Baldy-Cervidae traverse

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A new, even longer way to climb Cervidae

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Sean had a plan. I think part of it included trying to kill me. But always a sucker for a new local outing, I accepted his invitation.

We met at the silver bridge at 8am, leaving my car and shuttling up Highway 21 in his. We were on our feet at about 8:30 and heading cross-country for a ridge above Badger Gulch. But first we had to climb through the basalt cliffband, which was a little slippery in the wet.

Then it was marching steeply uphill through the sagebrush with occasional postholing in the rotten, rain-soaked snow. Not a lot of pictures on the high-humidity, foggy-glasses approach. We were most of the way to the summit of Baldy before we finally donned our snowshoes.

Clouds

Baldy sits back from the end of the ridge a bit. This is looking down at Mores Creek before we got all the way to Baldy. We hit the top of Baldy at about 10. It is a marked bump on the map, but not our highpoint for the day.

Hwy 21

From near our highpoint, this is looking back at Baldy. In the bigger version, you can see some of the road we followed for a bit.

Up until this point, we have been heading east . It's been a nice hike, but if anything we have gotten farther from our destination, not closer.

Baldy

But our route was starting to swing more southerly and the snowshoeing was getting easier. Or at least flatter. Up high, we finally got to fresh snow and a more supportive crust.

The sun teased us a bit, but never did really come out.

Fresh snow on the ridge

Then, the route turns and starts heading west. At least it was downhill here.

That's Cervidae off on the left, perhaps?

Dowhill postholing

There is a lot of downhill on this route. Interspersed with frequent uphill sections. Sean had mapped it over every bump in the ridge, and apparently he did not want to get lost by leaving the mapped route?

Well, at least he had mercy on me by doing ALL the trail breaking to this point.

The panorama below shows Mores Creek on the lower left, something close to the ridge we ascended, and the highpoint of Baldy. It also shows we hadn't made it very far from Sean's car in our first 3.5 hours of hiking.

Uphill postholing
Baldy panorama
The cloud and fog really rolled in for a while as we moved around and past Mack's Peak. When the sky lifted a bit, we were still doing our up-and-down thing, but at least we were heading south now. And Cervidae was in view for real this time (after several hopeful, but false, sightings). Heading south
We hit the top of Cervidae at a few minutes before 1. We still had some snowshoe work to do, but the little bump at the lower right in the picture held our route to the car. So at least we had "dry land" in sight now. Sean on Cervidae

We paused just long enough for the summit shot, then headed quickly down the ridge. I was really tired, so it was nice to see that Sean was sweating, too.

On the way down, we snowshoed across several patches of bare dirt, joking about getting elk poop on our snowshoes. Finally we got to consistent dirt and removed them.

Then we ran into a large herd of deer, perhaps 50 or so. Skipping the last big bump of the ridge, we navigated the soft trails and tip-toed across some icy trail on the north side of the ridge. And then we were at the car right at 2pm. A quick shuttle and I spent the rest of the day in the recliner. This was a fun hike, with tremendous views and interesting terrain. But it was also a hard hike due to elevation, snow conditions, and fast pace.

Summit

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