I decided to finally hike to the highest peak in Los Angeles after a few failed attempts at going up with friends. Several hiking groups that I was a part of always scheduled the hike when I was traveling, and I couldn’t wait any longer to reach the summit of Mount San Antonio or “Mt. Baldy.” So, I packed my hiking bag, took a sweater, and climbed to an elevation of 10,064 feet on my own.
I planned to be on the mountain for about seven hours that day. I ended up taking four and half liters of water with me—three in the water bladder in my backpack, and one in a half liter in my large water cannister. There were a couple of PB&Js, dried fruits and nuts, and my Target-brand sunglasses. I packed everything, except for the water cannister, in the bag and shoved it into the car. It was a little cooler at the start of the trail in the mountain city of Mt. Baldy, so, I ended up putting my sweater on at the start of my hike. I matched the sun’s rise in elevation as I hugged the spiraling outskirt of the mountain and clung to my nearly frozen hands in the late October weather.
When I did catch up to the sun its rays beat down on me, not as bad the summer sun on the surrounding peaks I climbed in summer, but enough for me to have to remove my sweater. I continued on the path and followed the Devil’s Backbone trail all the way up the wide curve that traced the mountain’s spine. The wind picked up momentum as it tried to shove me off of the narrow dirt road and I had to put my sweater back on to block the wind that whipped small pieces of dirt at my skin. My sunglasses and face covering became a shield for the dusty debris that flew past me at high speeds.
The journey up the mountain felt as though I was traversing through an entirely different worlds on top of the peak. The towering boulders, barren earth, and wild-looking trees transformed my view in to what seemed like something other than our planet. I was eventually greeted with a large gray nameplate and an amazing view of what felt like the entire world.
I ended up taking a faster trail down and cut a bit of time going down the Baldy Bowl trail. I wouldn’t recommend it sense it’s so steep that it feels like you’re going to topple off of the mountain a bit. However, the entire hiking trip ended up taking me about six and a half hours to complete.
I would eventually like to go up to the top again with a team of people. Summiting a peak is so much more fun with friends to share in the journey and the experience.