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.

Image
Pull-out on Baldy Road


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

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
Still on the road


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

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
Oh my, what lovely humps you have!


Image


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.

Image
Trail over the ridge


Image
Skirting the ridge towers


Image
Navigating the ridge


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

Image
Easy climb


Image
Another easy rock wall


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

Image
Did I mention humps?


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

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
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.

Image
Inviting grassy slope


Image
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.

Image
Unforgettable!


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

Image
Yours Truly

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




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


 Comments or Questions
Alpineair
Good work!
06/22/2014 23:20
Nice to see you posting up again


EatinHardtack

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



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.




© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.