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Day 9: Baldy Mountain

Today is the day that we tackle Baldy Mountain, which will have us climbing 4,000 feet up from Miranda to the summit. It’s a day hike, so we don’t have to break camp and pack up. We just shoulder our day packs and take off.

We take off into a CLOUD. The entire mountain is shrouded as we begin our ascent. It has a weird effect: Everyone’s voices are muffled as we spread apart on the trail.

Charlie’s view — a CLOUD.

After a while, it starts to get very rocky and steep.

Kevin puts his trekking pole to good use.

Tonie looks waaaay up the slope at her crewmates.

Baldy Mountain vet Blake tells everyone, “It’s pretty much like this to the summit, so crawl at your leisure.”

Like a ghost in the fog, Trevor approaches the summit.

And we do take our time trudging up the mountain. Some of the crewmembers feel like they’re running out of air.

“It’s going to be hard,” Blake acknowledges. “After all, we’re hiking at the altitude where planes fly.” Wow. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

Like Blake warned, it IS hard. But we all make it to the summit. And when we get there, everybody wants to celebrate—even if we’re doing so in a CLOUD:

Now that we’re on the summit, it’s getting colder so everyone puts on their jackets to eat their lunch.

Christian’s not so sure about the powerbar in today’s lunch.

“I’m disappointed that there’s no payoff for our hard work getting to the top,” Tonie says. “I mean, there’s no pretty view or anything.” Oh, well, it was still a big accomplishment that we all made it.

There’s a bit of excitement on our way back down the mountain when we’re attacked by the Crazy Moss-Haired Mountain Man.

Watch Christian barely escape alive:

At the base of the mountain, we stop at Baldy Town camp, which at the height of Baldy Mountain’s gold-mining operation had a population of about 2,000.

We’re here for another food pick-up. Uh-oh. Kevin forgot to bring his “Life.” And he’s really worried: “The staff is gonna kill me! What if they won’t give us our food?”

We all reassure Kevin that the crew won’t be left to starve. Now, as for the staff killing him? Well…

Wow! For the first time on the trek, showers are available for our use here in Baldy Town. But we’re still in the cloud, so it’s damp and chilly. Meh — what’s another few days without a shower? We decide to just stick it out.

Heading back to Miranda, we meet up again with our long lost pal: sunshine.

Back at camp, some of the crew takes in a little tomahawk throwing. Watch Christian score:

and Charlie:

Fun and games around the campsite.

We’re so tired after our mountaineering adventure, we have Thorns and Roses while lying in our tents. Kevin’s Rose: “The Baldy Town food pickup guy didn’t eat me alive for not having my Life. He just kicked boxes around and acted like he was mad. Then he was really cool and gave us some extra food. Good stuff, too, like tortillas!”

6 Comments on Day 9: Baldy Mountain

  1. Even though it was cloudy at the summit, you will always remember everything else about the climb. And you can say you climbed 12,441! I still challenge my Scouts, 40 years later, to beat my climb. Few have done so.

  2. slacker farce fittingly astounds containers?hilarious – Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

  3. Are you crazy! I took advantage of every shower opportunity! At Cypers we even had to build a fire in a water heater to get hot water, it was great! In some camps we girls got to use the staff showers, also very nice. I think I took four showers on the trail all together.

  4. Some mystery mountain man

  5. The mountain man was funny

  6. I think the creation of the Moss Mountain Man was the direct result of passing on the opportunity of the showers…..and Kevin found forgiveness for his Life, or lack of it, with the gruff quartermaster at Baldy Town. It was a good day.

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