Monday, September 12, 2011

Mt. Baden-Powell Traverse

Mt. Baden-Powell
Elevation: 9399'
Distance: 9.2 miles
Total time: 4:45 minutes

Last Sunday, the Wolfpack consisted of just myself and Sean.  This hike required an early start and a bit of a drive out to the Wrightwood area.  We left one car at the Vincent Gap parking lot and drove to Dawson Saddle thereby making this a one way hike.  This way we were able to see more of the area without having to retrace our steps back down.

The trail is barely noticeable from the road but Sean's experience in the area got us on the trail and quickly ascending up the steep slope.  The incline was a bit tough this early in the morning but the trail soon leveled off giving me a chance to catch my breath.  We quickly joined the Pacific Crest Trail and made our way to Throop Peak at 9138'.  We signed the list of hikers and then made our way slightly downhill to Mt. Burnham at 8997'.  Next came a steady incline and strong cold winds that only added to my determination to make the summit of Baden-Powell.

After about an hour of climbing among thousand year old trees and looking out over the hazy Mojave Desert, we made our last push up to the summit.  The view from the top was awesome and this summit was a first for both Sean and I.  It's always strange to think that a population of over 10 million people are below you when you stand on a LA summit. We were the only people on top and we signed the register, had a bite to eat, and started our descent down the 40 plus switchbacks to Vincent Gap.  Making great time, we completed the 9.2 mile hike in under 5 hours. This being 9/11/2011, it made the hike a bit more special proving that terrorism will not stop Americans from enjoying our freedom.

Next up............11,500' San Gorgonio Mountain.

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