22 August 2014

Mountain Row: Mount Burnham and Mount Baden-Powell

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3

(Day 3 of 2 3) I am up with the moon again, but this time after a wonderful night's sleep. The wind blew fiercely for a couple of hours with the sunset, but with my feet turned into it, my head was nicely sheltered. Once it stopped, it was just cool, 9000 foot air all night. The lights of the distant cities in the plains beyond the foothills are lovely. Looking over things in the morning, I find that there was a bit of moisture put down where the wind was blowing in the evening. After breakfast in the dark, there is enough time to head back to Mount Hawkins for a bit of nonsense and be there for the dawn.

crescent moon over the dawn light
Up with the moon and a couple of planets.

dawn light turning into morning
The sun is rising, most definitely.

burned out log with a twist
A little bit of fire art that caught my eye each time when walking east.

Back at camp, everything has had just enough sun to dry out and is ready to put away and start for the next peak. Mount Burnham is another new peak for me. The map shows trail all the way over the peak as well as the official PCT route around the side. It looks like the peak is just about at the center of this trail, but I decide to be a stickler for the route and climb it from the far side as a spur. Faint trail leads up on the near side while the PCT drops a little. There are numerous campsites in what would have been the lee side of the mountain in the previous evening's wind. A short climb with switchbacks puts me back on the ridge line and next to a much heavier trail. As I am dropping my pack for the spur, the first backpackers of the day pass the other way skipping the peak. It turns out to be a ridiculously short 250 feet from the east side of the mountain to climb to the peak.

a valley with treed slopes
Looking down the Iron Fork of the San Gabriel River.

treed peak through the trees
Looking back at Throop Peak from Mount Burnham. Burnham is a little shorter than Throop.

ridge leading to Mount Baden-Powell
Mount Baden-Powell from the trail back down Mount Burnham.

Climbing along the ridge, there is a trail marked with a cairn that likely comes down from the top of Mount Baden-Powell. The trail goes past a few gorgeous trees.

extra wide tree
This tree is even more exquisite from the other side, but the morning sun makes that a very difficult photograph.

purple trumpets
A very few late flowers can be found.

sign for the spur trail to Baden-Powell
The last push up to the top of Mount Baden-Powell.

Once I get to the official spur up to the top of Baden-Powell, there is a lot more traffic. There are already people on the peak and more people coming up the trail below. This peak is also a repeat for me. There is a large Boy Scout monument and a couple of benchmarks labeled "North Baldy" at the top. The top is treeless for good views in all directions. Numerous campsites can be found heading south over the peak a short way.

steep hillsides to a distant valley floor
Looking down into Mine Gulch and Vincent Gulch below the east side of the mountain.

square bit of concrete with a pyramid at the top
The Boy Scout monument at the top of Mount Baden-Powell.

easily recognized rolled up white rocks far below
Far below, the Devil's Punchbowl is a light section of turned up rocks at the edge of the plains.

Once at the top of Baden-Powell, there is no where to go except down. And down. And down some more. The switchbacks are a favorite for people training to day hike Mount Whitney. I visit Laurel Spring on the way down to check on its water. The spur trail is a narrow cut along the rock stopping just short of a vertical rend in the earth where the spring comes forth. There is no water visible today and the plants around it are not particularly lush.

flowers growing out a hillside that does not look particularly wet
Laurel Spring does not seem to have any accessible water at the moment and the dirt under the flowers is not particularly wet looking.

A few more switchbacks and I am at the parking lot. This trail has also been adopted by a volunteer group, and there is a sign to say so. Actually, there are a lot of signs. My feet hurt after traveling nearly 42 miles in less than 48 hours.

signs at the trailhead
A few of the signs at the bottom of Baden-Powell.

©2014 Valerie Norton
Posted 31 August 2014


Mark Subbotin said...

Epic trip Val, and at a time of year when those lower desert trails get REALLY warm. The 9000-ft nighttime air had to have been paradise.

Valerie Norton said...

Yeah, my primary reason for checking the weather was not to see if it would rain but to see if I would melt from the heat. The lowest point is 4540 feet, so it could be worse. I was feeling pretty happy about staying up on Throop. Not sure epic can quite be applied to a 46 hour trip. Surely, that should be reserved an end-to-end stab at The Long Trail at least.