Peak(s):  Bald Mtn A  -  13,684 feet
Date Posted:  06/22/2014
Date Climbed:   06/20/2014
Author:  rajz06
 Bald Mountain and All Her Lovely Humps  

Starting Point: 0.7 past Baldy Rd TH (10,940')
Peak Climbed: Bald Mountain A (13,684')
Route: North ridge
RT Distance: 6.7 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,760 feet
Group: Solo

With June 21st marking the Summer Solstice, today was my last chance to get a spring hike. Ever since I climbed another of its namesakes (Almagre aka Baldy on USGS topo maps), I've had my sights on Bald Mtn A. The weather gods had deigned to smile on this day and the only unknown was the amount of snow on the ridge, a chance I was willing to take. The trailhead to the North ridge is the end of the paved 520 (aka Baldy) road, which occurs ~1.4 miles from the intersection of Boreas Rd and 520 in Breckenridge. I drove up the somewhat rough dirt road to a pull-out at the 0.7 mile mark.

Pull-out on Baldy Road

Baldy road is the route leading to the ridge and it gently winds its way up the hillside.

Baldy Road

The plan was to stay on the road till 11,800' but as I discovered on my descent, this road can be entirely bypassed at the Iowa Mill around 11,200'. The road takes a hard left at Iowa Mill, a perfect spot to abandon it and slog ones way directly up the slope.

Iowa Mill

As my descent route shows, I essentially came straight down this grassy northwest slope from the radio towers at 12,700' to Iowa Mill avoiding the switchbacks of the meandering road completely - 1500 feet of elevation change in a scant 1.1 miles over tundra firma.

I stuck to the plan on my ascent, however, choosing to jog up the gentle 4WD road as it meandered up the hillside.

Still on the road

The reward for the longer route was the views of the glorious Tenmile range to the west.

View to the east

Besides shortening the trip, bypassing the road early would've also helped me avoid the inevitable snow fields that soon adorned the path.

Snow fields

At this point, I decided to use my microspikes which would stay on for the remainder of the ascent and until I was off the ridge on the return.

Around 11,800', I decided to abandon the road as the grassy northwest slope was just too inviting.

Northwest slope

I aimed straight for the radio towers at the top of the slope but a better approach would've been to shoot for the mound to the right, the first of Baldy's humps.

Aiming for the radio towers

Just over halfway up the slope, Baldy's north ridge came into view along with all of its attendant humps.

Almost on the ridge

The traverse over the airy north ridge is the reward for this approach. A trail continues where the road ends and winds through the humps before eventually petering out.

Oh my, what lovely humps you have!


On the ascent, I took a conservative approach skirting around most of the bumps and finding the path of least resistance. I figured I'd save the fun part for my return.

Trail over the ridge

Skirting the ridge towers

Navigating the ridge

But some walls just needed to be climbed and so I obliged.

Easy climb

Another easy rock wall

The next shot looks down the ridge. A Bactrian camel would kill for all those humps!

Did I mention humps?

The true summit doesn't appear until all previous humps have been dispatched.

Almost there!

A little over two hours after starting the hike, I was on the summit block, and ready to feast on the snow-capped peaks all around.

Grays and Torreys

The high 13ers of the Tenmile range drew my attention more than any others today. With some luck, I hope to be traversing the rugged ridge from Crystal to Atlantic later in the season.

The majestic Tenmilers

The vertical couloir and the ledge forming the cross on the on the east face of Mount of the Holy Cross was another unforgettable sight.

Northern Sawatch

The weather was perfect and the winds were gentle so I spent an hour on the summit enjoying the views and taking in all the beauty. Sufficiently energized by the good tidings of the mountains, I started my descent. I stayed on the ridge proper enjoying whatever little scrambling it had to offer.

Climb this!

I navigated the countless humps and then followed my ascent route down the northwest slope but didn't get back on the road until I was down to Iowa Mill.

Inviting grassy slope

The slope spits you right out at Iowa Mill

The grassy slope made for an effortless descent straight down to Iowa Mill, replete with lovely views of the Tenmile peaks to the west.


It was a memorable image of the last hurrah of spring and a fitting way to start yet another season.

Yours Truly

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Good work!
06/22/2014 23:20
Nice to see you posting up again


Thanks for the beta shots
06/23/2014 00:03
Tenmile still holding snow, sweet

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