MOUNT BALDY TEST RUN
After a few weeks of hiking around our neighborhoods, it was time to get a reality check. A great local hike to give you a little sense of the Mount Whitney climb is the Mount Baldy summit in The San Gabriel Mountains. It is a day hike that is a 4,000ft climb to 10,000ft and roughly 10 miles round trip.
Ron, who has done the Mount Whitney climb 6 times and is an Sierra Wilderness teacher, had us load up our bags and took us on the Baldy bowl and ski hut trail.
Out the door at 5:30am to meet our 7am start time, the team Ron, Jeff, Jim and myself loaded into the mini van. Of course, while in route, it started to rain pretty hard. As we got to the trail head, thankfully, it calmed down and we were right on time.
Its amazing that in Los Angeles an hour away, you can dive into and lose yourself in a beautiful mountainous forest. We literally hiked through the clouds to come out on top and meeting this deep blue sky and nice warm sun. For the rest of the hike we were walking on top of the clouds. We stopped just once at the ski hut to grab a super pop bar for some extra energy. Then up to the summit where we had lunch and enjoyed the epic views of cloud covered Los Angeles and Lancaster. We had made it and we were all feeling pretty good.
After some rest, fun photos, and my 3rd Super Pop Almond Chocolate bar ;), we began our descent. I was thinking gravity was going to help us out and the hard part was over with, but I was definitely very wrong. I had actually over packed my bag to probably 35+ lbs and that added weight was not helping coming down that 4000 ft of elevation on tired legs. My boots also started rubbing my outer ankle and it felt like something stabbing me in the ankle with each step. As we got closer to the bottom I felt like my kids in a long car ride, “are we there yet?”, “ is this the last turn?”… ha. We finally hit the trailhead and I semi sprinted to the car to dump my bag off my shoulders and then sitting down never felt so sweet.
To celebrate the 10mile, 4,000ft, 5hr, 30,000 step climb, we hit the closest burger restaurant and replaced some of the 3,000 calories we burned from the amazing Mount Baldy Summit. We all made it, tired with some slight injuries but some great learnings with time to heal. We will adjust and be better prepared for the Whitney climb.
If you are looking for a challenge, beautiful nature views I highly recommend you give it a try. Make sure you get the right boots, bring plenty of water, of course super pop bars for extra energy and don’t bring too heavy of a pack ;) Stay posted for the gear that I’m bringing and how I’m definitely trying to lower the weight of my pack for Whitney just a week a way!