Mt Baldy via Bighorn Ridge

  • May 9, 2009 · 5:00 AM

Details:

18 miles

8000 ft gain

5 - 6 miles, 7000' gain WITHOUT A TRAIL. GOING THROUGH BRUSH. ON STEEP SLOPES

Difficulty: 10/10

In the late 1800's, there use to be a trail coming up from Weber Camp in Coldwater Canyon up to Bighorn Ridge, which people then took to hike Mt Baldy. However with the decrease in camping activities over time, as well as private property holdings restricting access, this route has disappeared. While some have discussed trying to ascend Baldy via Bighorn Ridge, I have not read of anyone doing it, but we shall try.



We have already done a recon hike over a month ago, and we found that the hike is going to be tough. But not tough in the ordinary sense of lots of elevation gain, but in the sense that there is so much brush that will slow you down. We will have to CRAWL like animals under the brush and barrel right through the brush. This is pretty hardcore. You WILL get cut, and BLEED. You have to not be afraid of brush or feeling some pain, or this hike isn't for you. If you are tentative on steep unstable ground, this hike isn't for you.

I am keeping a strict timetable, and those who are too slow in the first part must TURN AROUND. This will be less about conditioning and more about dealing with brush.

We will hike in 6 miles on easy fireroad. Then the tough part, trying to get to the ridgetop. You must make it to the ridge under 2 hrs, or you must turn around. And you must know how to get back down.

Right now the only ones I know will make it in this time are the ones who got up last time: Lee, Ofir, the Mikes, & Hugo. Everyone else must make sure they know what they are doing and are willing to turn around and know where to go.




trip report of recon hike here (see the brush) here

GPS file here

weather forecast here

location: here

we will descend down to Baldy village, a mere mile or so from our cars, so an easy car shuttle to set up.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Wow! COngrats to those who went! I wish I found out sooner...

    May 28, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    Andy, you should have just run down the fireroad to catch up! we were on it for 6 miles...

    May 10, 2009

  • michael

    Good up to last 2000ft..might need new shortcut..overall toughest off trail hike ive been on. BUT WE DID IT (and I probably had the least injuries. :) )

    May 10, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    A classic hike and very rewarding! The highlight of the season thus far...

    May 10, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    May 10, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was definitely adventurous, painful, brutal and never to be repeated but I'm glad I was part of it. First hike that has left my feet and legs sore and aching. Can't believe I was out on the trail for 15+ hours!

    May 10, 2009

  • Tim

    Big Horn Ridge claimed its first victim--me! I had to turn around after climbing just 1200' up towards the ridge. I had horrible leg and foot cramps, probably due to running at the beginning to catch up to the group. Or maybe I'm just old because right now everything just hurts and I'm hobbling around like an old man. But from what I saw on the climb, it was exactly like the hike description: nasty. Damn you Big Horn Ridge!! Congrats to the 5 who made it!

    May 10, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    that was a big one. and we conquered Bighorn Ridge! congrats to all on finishing the long, grueling day. from the pathfinding and brushfighting to the rockclimbing and the extreme and consistent steepness of the terrrain, this hike had it all and gave us all. lots of energy exerted. And it was a hot day too, I brought 8 liters and that still wasn't enough! I dont' know if I'll do this hike again, but there will surely be others like it!

    May 10, 2009

  • John Quan

    OMG!

    May 9, 2009

  • John Quan

    nails are cut, lunch is packed, unwashed hiking pants ready to smell. oh yea, this should be fun. toughest challenge now...waking up.

    May 8, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    @Quan: we'll see how much you're joking in 18 hrs...

    May 8, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    i'll have mine on me

    May 8, 2009

  • Tim

    I'm gonna bring my walkie in case anyone wants to bring theirs. Might come in handy for scouting, reporting a man down, calling enemy sniper fire, stuff like that.

    May 7, 2009

  • John Quan

    I don't think I understand this, is this going to be a tough hike?

    May 7, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    just bought some gardening / workman's gloves, $1.50 at the dollar store, a worthwhile investment

    May 7, 2009

  • John Quan

    yes! i'm leaving the safari shorts off on this one.

    May 6, 2009

  • John Quan

    sleep.

    May 6, 2009

  • michael

    sleep. :)

    May 6, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    yes we will! oh the excitement of fireroad; the calm before the storm shall we say. of course earlier would be safer; however I feel like waking up at 2:30 to drive out would just be horrible; i'd almost just have the extra hour of sleep. what does everyone else think?

    May 6, 2009

  • Tim

    Maybe we should start earlier? We're going to be on that fire road for 2 hrs.

    May 6, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    looks like its gonna be a hot one saturday. better bring lots of water - i'll probably go with 7 - 8 liters.

