The sun had pretty much disappeared behind the mountains to the west by the time I reached the cairn at the top of the ridge. From there, I hiked over the summit of the west peak and continued along the connecting ridge to the southernmost high point of Mount Baldy. I opted to drop down the forested slope to the south to try and intersect the Baldy Pass trail. I stayed fairly close to an obvious drainage here although it was often easier to descend the flanking slopes rather than the drainage itself. When I reached the creek bed at the valley bottom, the Baldy Pass trail was not immediately obvious to me in the dark. The creek bed was still easy enough to hike despite some lingering snow patches, and I eventually stumbled onto the trail further downstream. The walk out to the highway and then back to O'Shaughnessy Falls seemed to take much longer than expected, but I was entranced throughout by a clear sky full of stars.
I am not one to repeat ascents, but the
west ridge of Mount Baldy is one that I would consider re-climbing given
the short approach and the fact that I still need to go back and bag the
east peak. Any takers? Here is a look back at the west peak of Mount Baldy
from the ridge to the south. The west ridge is also visible at
The approach trail starts on the left
side of this rocky drainage.
A clearing low down grants this
foreshortened view of the west ridge.
Rock slabs abruptly appear above tree
Daylight begins to fade on the west
ridge. The lower half of the normal ascent route for Mount
Baldy's main peak is visible beyond the slabs.
The main peak of Mount Baldy is still
bathed in sunlight.
A piton marks the start of the
difficult scrambling section on the ridge. The "easiest" way up
this section is via an exposed traverse to the left.
This is looking down the west ridge
toward Barrier Lake.
The crux is an intimidating sight.
This is looking down at a narrow and
exposed ledge (on the slab in the foreground) which Sonny just
Past all major difficulties, Sonny
tops out on a bump not far from the west peak (behind him).
A couple of cairns adorn the
2174-metre summit of Mount Baldy's west peak.
The connecting ridge to the
southernmost high point has a few airy spots but is fairly
straightforward to traverse.
A couple more cairns sit on the
southernmost high point (2152 metres) of Mount Baldy. Midnight
Peak looms in the distance.
Distance: 7.9 kilometres
Round-Trip Time: 4 hours 11 minutes
Net Elevation Gain: 765 metres
Here is a look back at the west peak of Mount Baldy from the ridge to the south. The west ridge is also visible at left.