Mt Baldy alternate ski-lift trail?

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Mt Baldy alternate ski-lift trail?

Postby RichardK » Mon Oct 10, 2022 8:31 am

Ed wrote:The Baldy area puzzles me. Unlike the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio areas, there seems to be no one in charge of the trails, resulting in the multiple slippery, eroded use paths. Admittedly, it would be difficult to manage, with so much traffic. But I don't see any evidence that Angeles National Forest is even trying. The old trail from Baldy Village, if you can take the elevation gain, is actually in the best shape, probably because it sees the least use.

It has been 7 years since I lived in the area. The situation Ed describes today was true then. Switchback cutting was rampant. Ranger presence on the trails was non-existent. The deterioration was depressing.
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Re: Mt Baldy alternate ski-lift trail?

Postby Ed » Mon Oct 10, 2022 10:12 am

guest wrote:Interesting more isn't said, (or maybe it has), about the areas of exposure on that trail.
The footing & width are fine, but with wind, (there were some 30-40 mph gusts in the saddles on the ridge), you have to be able to focus and move across.


Yes, there are a few places on the south side of the ridge where you take a few steps with a wall on one side, a steep slope on the other, and the trail only wide enough for one foot, as well as a few places where you are walking on the top of the ridge. The first time I hiked it was in 1969. It made an impression, you can be sure. I was not a seasoned hiker, we did not have trekking poles, and we went up and down the same way, because we were not familiar with Baldy. And when I started hiking Baldy again in 2011, I made sure I had my trekking poles out for those few steps. Even though a fall there is not likely, and would probably only cause a skin-losing slide.

I have never done the Devi's Backbone in winter. Conditions seem to vary widely: best with little snow, next best with a lot, downright evil in between. Definitely for people who know what they are doing. I have heard people on the summit on a winter day discussing going down that way, which I thought was a bit crazy, if they had not come up the Devi's Backbone and knew the current conditions.
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