I set my sights today on hiking Mt San Antonio (better known as Mt Baldy) which is the tallest peak in Los Angeles at 10,100 feet. There are generally three routes to the summit of which I’ve done one up and another down. There’s also a ski lift that runs halfway up for cheaters but I don’t even consider that one. The route I chose today was of course the hardest possible one with a 5600 foot elevation gain straight from the Mt Baldy visitor center on the “Old Baldy Trail”. Parking there even at 730 when I arrived was pretty tough but thankfully I found a spot, geared up, ate breakfast, and set out to conquer the peak.
Eventually I made it pretty high up and was getting above the tree line moving past 9000 feet with about 2 miles of hiking left to the summit. Unfortunately my prep for this hike has been spending 2 weeks at sea level just doing work, eating junk food, and not exercising preceded also by a month of doing absolutely nothing physical. Soo the altitude got to me and I couldn’t drink enough water to keep me afloat and headed uphill. I decided to call it a day there, hike a small ridge to 9500 feet, eat my lunch, and then head downhill.
It was an exhausting day. I also determined that I would have again run out of water since I got down to zero water right when I reached the car. So it was a good call to turn around. I brought nearly 4L of water this time but chugging it to fight the altitude and just the morning difficult climb certainly explained it. The weather was perfect with a start around 50 degrees and it didn’t get above 70 until I was almost at the bottom again. It was 90 on the way home which made me pine for AC but I’m glad I took the miata anyways since it needed to get driven.
It was cold enough in the morning to run the heat, wear a jacket, and put the windows up. Made me chuckle how I was sweating on the way home. That desert life!