Mount San Antonio (Mount Baldy)

June 28, 2006

See the 2003 page for more details and pictures.  This is the third time I did the hike, my favorite hike so far in SoCal, and it was the best.  I got up at 4am as usual, but was a little slow getting going and didn't make it out of the gas station until 4:45am.  I started the hike at 6:12am.  The weather was perfect, and I saw almost no one as usual.  A couple trail runners on Devil's Backbone as I was heading down (they were going up), and one or two hikers at the end.  This was the first time I did the hike without my poles, I believe, and it went fine.  My knees were in some pain going down but they are with the poles anyway.  Hopefully they're getting stronger.

I didn't feel like I was in very good shape for this hike, so going uphill I just plodded along and tried to keep a steady if slow pace.  However I'd confused the height of the mountain with San Jacinto, so I thought it was 10,800 feet, and also my altimeter (part of the Polar heart-rate monitor, which I wore) was measuring low.  I was surprised then to find that when the altimeter read 9800 feet and I thought I still had 1000 feet to go that I had in fact reached the top!  I was also shocked how fast and easy it was this time--less than 2:30 to make it up.  I must have been in worse shape than I thought back in 2003, and better shape than I thought this year (probably the climbing at Tahquitz the previous week had helped).  Time down was also much faster than before, so overall an hour faster than two years ago and over 2 hours faster than the first time.  Although there were some very slow sections in the drive home I made it back by 12:45pm, so just an 8 hour half-day to do a great 12 mile hike up a mountain, including the drive.  Los Angeles is so convenient!


Distance up: 5.1 miles
Distance down: 6.8 miles
Total distance: 11.9 miles
Time up: 2:28
Time on top: 0:11
Time down: 2:07
Total Time:  4:46