|Group||Aqui Nomas Hiking|
My dearest Mt. Baldy, we meet again. This was my third time hiking Baldy so it was a pleasant way of celebrating my previous accomplishment: San Gorgonio. We started hiking around 8:30 am from the parking lot after Manker Campground. The first mile or so is ALWAYS the hardest because of its steepness and (at least for me) loose rocky terrain. As of lately, my trekking poles have been helping me TREMENDOUSLY with the loose rocky terrain since I overuse my knees for traction, in addition to my hiking boots. After the first mile warm-up, it was about 2.5 miles to Baldy Notch. This part of the trail has many photo-ops of LA county and it is also easy going before the Devil’s Backbone trail. Once my group reached Baldy Notch, we rested for quite a bit and drank beer/rehydrated/used the bathroom. Our group had 4 newcomers so it was a great way to re-group to avoid getting lost. Getting back on the trail is where you have to pay attention. There is a shortcut but it is steep and loose rocky terrain. We opted for the longer, gradual incline trail on the way to the Devil’s Backbone trail. The weather for the most part was sunny with a cool breeze. I mistakenly wore pants, which definitely had me a bit dehydrated from all the sweat I was emitting, gross. The next 4 miles were doable; we reached the Devil’s Backbone, which is ALWAYS a beautiful view. There were a lot of hikers coming back down and at this point of the hike, the trail does get a bit narrow so there were those awkward “who-goes-first” moments. The last mile to the summit is super painful as it is completely bare and loose rocky terrain (yaayyyy…). Our group split up, due to our different paces but we all made it to the summit! We decided to take the same trail down as 1) we had new people and didn’t want to make the hike any longer/harder with the steep declines and 2) a few of us got lost on the Ski Hut trail a few years back so it was a bit traumatizing, hahaha. The hike back down was the easy part; we all got split up again and met up at Baldy Notch to throw back some beers to pre-celebrate. Two of our newbies took the ski lift down while the rest of us hiked the last 2.5 miles. We finished the hike between 4-4:30 pm. I would probably have done a lot better with cooler clothes and more hydration before the hike. Overall, I felt good about this hike! Can’t wait wait for next year!