Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mount Baldy to Ski Hut

Josh and I decided to attempt Mt. Baldy via the Ski Hut/Baldy Bowl trail. 
We ended up waking up late and didn't make it to the trail head at Manker Flats until about 11am. 
It was a warm sunny day and we started up the road toward San Antonio Falls.

Once we go to San Antonio Falls turn off, Josh realized he had forgotten his camera and I realized I had dressed way too warm for the hike. We pushed on anyway taking it slow.

We found the turn off for the Ski Hut trail without a problem and started the steep climb. I had only been a little ways up on this trail last year and it was steeper than I recalled. I feel it is as steep or steeper than Vivian Creek trail in San G.

I had been feeling off (for lack of a better word) for several weeks prior to this hike. The trail was doing wonders for resetting my emotional brain, but was totally kicking my ass! I had to stop several times and die a little before proceeding to the next shady spot.

In the distance we could see the Ski Hut coming more and more into view. Whenever we stopped to take note of its location, I'd jokingly tell Josh that I thought they were moving it further back each time.

Finally we reached the hut and I had to blow up the hill to a bench and get some glucose in my mouth. 
We sat for a bit until the ridiculously loud conversation of two hikers overwhelmed us and we moved to the back of the hut to relax.
Remember folks, human etiquette calls for the use of inside voices in consideration of others, even when outside. 

Sitting behind the hut we ate tons of snacks and enjoyed the day. There was a gentleman siting on a rock near us with a great view. I snapped a picture of him and was promptly photo bombed by a lizard doing push ups. Shortly after, a humming bird hovered loudly next to Josh. The bird hung in the air just long enough for us to catch the message that he had medicine for us. Humming Bird medicine is adaptability and the spread of joy to others and the world around us.

We thought long and hard about continuing up to the summit, but my body wasn't feeling tip top from bonking several times on the way up. Bonking is a runner's term for low blood sugar; that feeling where you'd just as well lay down and nap on the trail than hike it. Your body fights you at every step. For me, when I get to that point more than once on an ascent, I generally cannot catch up with the glycogen depletion and will eventually throw up. 
Ain't nobody got time for that.
We decided to call it and live to hike another day. 

On the way down we encountered a pair of Blue Jay's. One of them was interested in us and landed ten feet away on a branch. 
He then decided to fly to a higher branch as I went for my camera. Go figure. 
Blue Jay medicine is the proper use of personal power. Blue Jay warns you to develop your strengths fully and to avoid being 'a jack of all trades but a master of none'. 
Food for thought for Josh and I.

We continued down the trail chatting and taking pix of all the flowers, including the remaining snow plant hiding in the shade. Even on the way down it felt like a long mile and a half!

Once back at the fire road, we walked down to San Antonio Falls turn off and followed the hoots and hollers of people in the water. There was a group of boy scouts in red shirts lounging on the rocks and Josh was made an honorary member due to his outfit. There were some kids climbing up the falls without ropes or helmets. I hope they made it down safely.

We left the falls and headed back to the truck where we packed up and went to eat at The Hat. There's nothing better than a hot sandwich and a ton of onion rings to top off a good hike. After that we went to REI and I stocked up on Mountain House Turkey Tetrazinni for our upcoming trips. It's unhealthy how much I love Turkey Tetrazinni. 

Another great adventure with Josh. We will reattempt Baldy soon and do the loop over the Devil's Backbone riding the lifts back. I can't wait!

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