This is a picture taken from my visit to Silver Glance Lake three weeks prior to attempting to reach the summit of Red Baldy. Luckily, all the snow was gone when we returned.
I had been up to Silver Lake a couple of times before during the spring and summer of this year, and each time I'd gone, the scenery was completely different, and I found myself exploring a little more each time. After returning from the first trip to Silver Lake, I heard about Silver Glance Lake which is about 1000 feet above Silver Lake. The second trip to Silver Lake, we bushwhacked up to Silver Glance Lake, where we saw Red Baldy. While we wanted to tackle it, we just didn't have the time that day to do it.
Upon returning home, I did some research on Red Baldy and was stoked to find out about a route from Silver Glance lake to the top. I was then determined to try it.
Jessica and I left at 6:45am from my place in Provo, and hit the trailhead at Silver Lake Flat Reservoir right at 8am. The weather couldn't have been any better. It had rained up there the night before and the overcast skies kept the temperature under 75 degrees during our entire hike. Without the cooperating weather, I don't think we would have even tried Red Baldy. We saw just a handful of people on our way to Silver Lake. We covered the 2.2 miles up to the lake in just under an hour. After some pictures, we decided to hike up to Silver Glance. Unfortunately, I missed the trail up there, so I resorted to route finding up to Silver Glance. We saw only one person up there, and we chatted for a minute about our hike up.
It was there that I unveiled to Jessica my grand plan to summit Red Baldy looming ahead of us. She was a little apprehensive at first, especially since it was starting to drizzle. Since we were at an elevation of about 9925 ft, I convinced her that we should at least get to 10,000 ft. By the time we reached 10,000 feet, the drizzle was gone and the clouds weren't as threatening, and Jessica was all for it, so up we went!
From there, instead of taking the recommended path from Silver Glance Lake to Red Baldy which involved a couple extra miles of switchbacks, I decided to go ahead and tackle this one head on, and just scramble straight up the scree and talus to the top.
We made good time scrambling over the beachball sized rocks. The higher we got the small the rocks which made us proceed with more caution. I can imagine that scrambling up the large red rocks during the heat of the day, would make putting your hands on them feel more like a game of 'Hot Potato.' We picked a spot where it looked to be the best route to ascend and we took it. I had picked out a gully which look favorable to offer the best and safest scrambling route. We made it to what we thought was the peak only to find that it was a false summit. Luckily, after just an additional twenty minute scramble we made it to the top. The views were spectacular in all directions. Looking southwest we could see all the lakes we'd hiked passed and we could even see Tibble Fork Reservoir and the wakes of boats on Silver Lake Flat. We had our first views of White Pine Lake which was gorgeous. White Baldy and Twin Peaks were on either side of us as well.
This is the view of the direction we took to the summit. Silver Lake Flat is on the left side of the picture, with Silver Lake (top) and Silver Glance Lake (bottom) both in the lower right. In the background you can see the backside of Mt. Timpanogos. Box Elder Peak is in the top right. This is the view northwest of the summit of Red Baldy. That is White Pine Lake in the middle, with Pfeifferhorn being the peak in the distance on the upper left.
After taking some pictures and relaxing on the top, enjoying the fact that we had the whole summit to ourselves, we decided to head on down due to some ominous clouds coming our way. While it was interesting at parts during our descent on the scree and talus, we made good time down to Silver Glance Lake, and the rest of the hike back to Silver Lake Flat was a breeze. All in all it took us only three and a half hours to summit Red Baldy and two hours and fifteen minutes to get back to our car. It was my first of hopefully many, if not all of the 11,000' Utah peaks!