Mount San Antonio via Ski Hut Trail- December 30, 2006
On a beautiful Saturday morning Tyler and Troy Schemper and Mark Vander Pol decided to see how far up the Ski-Hut trail we could go. The reason we weren't optimistic we couldn't get too far was because of the snow that fell the previous weekend. We did walk on snow for a good little bit on our way up to the summit, but nothing that we thought we needed crampons/ice-axes for. We saw a lot of people with those things strapped to their backpacks, disappointed they really didn't need them!
Tyler and Mark on the Ski-Hut trail. Faintly in the background and to the left you can see the summit.
Looking down into the valley.
Looking across to Ontario Peak.
Mark on the snow. After reaching the Ski-hut the trail heads along the bottom of "Baldy Bowl" and then heads up the ridge to the southwest of the summit. Because a lot of this area didn't seem to get a lot of sun, there was a good amount of snow remaining. But like I said earlier, nothing we didn't feel uncomfortable climbing. However, we did think going back down would be a little tougher, but more on that later.
As you can see it can get kind of windy up here as this tree was almost completely snapped off.
Getting a little higher looking across the valley at Ontario Peak. The north sides of the mountains were retaining a good bit of snow.
Mark and Tyler looking south. Above our heads are The Three "T's": Thunder, Telegraph, and Timber Mountains. A little further right is Cucamonga Peak.
The three of us standing in front of the San Gabriel Mountains.
This is looking west and you can see Catalina Island quite easily sitting out in the Pacific Ocean.
We decided to take the Devil's Backbone Trail off the summit. We had talked to some people on the summit who went up that way and they said there was minimal snow. We were unsure how going down the snow would have been if we came back the same way we came, so we decided to take this way down. I had been on this trail before, and Troy had for a good part of it as well. Here is Troy on some of the snow we did have to travel on.
The bad part about taking the Devil's Backbone Trail is that if you don't take the ski-lift down from Baldy Notch you have to take the 3.5 mile fire-road down. That isn't bad (it is free!) but it is still a dirt road. However, walking into a sunset is always fun!