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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Default Mt. Baldy South Peak

I scrambled main peak of Mt. Baldy eons ago. Since then scrambling interest has largely diminished but I still enjoy good ridgewalk. Looking at unseasonable conditions and snow plastered peaks just about everywhere, I remembered Bob Spirko (best personal outdoor site by large margin) report on Mt. Baldy South Peak. If anything was going to be dry, this ridge would be it; it would also allow me to tag bump I have not previously been to.

Hike to Baldy Pass is as it always was -- took about 1.5hr of moderate pace and had some snowy bits in upper part. From the pass trail on the right side leads up Midnight Peak, trip I did 4 years ago. I turned left and continued up dry ridge. Only difficulty is Rock Tower some 20 min above the pass. Trail exists on climber right, but leads nowhere -- it is a scramble straight up, but easy (stiff class 2). From top of the tower it is delightful ridgewalk for about an hour to the summit. Ridge narrows further up but is never exposed and simply great fun. Good scree trail exists below summit block on the left side, but I continued straight up and scrambled rock rib -- great fun, not harder from the Tower -- before transitioning back to scree in upper part. Great summit views and there were visible snow prints on saddle leading to West Peak. I returned the same way, and late afternoon light on Midnight peak was fantastic! Photo story:


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[Scree trail rising to "The Tower" above Baldy Pass]


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[Rock Step up "The Tower" -- class 2. Easier than it looks on this photo]


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[Panoramic view back above the Tower. Snowy Midnight / Midday / Tiarra in center]


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[Great ridgewalk past the Tower. All three peaks of Mt. Baldy can be seen. Takes 45min to 1hr from this point to South Summit (center)]


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[Final summit block on Baldy South. Talus trail is to the left; going up it is better to scramble rock rib in center and transition back to talus in upper part]


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[Panoramic View north from 2185m summit of Baldy South. Main summit is center left, and it is was hard to believe connecting ridge qualifies as scramble]


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[Fantastic Views of Midnight Peak on return!]


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[Closer look at Midnight Peak. Scramble route follows forest patch on left side then switchbacks up scree above. Obviously not quite in shape on this day]


Stats: ~6 hr return, for 13km and 850m vertical. Map and elevation profile:


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Recommended trip in Kananaskis Foothills. More photos along with downloadable GPS track here
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Last edited by zeljkok; 05-28-2020 at 08:22 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2020, 03:16 AM
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Very nice Zeljkok.. Enjoy your flowing style of narration of you hike and cllimb up this mountain. From your description first thought of "OLD BALDY", a mountain not far from where I live.

Your photos are beautiful and striking as usual.

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2020, 02:13 PM
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Nice trip report and pics. I have done Midnight peak in the past and will return to do this hike. Thanks.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2020, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ger View Post
Nice trip report and pics. I have done Midnight peak in the past and will return to do this hike. Thanks.

Most welcome. I've been on Midnight and Midday few yrs back too, but found Baldy South nicer as it was entirely ridgewalk.
Baldy West is nice extension from Baldy South; except for brief rockband below the top which is class 3 entire trip is mostly hiking
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2020, 03:41 PM
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Looks like you had a bluebird day! Thanks for photos and narrative.
Ridgewalks are fun. I will add it to "explore next time I am in K-Country."
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2020, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like you had a bluebird day! Thanks for photos and narrative.
Ridgewalks are fun. I will add it to "explore next time I am in K-Country."

Thank you. There is tons of snow this year & everything will be in shape much later than usual. Rivers are now swelling, Bow is almost spilling over in Canmore
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 01:17 AM
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Late snows mean flowers later in the season. Please enjoy on my behalf, as I will in all likelihood be stuck at latitude 42 degrees N for the duration.
Looking for photos of Bow River in Canmore, I came across the lap pool at Elevation Place. I will look forward to taking a plunge there in 2021.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 08:13 PM
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Yesterday, once again, we followed in your footsteps, thanks for your report. The lower forest is greening up and there were some nice clusters of Venus' Slipper as well as Harebell and Clematis. The flowers are coming. Strong winds blew through the pass from the west and made the narrow sections of the ridge above a little interesting. We could see dark clouds building and peaks began to be obscured. We pressed on, enjoying the short scramble sections on the ridge. From the summit we could see folks over on Baldy and debated traversing over there to make a loop. Decades ago, I made a solo loop, Baldy to South Baldy to West Baldy and down to the highway. The descent from West Baldy was a challenge, particularly a steep, exposed slab that someone had rapped. Building storm in Ribbon Creek sent us back the way we came. We endured a few ice pellets but it never amounted to much. The wind was still howling. Soon the clouds passed, the western peaks were bathed in sun again, and we gimped our way down. A good trip. Back home, a tick was discovered. The beasties are out.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Glad you had good trip VicB. Re: descent from West Baldy -- are you talking Nugara route up in reverse? I've seen some photos of that & definitely did not look like scramble territory anymore. Kane doesn't even mention it and Nugara also advises alternate descent.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 11:41 AM
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My adventure on West Baldy happened so long ago I could not accurately indicate the path I took. Nugara's description mentions avoiding a steep slab but I didn't spot an easier alternative. The pictures in Nugara's description do not look familiar. As I recall, I followed a ridge down to the road but there was back and forth route finding to avoid cliff bands. The big slab I mentioned was topped by a huge boulder and someone had cut about 30 feet off a climbing rope to loop around this rock as a rap sling. It was touchy friction work, but I carefully down climbed the slab which was certainly well above a scramble grade in difficulty.
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