Red Baldy Spring Summit

Mike K

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Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
845
I'd been itching to get out and do a spring summit. Having had a busy April and seeing the snow melting quickly motivated me to get out. Always willing buddies Lane, Dave, and Bryce were game to tackle one of our long time Utah Wasatch favorites - Red Baldy!

(Pictures courtesy of Lane and me).

We got up early and met at 5:45 am at the mouth of AF Canyon. We drove up to Silver Lake Flat and then took some time to get our gear organized (snowshoes, axes, crampons, and the Swiss Bobs).

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Some nice early morning alpenglow on Timp.

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We didn't hit snow until above Silver Lake (it was still 95% frozen). Definitely a higher snow line than we're used to this time of year. =(

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We made our way up to Silver Glance Lake. The views from above Silver Lake never disappoint.

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Our route (to the right) which leads almost directly to the summit of Red Baldy (save for a 10-15 minute ridge hike to the actual summit) comes into view.

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Working our way up the wide couloir (if it can be labeled that). The snow was soft and made for good safe steps. 1 out of the 4 didn't even bother putting on crampons. None of us felt the need to get the axes out even when it got pretty steep as we ridged out.

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Just made it to the ridge! Sweet views all around.
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The knife-edged ridge hike to the actual summit was a little spicier than I had remembered. Dave led the way and made some good steps for us. It still had my attention!

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The guys hitting the summit as I take my time on the knife-edge ridge
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The summit shot!
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Working our way back along the ridge line
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Prepping for the glissading (we actually used axes/trekking poles to arrest ourselves down to where we could let 'er rip with the Bobs.

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Looking back at our fun slide
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Bryce lost his ice axe somewhere just above Silver Glance so he hiked back up to get it. Lane, Dave, and I decided we needed to do some Swiss Bob racing. We hiked up this steep hill about 5 times having fun racing down.

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Bryce and Dave manned up and did a Polar Plunge into Silver Lake! Brr!
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Another successful Red Baldy summit! THE END.

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Mike K

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
845
This looks like an awesome hike. Must have been a blast gloss adding down those open areas.
Thanks, it's a great hike. Conditions were nice for the fun slide - nice and smooth...the snow could have been a little more firm. But, no complaints.
 

regehr

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Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,509
Hey awesome. What was the date of this climb? Red Baldy is one of my favorites and I'm planning on climbing from the north sometime soon but I don't have a read on the weird snowpack this year. Sounds like conditions are great though.
 

Mike K

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Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
845
Hey awesome. What was the date of this climb? Red Baldy is one of my favorites and I'm planning on climbing from the north sometime soon but I don't have a read on the weird snowpack this year. Sounds like conditions are great though.

We hiked it this last Saturday, May 2, 2015. Fire off a few pics after you go! =)
 

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
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Mar 31, 2013
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1,016
I love Silver Lake, but I've never been above it. Is it marked or just finding the best way as you go? I'd love to
do this summit with my kids. Thanks for sharing!
 

Mike K

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Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
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I don't think there's an official trail...maybe the beginnings of a social trail and some cairns here and there. So mostly finding the best way as you go. Not too hard to navigate if you're even if your nav skills are not spectacular. I've heard it's spectacular scenery when it's all green up around Silver Glance.
 

regehr

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,509
I love Silver Lake, but I've never been above it. Is it marked or just finding the best way as you go? I'd love to
do this summit with my kids. Thanks for sharing!

From the north there's no trail either, but the off-trail part isn't that long. Basically you walk the White Pine road until there's one last big switchback away from the lake -- where the road turns back towards the lake, head up to the summit. The thing to avoid with kids would be leaving the road too early and hitting the E ridge. People say it's only class 3 but I found it quite scary.
 

Mike K

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Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
845
That seems like so much more work to hike that when the place is covered in snow. What an accomplishment.

:) Yes and no. Sometimes it requires some snow gear (heavier pack). Sometimes the snow is too soft (post holing) or too hard (scary when it's steep). But it often lets you do straight shots up couloirs and snow gullies where you might otherwise be bushwhacking, route finding, or rock scrambling later in the year. (Cascade Peak is a good example. I've only done it via Upper Pole couloir in the snow. I hear it can be a nasty affair later in the season). And summitting in the snow sure is pretty . Glissading down is always a hoot. These spring/early summer summits on snow are addictive!
 
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