Baldy overnightNote: No snowflakes were harmed in the making of this TR. The trail is dry.
Last week I went up Baldy, spending the night on the summit. Since it was mid-week I had the place to myself which was pretty cool. Speaking of that it was also windy and very cool all night, especially three times when the door side of my tent broke free and collapsed in on me.
I went up the Baldy Bowl trail and down via Devil's Backbone, my standard loop route. On the way up I stopped at the stream just above the ski hut for a break, while there I filled two 32-oz bottles and topped off my Camelbak via the Sawyer Mini. I also drank quite a bit there too. I didn't see anyone else on the trail from that point upward, so I was free to take one of the approximately 432 trails that now lead up from the ridge to the summit. Just when I got there another hiker came from West Baldy, actually he said he started at Manker and went over to Iron and was heading down DB trail. Wow that's a pretty long day.....
Once I settled in at the top I set up in the windbreak closest to the summit sign, however I quickly learned that tent stakes don't work here. I tried a couple different spots but no way was I getting anything into that mountain by hand. I also learned that if you need to tie out the tent, make sure you have enough line-locks packed, one definitely is not the right number. Since I only had the footprint and fly, I put a rock in each corner just to hold things down and fought the wind for a while to get the fly set up over the center pole structure. I used a stake in the door loop and tried wedging it behind/between some rocks but as mentioned before that didn't work too well, eventually I found a long piece of wood and secured things down. Despite being behind the rocks, I still had cold wind blowing inside all night, and of course the side of the tent was flapping around until the wind died down around 4am. Yes, I was still awake!
Two people showed up in the morning to watch the sunrise, so I got up and had a double batch of hot chocolate while also catching the view.
On the way down, I saw a person lying behind a big rock near the saddle, so I wandered over that direction and he got up quickly. He said he had planned to spend the night on the summit but took the wrong trail and couldn't find a warm place out of the wind. In the morning he left his gear and headed toward the top but laid down behind the rock to get warm and take a nap. I asked if he was OK for food and water and he said fine and asked how much further to the summit before heading up in that direction.
After that I crossed paths with a few day hikers and reached my truck eventually after taking the fire road down past San Antonio Falls.
Just another great couple of days out in the local mountains.
Sign is fixed once again.
Looking down canyon from above the rock garden, where the bottle opener was formerly located.
Serious erosion in this section through the trees. Since I don't know the solution am I part of the problem?
Almost near the top. Walk, stop, pant. Walk, stop, pant.
I used the last patch of snow to chill this off for my evening relaxation.
Great sunset view up there.
Tent spot in the morning. Wind is still blowing!
I found this little guy in my water bottle, still alive in the morning. I filtered it through a bandanna to the Sawyer and he jumped out, lost in the dirt. Hope I didn't drink one earlier!
New marker over on the west side of the summit. Anyone know the story?
Trail back down to civilization. I enjoy the mornings above the sea of clouds.
I took a little shortcut off the road on the way down. This full trail is way too steep to attempt with a full backpack.