Yesterday Marilyn and I hiked Mt. Baldy, final elevation 10,064, total elevation gain 3,900 ft in 4.5 miles. Woohoo!!!!!For those of you who are not savvy on elevation gain, that is a steep hike and almost 1,000 ft a mile. Our day started at 7:22 am. Little did we know it would be a 7 hour day. I had built up this hike in my mind to the point I thought it would be super hard. Don’t get me wrong it was a tough hike and very steep all the way up. The landscape was beautiful, the trail nice and wide, and the weather was perfect. Our first destination was the ski hut, elevation 8,150 and 2.6 miles. We took a nice break, had snacks and then made our way up the trail. I felt so exhilarated at this point.
The trail gets steeper from here to the top. We stopped several times on the way up to catch our breath and let our heart rates settle a bit. I had my heart rate monitor connected and at times my heart rate reached 150 bpm which is pretty high for me as I don’t do cardio unless I am hiking up a mountain.
A couple of my co-workers were hiking on the same day and we saw them about 1.3 miles from the top. They were already on there way down, of course they started an hour before us. Marilyn and I were okay with that as our strategy was slow and steady. We were traveling about one mile an hour. We took another snack break and then headed up the trail once more.
We finally reach the top at 12:03 pm and I was out of water. Don’t know how, but I either didn’t fill up my water reservoir or I drank 64 oz on the way up. Another hiker was gracious enough to give me about 2/3 cup of water to help me out. I knew I would not need as much water for the trip down the hill. After a short break and a few pictures we headed down the back side of the mountain.
We happened to pass the only snow on the entire mountain on the way down which coincidentally can be seen from Hesperia. Pretty cool, right? We made our way down the mountain which was pretty steep and if you can believe it there were lots of people still heading up the hill at noon. All shapes and sizes, all ages from young to old. Some prepared for this strenuous hike and others not so much.
The next part of the hike we walked along what they call the Devil’s Backbone which means you are walking along the top of a mountain where you can see both LA and the High Desert. Pretty cool if you are not afraid of heights.
I am still facing my fears so I did not spend much time admiring the views or taking pictures. Most of the trail was comfortable and other portions were very narrow so I kept my eyes on the trail only. Marilyn informed me that the portion of Mt. Whitney that she has hiked has nice comfortable trails and not so steep. Good to know. We made it to the Notch Restaurant and had a nice lunch. We decided to forego the 3 mile hike down the fire road and decided to take the ski lift to the parking lot and walked 1/2 mile back to the car. Another hike to check off my list of hikes to do before Mt. Whitney. August 9 is fast approaching. I feel better prepared.