lower lift station (1 am) a fully lit soda machine seemed like a halucination. It was real and I had a dollar. Downed one final soda as I made my way back to Icehouse.
As for food, I had a sandwich, some chips, a candy bar, 2 gel packs, and a couple gummy fruit snacks. I really wanted to get some fries at the notch but didn't want to wait.
My pack was small and light (a small hydration pack without the bladder).
Last edited by Rick Kent on Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
My friend Brian was doing the 11 peak loop and started one hour behind you. He said he met you by Etiwanda. When he told me you were doing the 15 peaks we both wondered if you were going to get a shuttle lift. Never thought about going down to Lytle creek and coming back up that way
That’s some serious Zombie mileage!
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum