Sixteen hardy and ambitious hikers from HPS, SPS, & DPS assembled on top of Baldy by 7:45 a.m. The air was clear and the views gorgeous at that time. Most had slept at or near the last saddle on the way up.|
Going down and along the San Antonio Ridge we were treated to lots of wild life. At least 7 bighorns were sighted, including one whole family, as well as a coyote and a goat. The 3 short class 3 spots caused our experienced group no trouble and the rope was not used, but of course they were time consuming. As a matter of fact the whole last mile is quite slow with a mixture of rock, steep scree and some brush to contend with.
About 11:30, 12 of the group, including 13-yr-old Linda Frost, had lunch on "Big Iron." However, the smog was already almost up to our 8000' level, and it continued to rise and fill in the upper East Fork basin all afternoon. This was an added handicap to an already strenuous hike and many found themselves panting more than usual.
The return trip was much slower with almost everyone running out of both food and water. About half the group were still at the base of Baldy at 4:30. The last party (including the leaders) reached the cars at the bottom of the ski lift at 9:30. It was one of the more rugged HPS scheduled trips, but everyone professed to enjoy it.