    May 6, 2009

  • John Quan

    @ze: i'm going to say that Andy will be the first followed by you. i'm planning on ending this unscathed.

    May 5, 2009

  • Hikin Jim

    Joe, hat's off to you for even trying this one! God speed and every success!

    May 5, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    bets on first to shed blood?

    May 4, 2009

  • Tim

    Crikey! This is starting to sound like Lord of the Flies. Who's carrying the pig head?

    May 4, 2009

  • John Quan

    wow, thx michael. i think i'm going to make an articulated suit of cardboard amour. hmm...

    May 4, 2009

  • michael

    Seriously, the gravel around the branches/Yucca is really loose all the way up..so i guarantee all one Wiley E. Coyotoe slide into something bloody-liscious ..ERGO..Yucca Banter.
    ie. I FELL BODY WISE INTO YUCCA...twice...some yucca tips took almost a week to fester before I could get them out.felt like a Chia pet..ended original "exploratory" hike bleeding, half-naked...er ventilated and capable of "drafting"...one of the few hikes youll definitely scream at the foliage more than Joe......

    May 4, 2009

  • michael

    Yep..definitely on "TOP PAIN" list...bring med kit, duct-tape, garden gloves, thick but ventilated clothes...armor, neosporin super-soaker, +1 regen. ring, self-help guide...I digress...but you will definitely find yourself having conservesations with Yucca...WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYY­YYYY?

    May 4, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nick, it has some relation. we'll be going down the way you are hiking.

    as you hike up past 8000' or so, take a look to the ridge to the west that also goes up to Baldy. that's what we'll be going up. no trail there

    May 4, 2009

  • John Quan

    I'm in it to win it. It's time for the big game! The battle between good evil starts this weekend. Are you a champ?...or a chump?

    May 4, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    are you guys still in for it?!!!

    May 3, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    If I never see any of you guys again I will always think of you all every time I have a beer!!!!!!!!!

    April 30, 2009

  • John Quan

    "i drink your milkshake! I drink it up!!!"

    April 30, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    Torrez had 2 tears in his pants! watch out!

    April 30, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    there will be BLOOD! wear longsleeves, even workman's gloves if you can. makes it much better.

    April 30, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    we are still tentatively on, but who knows. if the weather prevents us, we'll turn around. please weather gods...

    April 30, 2009

  • Tim

    Yeah, it's just hard and slower to scope out the terrain/brush ahead to plan your route if visibility is bad. I guess it all depends on where the ceiling is at. If it's well above like when we went to Vetter, it won't be a problem. Just adds to the adventure I suppose!

    April 29, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    i understand the rain, but why would cloud cover be iffy? you mean if it clouds our view of the terrain?

    April 29, 2009

  • Tim

    Hmm, chance of showers on Saturday. Even if it doesn't rain, going XC with possible cloud cover might be iffy. We've got GPS but whiteout conditions would slow us down a lot.

    April 29, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    in the meantime, read this: http://socalhikes.com/2009/03/c...­

    April 29, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    i will formally update later tonight. all I can say is, beware. this will only be for those who don't mind walking straight into bushes, tree branches, etc...and in my time limits

    April 29, 2009

  • John Quan

    assuming we start the hike at 5am. if we do a shuttle, we'll have to leave the cars at manker about x am, then drive back to the trailhead which will take y minutes. depending on how many y minutes it is from manker to trailhead, may not be able to use my car as a shuttle. will most likely leave from manker...just thinking aloud...have to be back by 630.

    April 29, 2009

  • Joseph Aziz

    Uh, it is all coming back to me now...So we're going to take exactly the same bush waking portion of trail...Damn it!

    April 29, 2009

  • Tim

    This hike is pretty much going to be hell. Other than Zé's recon mission, I don't know of anyone who has even attempted this route, much less succeeded.

    April 29, 2009

  • John Quan

    lol. i like pine scents!

    April 29, 2009

  • michael

    The "exploratory" hike we did (to prep for this much much longer main one) was the hardest off trail hike ive ever done..which is a fraction of the one were about to attempt..at times we were crawling on our hands and knees underneath the branches..im just sayin...crystal ball sees permanent pine scent in your future...

    April 29, 2009

  • John Quan

    yea, i'm a bit nervous too...hopefully andy shows up to plow a route.

    April 29, 2009

  • Carrie

    Hmmm, not sure about this.. how much brush are we talking here?

    April 29, 2009

  • John Quan

    anyone want to show up at 3, build a fire, sing a tune, roast some marshmallows and tell ghost stories with a headlamp under our chins?

    April 25, 2009

  • michael

    When you have a chance, can you send us some CRUDE .gpx tracking points for our GPS (despite the unpredictable ridge navigation).

    April 23, 2009

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