Baldy V / 鮑爾迪孤峯之五

Baldy radio towers
Baldy radio towers

See more trip photos here.

Last weekend I made a lackluster trip out to Spokane. In turn, the only highlight was hiking the Iller Creek Trail in the Dishman Hills Conservation Area. Before I left town, I got an invitation to climb in the Olympic Peninsula. While out east, I kept wondering how nice it would’ve been to be in the mountains instead.

The Lowdown on Baldy

Access: TP Jim Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 1260′-3225′

Gear:
none

GPS track: available

East of the Mountains

The pup and I went to Magnuson Park Off-Leash Area on this rainy morning. Afterward, I decided to do a short hike out east. Morning snow and spin-outs over Snoqualmie Pass had forced freeway closure. But when I rechecked the conditions after the park, the pass was now open. The weather east of the mountains also looked a lot better.

My initial plan was to walk around Frenchman Coulee. But with a late start, I didn’t want to lose more daylight by going farther east. Just as I drove past Ellensburg, WA, I decided to shorten the drive by going up Baldy instead. It had been over two years since our last trip. So it was time to revisit to one of our rainy day favorites.

Today's crew on Baldy
Today’s crew on Baldy

See more trip photos here.

The West Ridge

We parked just outside of the Big Pines Campground. Then we crossed the road and followed the defined trail toward the west-northwest ridge. However, the path we took didn’t take us up to the crest. But instead, it went up through a gully to reach the west shoulder at 2100′. This part was perhaps the steeper part of the entire climb.

From the shoulder, the trail then merged with the one from the west-northwest ridge. The expansive view of the river canyon was gradually forming. We continued to follow the path on the crest while enjoying the landscape. This trip was our fifth time on this peak. Yet, I always managed to discover new angles to savor the scenery.

North-to-south panoramic view
North-to-south panoramic view

See more trip photos here.

Baldy Summit Plus Outro

The weather had been cloudy and somewhat windy up to this point. At one hour before sunset time, the sun finally graced us with its presence. It never ceased to amaze me the difference in lighting with the evening sunshine. I especially loved the lights and shadows created by the massive undulating ridgelines to the north.

We got a late afternoon start past 3 PM. So we stayed through the golden hour before heading back down. The soft yet vibrant evening colors were a real treat. It’s such a drastic change from the usually harsh lighting I get at the height of the day.

Thanks for a rain-free day
Thanks for a rain-free day

See more trip photos here.

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