Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How High?

10,064 and 5,343. These two numbers are reflective of the difference between hiking in the East vs. the West. The first number is height of the summit of Mt. Baldy outside of Los Angeles. The second number is the height of the summit of Mt. Marcy (the highest peak in the ADK Park). This point was brought home to me the other day when climbing around the Devil's Punchbowl, we started at around 4,600 feet which is taller than most ADK 46ers.

So the scale of the climbs are much more than I am used to. I really have not had to worry about hiking other than being horribly out of shape. Now though, it seems like its all about getting into the right stride. I also have to watch my breathing apparently. Of course, for every good piece of advice there is on the web about hiking above 5,000 feet, there is stuff like this that recommends taking chlorophyll tablets. (yes of course! plants will make it better, after all they help EXPEL oxygen don't they?).

I am not afraid of a big mountain, after all, I am drawn to the mountains regardless of their size. However, I think I should build up slowly to a Baldy hike before tackling something that is as tall as 8 Empire State Buildings. I am hoping to "meetup" with some LA hikers this Sunday for a hike around Griffith Park. That should be a good warmup for Baldy! :P

On a side note, I just learned today that Mount Baldy is actually Mount San Antonio but I have not heard one person call it that in my three weeks in LA. I am all about the Baldy as the official name.


  1. I agree that it's wise to build up to Baldy, as well as to go there with people familiar with the area. Baldy combines high elevations with steep trails; at this time of year, there is ice and snow on top. (I don't mean to imply that you were about to dash up Baldy -- I'm just agreeing with you that it's serious up there.)

    In fact, tonight there's a woman missing on Baldy. She's an experienced hiker who is familiar with the area, so she probably got injured. Here's a link:

    Luckily, there are plenty of other great hikes one can do to build up to these higher-elevation ones.

  2. Best Cali Day-hike ever is Mt Whitney.

    Sign-up for a permit early. I think it is by lottery now.

    I did it in 8 hours and 11 minutes.


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