I thought it would be good to start the new year off with a day hike up Mount Baldy. I conjoined with some friends in Ontario and we made our way up towards the mountains. On the way I got a call from my buddy Eric who got a late start but said he would meet us on the summit. We parked at the trailhead near Manker Flats, geared up, and hit the trail around 8am. There were still some icy patches near the trailhead.
It was a cold morning in the mountains which made for some good hiking weather. We made our first stop at San Antonio Falls and then continued up the trail. We were planning on going up the Ski Hut Trail but we ended up missing the trail junction so we continued on the road that leads up to the Mt. Baldy Ski Lodge.
We took a quick break near the ski area and then headed up towards the Devil’s Backbone Trail. As we headed up we could see there was a good amount of snow in the mountains near the ski area.
We started coming across more patches of snow and ice at this point but nothing that would impede us.
It was a little cold and windy at some points up on the ridge.
We quickly made our way across the Devil’s Backbone which had a few patches of snow and ice.
Then we headed past Mt. Harwood and drew closer to Baldy.
As we got closer to the final climb to the Mt. Baldy summit I saw a red speck in the distance in front of us on the trail. I thought, hey that is probably Eric!
When we made it to the summit my suspicions about the tiny red spec were confirmed. Eric had taken the ski lift up to Baldy Notch and had been in front of us the entire time. We had some snacks on the summit and took the obligatory group summit picture.
It was a nice day to be on the summit; not too cold or windy and with clear views all around.
We decided to make our decent on the Ski Hut Trail since we missed it on our way up. There were a lot of patches of ice in the shady sections of the trail on the way down we had to negotiate. There was one point were I slipped on some and only caught myself from tumbling downhill on a large tree that I ran into.
When we made it to the Sierra Club Ski Hut we found that it was open (even though it was a Monday) and we were able to go inside and check it out.
The inside of the hut was a lot roomier than I had imagined and had an upstairs area with a bunch of bunk beds. Downstairs there was a kitchen area with a wood burning stove and a sink which continuously ran with mountain spring water (no need to filter). This was nice since I needed a refill on water.
After chilling out at the hut for a little bit we hit the trail again and returned to the trailhead near Manker Flats. The hike took us around 7 hours all together. It was an awesome day to hike Mount Baldy and was even cooler that we were able to meet up with Eric on the summit.