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Empty Ski Lifts

Peak Summited2021 Mount Baldy
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadManker Campground
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were not too bad
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

I’m so used to hiking in the snow and colder conditions that I was surprised how warm it felt outside! It was a busy morning and lots of people. By the time I parked at 6:15AM, the parking lot was filling up fast. The first part of the trail followed the road up to the Ski Lodge and it was a gradual uphill. All the talking I was doing, made those miles fly by (well for me. Maybe not the person I was talking to). One person in our group forgot his reservoir in this fridge at home and had two water bottles only for the trek.  We were relieved to know he could fill up both bottles at the Ski Lodge. We decided to tackle Devil’s Backbone so we took off on that loop. We were not on that loop for long when one person in our group started getting a stream of texts pouring in telling him he officially became a Grandpa! We congratulated our friend and shared in the excitement of the moment with him. From there we continued on, taking in the glorious day and scenery, stopping to take random pictures, every now and then. Things got real as we approached the Devil’s Backbone, I looked up and saw tiny, unrelenting switchbacks, carving out the side of Baldy. Luckily, I still had a lot of energy and I was ready to summit Baldy. Summiting Baldy was stellar, lots of people up there, relaxing, laughing and getting engaged!! Yes, a beautiful couple got engaged right in front of us. We all wondered why she had to work so hard for an engagement ring but that’s not my business. We took the shorter way back down and I wish we had not. While it was pretty, the trail was a hard downhill pretty much all way. My favorite story of the day was meeting a 81 year old woman hiking. In conversation to find out she hiked Whitney 28 times and made it to 23,000 Ft at Everest when she was 75 years old inspired me. Start from where you are. Meet yourself there. Enjoy the journey and take care of our precious mountains ????

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