Mt Baldy Summit WindFest 2011

Having been our of any sort of high elevation for a while, I figured I would try to see what little thin air endurance I might have left after my leave of absence (broken leg).  Mt Baldy is one of my favorite places in Southern California.  I have a season pass there, which went totally unused this year, and have done a bunch of winter ascents and snowboard descents of the peak but have never done anything there when it was snowless.  My usual partners were all busy but the timing worked for me.  Solo trip it is...


One of the few clear shots.  The clouds were screaming by.

While NOAA and The Weather Channel would have lead me to believe that the overnight low would be around 40 degrees at elevation and a daytime high of 65-70, I had a feeling they were wrong and packed for armageddon.  Bringing along the cold weather gear and mountaineering tent brought a 7-8 pound penalty on a trip where I was trying to go light and see if my leg still worked.


Tent bound as soon as it was set up.

The low ended up being around 22F.  Water and feet froze despite the extra layers.  The winds were pretty constant at 20-30  mph and gusted to double that.  Nighttime was a bit of a beat down.

Hiking up was an interesting experience.  Despite all the forecasts calling for clear skies, the peak was shrouded in a thick wet cloud that alternately soaked and froze you all the way to the peak.  On the way up from the west it was fine because of the effort involved, but once I reached the peak, the winds and low temperatures didn't make for a pleasant picnic spot. Onward we go.


On the peak facing West Baldy.


Obligatory plaque shot.



Along the ridge, known as the Devil's Backbone, there were a number of unprepared hikers that started at the ski resort and didn't know how bad it was going to get before the peak.  I bet they didn't plan on getting snowed/sleeted/hailed/rained on.


The hike down was pretty straightforward once the ski area was reached.  Big, wide, loose trail that was pretty steep in sections so I had to make my own switchbacks in order to keep from sliding with a loaded pack.

Back at the notch.  It's always nice to end a hike at a bar.  Especially one called the Yacht Club.


Update submitted for Inyo NF map app


We submitted an update for our Inyo NF map that makes it more clear what you should do if there is a download failure. We also made it easier to leave us reviews in the AppStore and added some more info to the info page.

Hope that helps.

Let us know how the update goes.

PMO

Inyo NF iPhone app is available in the AppStore

More are on the way, but the first one is up. Download it and let us know what you think or what maps you would like to see us release first.

Currently, it is the only thing that shows up if you search for Inyo National Forest or TT4software.

We think it looks pretty good.

Cedar Creek Falls

After hearing about this place for years and having been to another one of San Diego's backcountry oddities, the Three Sisters Waterfalls, I was excited to see what this supposedly taller and steeper had to offer.

The first thing it had to offer was a lot of snakes.  They were everywhere.



On the road down to the trailhead, Eagle Peak Rd, which is a long dirt road that gets narrow and steep at the end, there were smashed snakes everywhere.  When we got down to the trailhead we saw an incredible amount of cars crammed in every which way and knew we were in for one of "those" hikes.



Visible from the trailhead, but very far off, is Midred Falls.  Apparantly some guy died there this winter in a canyoneering/rappelling accident.  We still haven't gotten a straight story on that...



After about 2.5 miles and a slight detour to make the hike into a loop instead of an out and back we came to the top of the falls.  There is a really cool pool that is formed right before the lip that seemed to be a popular swimming spot.



I would guess that the water falls about 100ft almost straight down.  I have seen other pictures of this spot after a good rain and it looked more like Yosemite than San Diego.



I can't describe how shocking this sight was.  There were at least 100 teenagers down there swimming, drinking, smoking weed and jumping off the rocks.  The water was beautifully clear.  What a contrast...



The side trail that goes from the top of the falls down to the bottom is more of a dusty rock scramble than a trail.  There were a lot of people attempting it and failing.



Another snake.  A rosy boa according to our bespectacled friend here...



The scene at the bottom of the falls was more like an underage frat party than a tranquil backcountry destination but it certainly my it interesting.  We got some video of two guys jumping from the top at the urging of the crowd but I can't figure out how to post it.





Our own iPhone app saved a bit of extra hiking by letting us know we had overshot the approach to the falls on our little detour.

The hike back up was a grueling 2.5 of very consistent grade and we made good time.  It it was hot it would really have been exposed and way more water would have been needed.

Good stuff.


Our iPhone Apps should be available sometime this week.

The wait is over. We hope. The first of our iPhone apps have been submitted and *should* be available sometime soon... Thanks for your patience. Inyo National Forest will be first. Shortly followed by Cleveland, San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests.

All of them are GPS enabled and allow for the same high resolution scrolling maps available here online.

The downloads are a little big because you are taking the all files with you. No internet connection required after the first download.

Enjoy!
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