at GR380492 and GR385487 (south of Mount Baldy South) again (!)
February 25, 2006
m (7,701 feet) and 2,342
m (7,682 feet) respectively
Elevation gain: 1,190 m total
Total ascent time: 5:05
Total descent time: 3:25
only thing missing from my superb trip up these two peaks last week was someone
to share it with and so I decided to return with a partner. Unfortunately,
Claudia Schiffer, my first choice, was on assignment, making more money in ten
minutes than I will in ten years and so I just took Mark.
there were several reasons for choosing to repeat a trip I had done only 7 days
all didnít go as planned. Firstly, the weather didnít cooperate: last week,
completely cloudy skies gave way to completely clear skies, with some incredible
transitional lighting effects in between; this week the clear sky in the morning
turned cloudy as we reached the first peak and there with no cool lighting
because of the very cold temperatures, we decided to go in our mountaineering
boots, instead of our scrambling boots and for some reason, they didnít
provide the good footing that my scrambling boots had last week. We were
constantly slipping on the snow-covered terrain and were frustrated by problems
on the slabby traverse from the first peak to the second.
we were both so physically depleted, before we even reached the first peak, an
attempt of the third was out of the question. We continued on to the second and
then did a very minor extension onto a nearby buttress, but had little energy to
do anything else. The severe cold also precluded the attempt to the third, where
we, more than likely, would have had to rappel a couple of sections to get down
to the connecting ridge.
We did enjoy some very pleasant scenery throughout the first part of the trip and Mark was certainly impressed with the beautiful connecting ridge between the peaks and the wonderfully steep, east face of the mountain, but it was not the triumphant and glorious return I was hoping for. Nevertheless, a slightly disappointing day out is better than no day out at all.
The west (left ) and south peaks of Mount Baldy
The lower section of the west ridge
A stray bullet whizzes passed my head; who knew Dick Cheney was in the area?
Higher up on the ridge, with a sea of familiar peaks to the west
More of the ridge, with the summit ridge to the right
Not a place to slip to your right
Mark above the crux step; easily downclimbed without snow, better circumvented when snow-covered
Heading up to the summit ridge
The summit ridge, with GR385487 and the extension to the right; the highest-looking peak at the far right is "Tiara Peak"
The final steps to the summit of GR380492
Mark traverse the ridge to the first summit
Starting the traverse to GR385487
More of the traverse
The beautiful and steep northeast face of GR380492
Not a place to slip to your left!
Mark approaches the lowpoint of the ridge
Same as above, with GR385487 ahead
Deep snow on the ridge
Mark approaches the summit of GR385487, with GR380492 behind
Mark at the summit
Me at the summit
Mark leads the way to the buttress just left of centre; the peak at the far left was our original objective
Same as above
At the end of the buttress, with GR385487 behind
Heading back to GR380492
The northeast face of GR380492 again