Manker Flat trailhead. Take the service road to San Antonio Falls to access the Sierra Club Hut trail that folks use to go to the Sierra Club Hut and climb up to Mt. Baldy.
Author: Mike Zimmerman
Date: June 27, 2004 2:50 PM
Follow the San Antonio Ski Hut Trail route as if you are heading up to the Ski Hut. When you take the turn off to the left off of the fire road, head up the trail that goes to the Sierra Club Ski Hut. Look for a rusted register box on the right side of the trail. You will notice that the trail makes a sharp turn towards the north as you hike up from the register box, travel up the trail approximately 40 meters past the register box. There is a use trail that goes up to the right, follow this up onto the ridge.
This is the ridge that you will follow all the way up and is the SE Ridge, called Register Ridge, that goes up toward the summit of Mt. Harwood. Stay on the ridge, which is pretty steep, and keep climbing up. You will come to a distinct flat spot, about 3/8 of a mile below the Baldy Notch Trail. There is also an outcrop of rocks here that one can turn to the right or left to get around, or scrmble directly through which would be class 3. From here, this is the steepest part of the route in which you gain about 800 feet in a quarter of a mile. Eventually, the climb up the SE Ridge meets the Baldy Notch Trail, just SE of the summit of Mt. Harwood. Turn left on the trail and head west toward the summit of Mt. Baldy.
The elevation gain is the same as the San Antonio Ski Hut Trail and the distance is probably about the same. I recommend the San Antonio Ski Hut Trail, which has a sign along the way down that says Baldy Bowl Trail, for a descent route.
This is a strenuous varation to climb Baldy, it has some nice views on both sides of the ridge and if you want some solitude from the weekend crowds, this is a good option. If you do this climb after all of the snow has melted, bring plenty of water, since there are no water sources until you get down to the SA Ski Hut, where there is a small run-off stream.
Ice ax and crampons may be necessary during the winter and early spring. There may be a couple of steep spots where a short, light rope could be useful, if the snow is hard or icy for a snow belay. There are plenty of live trees to use for anchors on the ridge, if necessary. Snow shoes may be necessary depending on snow conditions, but the route may be too steep to use these, but they can be useful when one gets to the Devil's Backbone Trail to the summit of Mt. Baldy. During times of no snow, good sturdy hiking boots are recommended along with plenty of water. Trekking poles are recommended, if one likes using those for when one gets to the trail at the end of the route.
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