New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb

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New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb

Postby Ellen » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:38 pm

New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb
Howdy All,

Sally, Marilyn and I summited Mt. Baldy via the Zen chute on New Year's Day. This was my first crampon climb since my shoulder fracture a year ago. I was both eager and anxious to climb the Baldy Bowl -- it has always felt somewhat malevolent. We donned microspikes at Manker to walk up the icy road. Someone ahead of us had broken trail in several inches of new snow. At the Ski Hut, we switched to snowshoes -- this was my mistake -- I was expecting a large amount of powder in the lower bowl. We didn't go far before changing into crampons. Initially, we went up to the right of the Zen Chute. After cramponing over rocks, we dropped into the chute and started the climb. In typical Baldy fashion, I was either overheating (no wind) or receiving a snow/ice facial.

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About 100 vertical feet below the Baldy Beach, my shoulders and hips were cramping and another group passed us.

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We finally reached the Baldy Beach.

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Made the final climb from the Baldy Beach to Baldy.

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The summit was being blasted by an artic wind with no shelter, so we passed on taking pictures and starting heading down to find a more protected area for lunch. We saw a large group coming up the Bowl trail -- they actually made a trough which helped us descent without post-holing too terribly.

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After lunch, we donned snowshoes and continued to descend.

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Took our snowshoes off at the Ski Hut and walked carefully down the slushy, muddy trail back to Manker.

To be continued...
Ellen
 
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Re: New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb

Postby Ellen » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:19 pm

I neglected to note :oops: that Sally was the photographer for Team Artic Wolf. Here she is on her way up the Baldy Bowl. I am too chicken to look down while I'm climbing a snow chute :shock:

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Starting our descent to our lunch spot.

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Looking back up towards the summit.

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On our way up to the Ski Hut, Sally captured this exquisite picture:

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General observations:

It was wonderful to see so many people (mountaineers and hikers) enjoying themselves as they braved the harsh conditions to summit Baldy on New Years Day. In a sense, we were all united by being on the mountain -- positive energy abounded.

Thanks to Marilyn and Sally for an amazing day and for helping me when my frostbitten hands wouldn't work.

Unfortunately, we experienced "reality re-entry" at Manker. Traffic was horrific in both directions. Considering that it was getting dark and even colder, we didn't understand why anyone was heading UP the road :?

Marilyn headed home while Sally and I opted to have dinner at the Baldy Lodge due to Carmageddon :roll: The food was fabulous, as was the professional staff. They were placed in the unenviable position of trying to accommodate and serve too many people. Their situation was made more difficult by people sneaking in just to use the bathroom :x

Overall, a fabulous day. However, I won't be hiking to Baldy or in the Cucamonga wilderness on New Year's Day in 2018.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Re: New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:02 pm

Wow. Such a hard climb in the sun with a cold wind.

Baldy was beautiful on Sunday from my vantage point at a coffee place in Claremont. I imagined what it would be like up there that day. Your photos take my breath away.
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Re: New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb

Postby Myth » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:38 am

I want to grow up to be 10% as awesome as Ellen. Just sayin'.

I did resolve to get out more this year and got off to a good start late last year, then got laid low with a nasty, nasty cold/flu/something all of my lovely 4 day New Year's weekend. :cry:

Still - upward and unward in 2017! Leave no beautiful trail untrod, no gorgeous gully untravelled, no interesting pile of rocks un-poked at! That's my motto for the new year. :mrgreen:

PS: So thankful and excited about having actual weather this winter. Much, much gratefulness.
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Re: New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb

Postby Ed » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:42 pm

Ellen,

Glad to hear you are too chicken to turn around and look down. Me too. Of course, there are all the damn climbs where you have to descend the same way. No mention of anyone glissading back down the bowl. Snow too soft?

Beautiful snow, but clearly not good snow conditions. Makes the adventures of the Tres Amigas that much more impressive.

All this stuff about switching around between microspikes, snowshoes and crampons is scary for my fingers. I have bought a new pair of down mittens to try out. I spotted Kathryn wearing them on a tramshoe last year, they looked so cozy I ordered a pair. But they don't do you much good when you are fiddling with straps.
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Re: New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb

Postby zippetydude » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:23 pm

Beautiful pics Ellen! Also, excellent job as always to the three of you!

I hear you Ellen and Ed about cold hands. I'm trying to find something that will actually heat my hands rather than hoping gloves will suffice. They never do for me. There is something wrong either with the circulation or nerves in my hands...at 75 degrees my hands are freezing and cold to the touch, so they are an immediate problem in the snow. Electric gloves have not proven to work well, and the chemical warmers don't last long enough. I've tried the warmers that run on lighter fluid and they start out great but they tend to go out. Anyone got a great solution so that we can take off our gloves and fiddle with straps, then put the gloves back on and immediately have warm hands again?

z
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Re: New Year's Day Baldy Bowl Climb

Postby Ed » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:04 pm

Zip,

It is called Raynaud's Syndrome. You can find pages on it on Wikipedia. One of those things that has a name, multiple causes, and no good solutions. My best shot at it so far is liner gloves, mittens, and chemical hand warmers. I find mittens to be much better than gloves, gloves don't seem to do it no matter how 'warm' they are. The thing that scares me is that a moderate amount of exposure can get your fingers into a state where they can't function, and it takes a long time to get out of that state.
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