OverviewThis is a fun and much different method of climbing Old Baldy. Instead of taking a route which is often crowded, one can take a quiet scenic route that provides a higher sense of adventure and some backcountry peace and quiet.
The route ideally starts in Stockton Flats, and heads west to a canyon between Harwood and Dawson. Near the western terminus of this canyon, one moves up a long wide gully up to the summit of Baldy.
The route is easy snow from 35 to 50 degrees or so with no technical portions. 4,000ft of elevation gain, with about half of it gained on the face.
I rated this route a grade 3, though it can be completed as a grade 2. The reason is the canyon on the approach, which changes dramatically each year due to avalanche debris. It's somewhere in between the two grades.
Getting ThereExit the 210 at Sierra Avenue, and head north. This road becomes Lytle Creek Road as it moves through the town of Lytle Creek and Scotland, and later 3n06 as it turns to gravel. Take this road until you reach the gate where the road turns towards Baldy Notch. Park here.
Route DescriptionHiking from your car in Stockton Flats, head west towards Harwood's Northeast Ridge. Aim for where the ridge terminates, as this is the mouth of the canyon you need to access. Hike through this canyon to near its terminus. The canyon ends at Baldy-Dawson saddle. Just shy of this is the gully you need to enter.
Ascend this gully until you reach the summit.
Descent is best handled by downclimbing the Northeast Ridge of Harwood, or moving further east and hiking down the end of Devils Backbone Ridge, which conveniently deposits you at your vehicle.
Taking the road from Baldy Notch back to your vehicle takes a while. :-)
Essential GearThe usual axe, crampons, and helmet. Skis would be a wonderful addition.
Sam's TR on his site (Nice beta photo on here)
Sam's TR on SGMDF