Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mt.Baldy...Climbing in the snow.

On Sunday Katie, Cary and I set out to climb Mt.  Baldy.  A few days before a storm dumped a few feet of snow on the mountain.  We started around 7:40 and decided to hike the Ski Hut route, a steeper more direct route to the summit.  We all had our ice axes and snow shoes packed and headed out.  There was a ton of snow on the trail.  At 9:45 we reached the ski hit.  We took a 10 minute break and then discussed the route we wanted to take up to the summit.  Normally, we would follow the traditional route that winds around the face of the mountain and up the ridge, however, today since there was so much snow we decided to follow a few climbers that were climbing up the right side of the face of the mountain.  It was definitely steeper than the traditional route.  Luckily the snow was punchy which made climbing without crampons alot easier.  Climbing up the face was extremely fun and exciting, it was not a viable route unless there was a ton of snow.  It took us another 2 hours and 20 minutes of steep climbing to reach the summit.   The views while climbing were absolutely breath taking.  Once we got to 9000 feet we could see the desert beyond the Devils Backbone, we could also see San Gorgonio and San Jacinto.  We reached the summit around 12:30.  It was pretty cold at the top so we bundled up with layers quickly.  After taking about 15 minutes to eat lunch we headed back down.  We were able to glissade a little bit but mostly post holed all the way back down to the ski hut.  At the hut we put on our snow shoes and headed back down the mountain.  There was so much snow that we were able to snow shoe off the beaten path which made hiking back more enjoyable.  We finally reached the parking lot around 4.  After climbing all day we were excited to go grab some food, however, it took us an hour and 15 minutes just to get down to the base of the mountain due to terrible traffic.  

This was one of my favorite climbs I have ever done.  This was great training for Rainier in June and I am sure I'll be doing this alot more in the near future.

Start:7:40 Manker Flats
Skit Hut: 9:45
Summit: 12:30
End: 4:00
Elevation Start: 6100 ft
Summit: 10064 ft
* the "our route" picture was taken at the Ski Hut


Holly said...

Incredibly beautiful - and hard to believe this is Southern California! Climbing in snow, looking down at the desert. Quite a climb!

vontetzel said...

I know, can you believe Mt. Baldy is only 50 minutes away from my place!