Friday, March 23, 2012

Mt. Baldy & West Baldy

March 21, 2012: To celebrate the first day of spring I took a trip up to Mt. Baldy. I climbed this peak back in January with no snow. As luck would have it, the local mountains received three to four feet of the white stuff the weekend prior. This would be the first snow hike of the season up Mt. Baldy.

I got a rather late start up the Manker Flat trailhead at 0800. I was being cautious about black ice on the road so starting a tad later was indeed helpful. I started off in one layer and that would be all I needed until the summit ridge. It was a rather balmy fifty degrees when I started. Luckily, the snow was firm and travel was easy. I wore microspikes all the way to 9200'. At this point the postholing began in earnest. I had lugged my snowshoes all the way up and that was about to pay off. I made it enjoyably to the summit of Baldy around noon. The warm day was halted by a brisk thirty plus mile per hour wind. It made the summit an uncomfortable place to eat lunch.

I retreated off the summit and headed towards West Baldy a half mile away. The winds diminished on the ridge between the two peaks and I was able to have some lunch behind a tree. The walk over to West Baldy was nice and easy. The photos of wind sculpted snow and ice were great, made the walk over worthwhile. From West Baldy, I made a direct line to the top of the Baldy Bowl and followed that ridge back to the Ski Hut and down to my truck. It was a great day in the mountains.

Baldy Bowl

Looking Down Towards Upland

Plane Crash Debris

Summit Of Baldy

Snowy Southern Sierra's

West Baldy From Mt. Baldy

Close Up View Of West Baldy

Mt. Baden Powell

Wind Sculptures

Staying Warm In The Fierce Wind

Mt. Baldy From West Baldy

Top Of Western Bowl Chutes

Baldy Bowl

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