Monday, 6 August 2012

Baldy Pass Plus

It was a sunny and hot day today, so we decided to take advantage of the weather and see how far we could get up Baldy Pass. There's a couple of options from up there; the South peak of Mt. Baldy, several ways up Midnight Peak and just hanging in the pass.

The trip up isn't that interesting. First, you walk an old fire road, then you get to walk on the sunny side of a hot rocky creek valley.
The trail really is the rocky creek bed
Only as you get close to the pass after 3 km of walking do you see the South Baldy Ridge that can be climbed.
The ridge up to the first of the south Baldy peaks
The pass is blah. Go on 200 m and climb another 40 m, and it gets better. Continue on up another 60 m on the flank of "Midnight Peak" and it gets better still.
Looking up Midnight from the pass
Up here, you have clear views of the Hunchback Hills...
The Hunchback Hills
...a view of Jumpingpound Summit, where we have been several times...
Jumpingpound in the trees
...a view of Moose Mountain...
The fire lookout on Moose
...and you can see the Stony Nakoda Casino and the TransCanada, too.

We thought about climbing the south ridge of Baldy, but it looked steep and rugged.
The route climbs the ridge, and heads to the far peak
We thought about climbing Midnight Peak as others were doing.
The route up skirts the rocks to the right, then heads up 
5 folks on the ridge. Two others were climbing
But we ran out of time. We sat at lunch discussing what we had to do this week, and came to the conclusion that, in light of everything else we are committed to, we had to head home to deal with a damaged tire on my car. So we bailed after climbing only 550 m.

On the way down, at least the views of Nakiska and Mt. Sparrowhawk were nice.
Sparrowhawk on the left
It was 24° at the high point, and 31.5° at the car. Another good reason to climb mountains, even only part way.

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