Gain: ~5,000 feet
Distance: 8+ miles
The ultimate short cut to Baldy. Steep, yet satisfying. This well-traveled use trail splits off near the beginning of the Ski Hut trail and runs straight up Register Ridge before intersecting with the Devil's Backbone trail just below Mt. Harwood. It's steep, but not particularly loose or dangerous, with minimal exposure (but fantastic views to both sides of the ridge). I will also summit Harwood and West Baldy, but you can opt out of these if you like.
Slight change in plans: After we summit, I'm going to head down the Backbone trail to the Notch (where we can relax with a beer and a bite before heading down the fire road), but you are free to descend via the quicker Ski Hut route, if you prefer.
(Did I mention that Register Ridge is steep?)
You will need a National Forest Adventure Pass to park at Manker Flat. They can be purchased at the Baldy Visitor Center in Baldy Village (en route to Manker).
WHOM DO I SUE: This is not an official organization chartered to make certain any level of safety greater than when you venture into the Wilderness by your lonesome; if you want something like that seek out the Sierra Club with their rules, regulations and signed waivers of liability. Do not expect organizer(s) to check the qualifications of anyone you are hiking or climbing with. Any questions asked of you when you sign up is to ensure the organizer(s) safety, nothing more. If you have doubts about going on this particular meetup, you should find someone you trust, go alone or choose not to participate.