Sunday, April 7, 2013

The South Ridge of Mt. Baldy

The South Ridge route on Mt. Baldy

 The South Ridge of Mt. Baldy is the ridge between San Antonio Canyon and Goode Canyon. It starts at 5600 feet and is intersected by the Ski Hut trail at 8800 feet.

At 6:30AM on April 6, Patrick Moran, Dave Gillanders, and I left the car at Manker Flat and descended 400 feet to near the bottom of the South Ridge. The 100 foot drop into the canyon is hazardous. I took a 20-foot slide down there once and Patrick got caught in a rock/dirt avalanche there once, escaping bloody and battered with a severed finger tip. It came as no surprise, then, that we spotted a fixed line dropping to the canyon floor. But instead of using the questionable line, we opted for an alternate and thankfully uneventful way down. 

From the floor of San Antonio canyon, we descended 5-10 more minutes until the canyon narrowed precipitously. We figured that this would be a good place to gain the ridge. What followed was a stressful, 30-minute, 200-foot climb of a rotten, third class slope. I wouldn't recommend it.

Once on the ridge, we managed to avoid the bushwhacking that had plagued Dave and I on our previous ascent by sticking to the sandy and laborious right side of the ridge. 1.5 hours after leaving the car, we finally got above the nastiness and began the pleasant 2000-foot ridge climb to the intersection with the Ski Hut trail. We then followed the Ski Hut trail up the remainder of the South Ridge to the summit.

It took us five hours to descend 400 feet to the bottom of the ridge and then climb 4300 vertical feet to the summit.  

Dave about to get into the nastiness as we climb out of the canyon and onto the ridge.

 The beginning of the nice part of the ridge.

 Patrick getting into the good stuff.

Dave on the ridge. 

 Patrick among the blocks.

Above the point where the Ski Hut trail intersects the South Ridge, I got off the main trail and stumbled into airplane alley. 

More wreckage in the upper reaches of Goode Canyon. It was all over the place. 

200 feet above the airplane wreckage and back on the main trail. 

Baldy summit. 

That's one portion of the South Ridge up there.

1 comment:

Hikin' Jim said...

Hi, Sam,

Interesting route. Thanks for the post.