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Homepage Forums Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge™ Q&A Plan on hiking mount baldy Reply To: Plan on hiking mount baldy

  • SocialHiker Team

    January 30, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Hi Alexander!

    First and foremost, make sure you have winter mountaineering experience. When snow is on the Mount Baldy it is not a “hike” up to the summit — it's winter mountaineering.

    Being prepared for winter mountaineering means having training in snow travel; knowing how to self-arrest with an ice axe; awareness of avalanche risks and ability to detect and avoid. You'll need mountaineering boots (stiffer than regular hiking boots), crampons (not microspikes) a helmet, and an ice axe, plus the knowledge of how to use all of the above.

    Personally, I also bring a satellite communicator (I use a Garmin inReach Mini) and I do not travel solo.

    Be aware of your limitations, and be willing to turn around if conditions are not right. I made an attempt on Mount Rainier in 2021 (with a guide) and we made it to the Ingraham Glacier on day two, but the weather turned us around on day three (did not summit). You can't let “summit fever” drive bad decisions.

    Note that you will no doubt see examples on social media of people summiting Mount Baldy without proper knowledge and or gear, and many are “successful” (i.e. “lucky”). Being lucky is not a substitute for being prepared.

    Sorry to rant, but with the problems on Mount Baldy this winter, it's important to be clear that it's not a hike right now.