Tag Archives: Mt Baden-Powell

Winter Hike Up Mount Baden-Powell

Our goal was to head up to Highway 2 and park along the road and take a snow chute up to the Little Jimmy Campground and then move onto the summit of Mt. Islip, however when we got to Vincent Gap we found the road closed there despite what the CalTrans website reported on our drive up.  It was a semi-overcast morning and there were signs of fresh snow that had dusted the area overnight.

Vincent Gap

We debated our options now that we were parked at Vincent Gap, where the trailheads to the Big Horn Mine, Miner Vincent’s Cabin, and Mt. Baden-Powell are all located.  We decided on the more challenging hike which was up Mt. Baden-Powell.  There was ice in the parking lot and snow all around, but we were prepared for this, so we geared up and headed out.

Hiking Baden-Powell

We made our way up the first few switchbacks fairly easily; the snow was not that deep yet and the trail was still easy to follow.  It was actually turning out to be a beautiful day with sun peaking though snow covered trees and casting shadows on the snow covered trail.

Baden-Powell Trail covered with snow

As we trudged further up the mountain the snow started getting deeper and the trail became less apparent.  Eventually we just started cutting upwards through the snow.

Climbing Baden-Powell

Before we got to the beginning of the summit ridge a group of snowboarders and skiers passed us on their way up. I was impressed at how they charged up the mountain but then also realized that they are probably more accustom to the high altitude than our group was.

Snowboarder going up Baden-Powell

At the beginning of the summit ridge my hands started getting extra cold, and I debated on turning back.  It was cold and windy with small amounts of snow coming down.  I was worried that maybe the two pairs of gloves I was wearing just weren’t enough, but the more I kept moving the better my hands felt.  In the end I was glad I didn’t turn back, but I couldn’t help but to be cautious.

Baden-Powell Summit Ridge

When we made it to the summit the group of skiers that had passed us earlier were about to head down and we watched them quickly slide away down the mountain.  Were we jealous?  Yeah, maybe a little.

Skiing off the Summit

The views at the top weren’t as impressive as compared to a clear day, but when the clouds would part for a minute we could get a glimpse out towards the Lancaster area, but that was it.

Summit View

As we made our way off the summit we got a light dusting of snow which was kind of cool now that we were on our way down.  We shot straight down the snow which cut a lot of distance off the descent, but even if we wanted to take the trail we couldn’t see half of it.  When we got lower down the mountain and the snow was less deep we were able to get back on the trail and follow it out for the last mile or so.

Descending

This was my first real winter hike, and by that I mean hiking in real winter conditions which included being snowed on and traversing all through snow.  I was glad I had the proper gear for this hike but I don’t think I’ve ever been that cold on a hike before.  After the incident with my fingers getting painfully cold I am definitely in the market for some better snow gloves.

A Snowy Icy Hike up Mt. Baden-Powell

Saturday morning a few friends and I cruised up to Vincent Gap off Hwy 2 to hike Mt. Baden-Powell. We noticed a lot of snow patches still lingering in the mountains and hoped we wouldn’t hit too much snow on the trail since we were not quite prepared for it. Despite the possible snow and ice we might encounter, we hit the trail with high hopes.

This trail quickly gained elevation and started giving us great views right away. It was a great day to be hiking in the mountains.

It wasn’t long on the trail until we started encountering icy patches of snow that were very slippery if you walked on them. We did our best to walk around these areas but in some cases it was not possible so we had to tread carefully over them.

Eventually the icy snow patches started becoming more frequent the further we got up the trail. Walking over snow and ice started to become the norm. We ran into a solo hiker who was coming back down the trail and said he was turning back due the large amounts of ice on the trail. We decided to push onward.

Some areas we just decided to cut straight up the mountain through large blankets of snow to avoid the icy parts on the trail. Although very tiring, this approach worked out quite well for us and was better than traversing across the slippery ice.

The views got excellent as we climbed higher.

We kept following tracks in the snow up the mountain. It started becoming a very exhausting climb through the snow but we gradually drew closer to the summit.

Since we were without proper snow gear, a few of us ended up with soaked shoes and socks; the only thing keeping our feet warm was the movement we got from hiking. We trudged along and finally made it to the Mt. Baden-Powell PCT Junction; now there was just a little ways to go until we reached the summit.

The last leg of the trail to the summit was windy and cold, but with less ice and snow which was nice.

There were a couple small switchbacks right before the summit. It was nice walking up and having the Boy Scout Monument and summit register come into sight.

Now it was time for some well deserved summit snacks.

It was pretty nice on the summit, not to cold or windy, and the air was clear so the views were great. We could see all the way to downtown LA.

Since we had a time constraint we didn’t spend too much time on the summit. After finishing our snacks and signing the summit register we started our decent back down.

The trip took us about 5 hours all together. In retrospect we realized we should have came prepared for snow and ice, but the hike was still a lot of fun despite being ill-equipped.