Mount Baldy Overview
Thanks to Snowbird/Alta ski resorts, Mount Baldy is usually closed to backcountry tourers during the mid winter season. Because of this a tour here is better saved for the early or late season when Alta and/or Snowbird are closed. The steep terrain of this mountain makes this peak reserved for experts only. The view down Little Cottonwood Canyon is one of the best in the canyon. With an average of 500+ inches of snowfall a year...there are runs on this peak that are skiable in July. This mountain has a little of everything. Cliffs, gullies, aprons, bowls, trees, chutes and some excellent couloirs...........these are just some of the types of runs that Mount Baldy has to offer.
Mount Baldy (Alta Side) Me skiing Mt Baldy Troy skinning up to Mt Baldy
Getting Up There
There are several routes to Mount Baldy.
1. From Snowbird- Head up the Tram or Peruvian Gulch till you reach the obvious ridge that divides Mineral Basin from Peruvian Gulch. When Snowbird is open and Alta is closed is the best time to do Baldy this way. Check with ski patrol on which ridges are closed and which ones are open. More often than not you have to hike up a more out of the way ridge located on the Mineral Basin/Living The Dream side of Baldy if you want to gain the summit.
Me Boot packing up Mount Baldy. Ron skinning up Peruvian Gulch enroute to Mount Baldy. Ron skinning up by Hidden Peak on the way to Mount Baldy
2. From Alta- Start by parking at the lowest parking lot (the Collins lot) and head up Collins Gulch till you hit the top of the Wildcat Chair lift and follow the steep ridge up till you gain the summit.
My dad hiking up Alta early season. Troy skinning up Mount Baldy
Decent Route DescriptionsThere are several runs that Mount Baldy has to offer..........
1. The Main Chute-
The Main Chute on Mount Baldy is usually the line of choice. The chute is wide, steep and is full of snow at just about anytime of year. In the late fall and early winter this chute seems and skis more like a skinny couloir. Late spring and early summer the couloir is more like its title, meaning more chute like.
The Main Chute in May Troy skiing the Main Chute on November 2, 2010 Skiing The Main Chute in late May Troy skiing the Main Chute on October 31st, 2010
2. The Tiny Chute-
A close runner up to the Main Chute is The Tiny Chute. Late in the year this chute is not a tiny as the name implies. However if you are planning on skiing this early season watch out for the rocks that are sure to hit your skis below. Really the best time of year to ski this shot is early May after a large storm track has occured.
The Tiny Chute in Mid May conditions
Looking up at The Tiny Chute. May 09
3. Living The Dream-
When the steeper lines of Mt Baldy are too icy to decend, Living The Dream can make an excellent warm up run. Because of the wideness of the bowl this is the easiest ski decent off of the summit of Mount Baldy.
Living The Dream
A known killer on Mount Baldy but a classic none the less. This north facing slide path is very comitting to say the least so skiing this line should be saved for LOW avalanche condtions for sure.
2 Skiers at the top of Pearls
5. The Comma Chute-
Further down the ridge line that seperates Alta from Snowbird lies a hidden gem. If you hit the "green house" above the Wild Cat chair lift and ski slightly down ridge you should see a sharp rock that turns skiers right. This is the entrance to the Comma Chute. SKIERS BEWARE this is not the only sharp rock around so bewary of sucker chutes. Once your in hit the hanging snow field and then make your way to ridge on your left. Head down till you get forced into the crux. Usually the crux is wide enough for skis but expert skiing skills are a must around here.
The Comma Chute
Avalanche skills, beacon, shovel, partner, probe and common sense. Skis are highly recommended.