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 Peak(s):  San Luis Peak  -  14,014 feet
Baldy Alto  -  13,698 feet
 Post Date:  07/03/2007
 Date Climbed:   06/29/2007
 Posted By:  roozers42

 San Luis - Baldy Alto from Stewart Creek   

My friend Amy came out from Washington DC to hike and camp for the weekend so I decided it would be fun for her to climb her first 14er. Although she's an avid hiker, I wanted to pick something on the easy side since she really hasn't done much at altitude. I decided San Luis would be the perfect choice, but kept it in the back of my head that there were 13ers lurking around that we could also climb if the day went well...

We drove from Boulder to the Stewart Creek TH and set up camp right there at a nice spot. The mosquitos were out in force and all I had was some cutter bug spray (couldn't find the deet). Since we hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, we retired early and slept about 9 hours. Since the weather was going to be fantastic, we didn't start hiking until about 7:15 am. We made good time through the forest but my boots were feeling absolutely terrible. I'm breaking in new ones, but have worn them all this year and don't know why they felt so bad. We stopped in the basin for me to wrap my heels and adjust my boots a bit. We took a short break at the saddle and then headed up toward the ridge, making the summit in about four hours.

Amy on the way to the summit of San Luis
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I asked Amy how she was doing and if she wanted to traverse over to Baldy Alto since we would be able to drop back down into the Stewart Creek drainage. She felt good so we set out to climb her first 13er. The traverse is straightforward and mostly class 1 hiking with a bit of loose class 2/2+ scrambling as you near Baldy Alto, depending on what you want to climb.

Looking at the route to Baldy Alto (right) - Stewart is the gigantic peak in the back.
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Terrain near the summit
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Amy on the summit of Baldy Alto
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The summit register is without a pen or pencil so we were unable to sign it. Amy just couldn't understand how there could be as many people signing the San Luis register in two weeks as there were in seven years on Baldy Alto. "But this climb was so much more fun and rewarding than the trail that goes all the way up San Luis!" she said. I thought that was pretty awesome.

We headed down off the other side of Baldy Alto and chose the first drainage to drop down into. The footing was good and we only had a little bit of willow bashing to reach the trail at treeline.

Our descent route
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On the way back, my feet were killing me and I resolved to do the next day's climb in my tevas. At the last beaver pond before the parking lot, we came across a beaver swimming near his house!

My friend the beaver
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