Baldy Bowl 1-8-11

With headlamps on, we started at around 6am from Manker Flat parking area. Parts of the road leading to San Antonio Falls were covered with ice. So some caution was needed until we got to the rockier portions after the hairpin going away from the falls.

At the register, we shed some layers, ditched our headlamps, and carried on. The snow coverage on the trail itself was mixed until about a half mile in. Then it covered everything. There wasn’t any ice, and the snow was already a little slushy. So crampons weren’t needed. Just a little extra caution.

Charging up to the Ski Hut, we med up with the group from the San Gabriel Mountains Discussion Forum group who were holding an informal training clinic. We hung around for about an hour here meeting others and just waiting around for the last group members to get up to the Ski Hut. Unfortunately though, the group started up past our cutoff time of 9am. So Tim and I decided to leave the group and do our own thing. First off, we should his friend how to self-arrest. This was made difficult with the warm sun softening the snow a lot.

After about a half hour of this, we started our climb up the center. I’m not sure on the names of the chutes, I’m going to have to find those out later. But our goal was to head right up the center chute (where the rock formation comes to a saddle in this picture).

We were making some pretty good time up it too. Tim did a good job creating the path for us to follow. After about 40 minutes, we were three quarters or so up the Bowl. This is where Tim wanted to change course and start another approach up a different chute. I decided to stick to the original route, while Tim broke left and went about his approach.

Truong and I went up the intended chute. In the chute, the snow was just powder. I was pretty much post-holing mid-calf or up to my knee with each step. This got pretty tiring. On top of that, the snow was doing a good job of balling up on my crampons. This was extremely tiring and annoying. But at least at this steep portion, I wasn’t worried about a painful slide down the mountain if I messed up.

Finally at the top of the chute, it was pretty gusty. We Baldy looked like a chimney with the way the snow was coming off of it. Baldy itself looked pretty miserable too.

We were done for the day. No summit today. Been there, done that. Instead, we traversed the lip and started the glissade down.

Second half of the glissade:

Related posts:

Mt. Baldy via Register Ridge
Big Bad Iron Mountain #1
Mt Baldy, Dawson Peak, & Pine Mtn

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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 9th, 2011 at 11:28 pm and is filed under Photography, Trip Report, Winter Hiking/Mountaineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Baldy Bowl 1-8-11”


Phil January 10th, 2011 at 10:47 am

At what point did you guys put on crampons?

SocalHikes Hiker

SocalHikes Hiker January 11th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

At the Ski Hut. The snow after the register was pretty slushy so it wasn’t really necessary to have them on then.


ADKinLA January 11th, 2011 at 9:54 pm

That looked like a great day to be out. To do that hike in those conditions, do you need any technical expertise or just crampons?

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Tweets that mention – Southern California Hike Reports and Trail Information » Blog Archive » Baldy Bowl 1-8-11 -- January 11th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ADKinLA. ADKinLA said: RT @Socalhikes: Late post from the climb up the Baldy Bowl on Saturday GPS track and pics inside. [...]


David January 13th, 2011 at 11:05 am

Nice videos — looks like a lot of fun … but no high def?

Rob V.

Rob V. January 13th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

if you were sticking to the summer use trail would it be ok to hoof it up to the summit sans crampons, or is it still pretty hairy?

SocalHikes Hiker

SocalHikes Hiker January 13th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

For those conditions, technical expertise wasn’t required. It was relatively warm out which really softened the snow. We were postholing the hole way up.

But any other times, I would say yes, technical experience would be necessary. You just never know what the snow conditions might be like.

SocalHikes Hiker

SocalHikes Hiker January 13th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Hey Rob,

Depends on the weather and snow. If it’s cold, you risk icy conditions which makes it really treacherous. Especially at the summit. I was up there last year when it was all iced over. Without crampons, you risk sliding down the north slope if you venture too far north on the summit.

If the weather is warm, you could probably get away with it in boots hiking along a well trodden path. But I would advise against any snow summit unless you’re with someone experienced in winter conditions and have the proper gear. Even the summer use trail is pretty steep.

SocalHikes Hiker

SocalHikes Hiker January 13th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Hey David,

No, my camera’s old school. I was thinking of upgrading my hiking point and shoot. Any recommendations? ps, I prefer Canon’s.

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