Big Baldy is a short peak at the foot of Everest Ridge below the West Face of Mount Timpanogos. It’s about 8750′ high, and from many angles in the valley (Utah County) it’s almost invisible, as it blends in with the rugged steep terrain surrounding it. I decided to take Dallin (11) up with an overnight partway up, as good training for some Colorado Fourteeners I would like to do as a backpack.
I had planned on camping around 7200′ to make summit day shorter, but as we headed up the trail I saw such a beautiful spot to camp with easy access to the creek for water, so we stopped at about 6800′ instead. We set up the tent and had freeze dried Chili Mac for dinner, followed by some Oreo Crunch Cupcakes that Angie sent with us. I like to use the little disposable microwave storage containers as bowls. The lids seal, they’re light, you can reuse them over and over, and if they do break or blow away you’re not really out anything.
We tucked in for the night with our water bottles, and slept until a little after 6 AM. We had freeze dried Scrambled Eggs with Bacon Bits, which Dallin put in his Chili Mac residue container. We then had hot chocolate packets and headed over to the creek for water. I used my Katadyn Hiker Water Microfilter dangling the inlet filter screen in a slow deep spot in the creek, and pumped into a couple of Nalgene bottles, pouring one into a Nathan water bottle and topping it off again. Then for perhaps way too much safety, I also used a SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Handheld UV Water Purifier in each of the bottles.
We zipped our stuff into the tent to keep it from maybe blowing away, as it was lightly snowing and windy up high when we left. The trail was pretty obvious for the most part until we got closer to the Baldy Saddle and the trail disappeared in the snow. We cut some out by following a deer path back around, and made the Saddle. We followed the trail along the North ridge until the snow got so bad and we saw a trio of whooping trail runners on the ridge top, so we headed up the snow, postholing until eventually Dallin crawled on his stomach to the top. We ran into Jared, who was heading to the summit, and he mentioned it was better to fork over to the ridge crest at one point that I did my best to remember for the trip down.
At the top we talked to Jared for a bit, called home, ate some Milka Milk Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts – maybe the best summit snack ever, and headed back down. We managed to figure out the ridge top transition to the Battle Creek fork, and went down and down and down. We passed a trio of trail runners headed up the Battle Creek Trail, and I was contemplating if it was the same trio and they were lapping Baldy. Hmmmmm….
We spent about 15 minutes drinking and eating, then packed and headed down. Dallin’s pack was lighter, having consumed most of the food and water, so he was a bit more chipper than on the way up, but still pretty beat. At the rappel area we paused to watch for a minute, and soon were at the car.
Day One we did 1.87 miles with 1562′ of elevation gain and 20′ of loss – Garmin Stats Here
Day Two we did 8.29 miles with 2084′ of elevation gain and 3611′ of loss – Garmin Stats Here
Overall: 10.16 miles with 3642′ of gain and 3631′ of loss (altitude measurement with affordable gear is iffy enough overall anyway that 11′ of difference is pretty good).