Saturday's hike brought us into a new league. Meet Mt. Baldy. A 14 mile hike noted as extremely strenuous with a 4,300 elevation gain. Our prep work included making 3 PB & J bagels, filling 9 water bottles, purchasing 2 apples and 6 Cliff bars, and stuffing it all into our 2 backpacks. Along with the nutrients, we produced a self-made First Aid kit just in case.
Lathered in sunscreen (well, my sweets was at least) and dressed for cold and hot temps, we left LA around 6:15am. 54 miles later, we reached the Angeles National Forest Visitor's Center to scoop our Adventure Pass. After a potty break and a deep breath, we were off.
The first 3 miles are paved courtesy of a fire road, making it easy on your ankles. With the sun blazing, we rounded the corner to meet the Mt. Baldy Notch. A few more miles north and we passed the ski lodge and snackbar. (*Note: we have a new snowboarding spot!) In the spirit of being adventurous, we took the road less traveled aka the ski run (where the rocks are slippery and the slope is too steep to hike). But we did it.
As we entered the Devil's Backbone portion, the views were breathtaking shifting from mountainous-city views to the deserts of land for miles upon miles. The path was narrow making us conscious in effort and technique.
Saving the best for last, the steepest part was a 45 minute trek to the top. Between zig-zagging switchbacks and straight up trails, we huffed and puffed to the top. Upon arrival, the atmosphere was amazing. A plethora of people, sitting exhausted yet elated, and enjoying the challenge as well as a much needed snack. Such a sense of accomplishment and community.
The road down was smooth, and with good conversation, the time flew by. There is a great sense of growth within a relationship when two lovers are able to come together, face a challenge, and succeed with flying colors.
Next up: Half Dome!