Sunday, May 20, 2012

SoCal Triple Crown 2 of 3: Baldy

2 of 3 SoCal Triple Crown complete! Apparently the day before there was some kind of thing with bicycles there today too (I seriously didn't realize Stage 7 of the Tour of California ended here until after I got there; glad I didn't run into it by accident).

Devil's Backbone. Image credit 2wav on Panoramio.

NICE up there today with a cooling breeze above about 8,000', although I didn't hang out for the eclipse. There wasn't any snow at all on the trails, with little strips on the north side at the very highest elevations that probably won't survive the next few days. Although it's further east, the hike up Gorgonio is greener and prettier, but there's nothing quite as dramatic as the Devil's Backbone up there.

And speaking of that - the Backbone was the highlight of this hike for me. I went up via the Hut, and came back on the Devil's Backbone and by the road. This (again for me) is the way to do it for many reasons. I would warn you though, the apparently exposed portion of the Devil's Backbone above the treeline, i.e. the part you can see as you're ascending the steep bit above the hut, is not the most precipitious part - that's once you're back below treeline. Nobody Hikes in LA has a good description of the possible routes. I didn't realize the restaurant would be open at the top of the ski lift so when I stumbled in and it was quite busy I was a little surprised.

Special thanks to Tom the scout leader who shared some water with me, and Shelley the nice woman from San Dimas who gave me a piece of watermelon above the chairlift. Watermelon never tasted so good as it did today!

The eclipse in Culver City. Image credit MMarke on Twitter.


pollycharlie said...

Are you going to do cactus to cloud to complete the crowns?

Michael Caton said...


Michael Caton said...

Actually no, that's not included, but I'm going to do that thing anyway.