Leaders: Joe Young, Bobcat Thompson
After a late start due to the leader's dropping off of Oktoberfest groceries, staples and receptionist Geri Marston at Harwood Lodge, twenty-one hikers, having met at the Baldy Ski Lift parking lot, proceeded up the gully below the Baldy ski lift. The fastest arrived at the restaurant at the notch in 35 minutes (2400' per hour ascent rate) at 9:00 am. We spent about half an hour there drinking coffee and/or socializing before heading up the Devil's Backbone.
We followed the Devil's Backbone trail to a point just south of Mt Harwood where we left the trail and proceeded cross-country to the summit. We arrived there at approximately 11:00 am, about 2 1/2 hours from the roadhead. The summit was windy so we sought shelter on its north side. From there we had excellent views of Cajon Pk, Mt San Jacinto, San Bernardino Pk, Circle Mtn, Pine, Dawson and, of course Baldy, and other peaks. We stayed there about a half hour, since further dallying would cut into our party time at the HPS Oktoberfest.
On return we reconvened at the Baldy Notch restaurant, which was undergoing a transformation in anticipation of a large Irish wedding later that day. While most of the group scampered down the gully below the ski lift to the parking lot, six of us rode the ski lift down, after Jim Kilberg successfully bargained the operator down to $2.50 per person. Normal rate is $4.00 per person. Most of the group arrived at the parking lot before 1:00 pm, with plenty of time for afternoon relaxation at Harwood Lodge prior to Oktoberfest.
This was led as an official Hundred Peaks Section Exploratory of Mt Harwood, named for Aurelia S. Harwood, the Sierra Club's fast woman president (1927-1928). Harwood Lodge was named for her in 1930. The peak, if climbed alone, represents a 3000' gain and 8 mile round trip hike, more difficult than many of our HPS peaks. While it is undeniably close to another listed peak (i. e., Mt Baldy), the participants on this hike felt that it was a respectable outing on its on merits. Thanks to Bobcat for his able assistant leadership.