Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mt. Baden-Powell, Angeles National Forest

Well I have a new favorite summit in Angeles National Forest, namely Baden-Powell. It's in that cluster of a few summits north and east of (and above) Crystal Lake, accessible from the eastern half of Angeles Crest Highway; they also include Throop and Dawson. The PCT runs right along these peaks. Pine forests up there, amazing. Views of the desert and the rest of the range, amazing. And then the little ridge at the very end beats Devil's Backbone on Baldy hands-down. Words can't possibly do it justice so here are a few images:


I've never been so bummed I didn't bring a camera, but I'll be back. (For great info about the hike, check out the Nobody Hikes in LA entry.) The elevation goes from 6800' at the trailhead to 9400' at the summit. At that elevation there's no turricula (an irritating poisonous plant) but the fire-damaged areas to the west of this part of the Forest are overrun with it, as expected in a recovery community. Much to my pleasant surprise I did see two snow plants right along the trail, which I've never observed in the Angeles before (mostly in Sequoia):


This stunning forest also made me wonder - why do we allow fire of any kind in this forest, ever? Okay fine, prescribed burns if ever indicated by the appropriate agency, but I mine, why do we need to allow people to cook things, ever? I think the need to protect the forest and the lives of the people who defend it overrides our need to make s'mores or warm up our coffee for one night if we're camping. Just eat power bars for 18 hours, you'll live, I promise.


Geoff Cordner said...

Great blog. Yeah, I love this climb. Actually sad to report that there is poodle dog bush (terricula) up on Baden Powell. I was surprised, since this isn't a burn area, and since I hadn't seen any before, but we found some a few weeks ago. It's new, and my guess is that birds brought it. I also heard from a hiker that some had sprouted up in his neighbor's yard in Wrightwood, also new, also not a burn area, also likely the result of birds. The snow plants are also abundant this year. It seems like I've seen the most in the area between Cooper Canyon and Cloudburst as I've been on the PCT.

Michael Caton said...

Thanks. Lots of people have been seeing lots of poodle bush far outside the fire areas, undoubtedly from birds as you mentioned. If our current rate of fire continues all the forested areas in SoCal will have been burned by 2040 (I posted this data here recently).