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#52642 - 02/20/18 08:08 PM Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 198
Loc: New York
I've never climbed Mt Baldy and have only been up that way a while ago in late Fall and was more around Big Bear.

On average, seems like I should expect snow, at least on the upper reaches of Baldy in mid/late April. Is that a fair assessment for those who have been there frequently? I've climbed San Jacinto and Gorgonio in early April years back and both were 100% snow coverage from 7000ft or so bu that was after a late storm.

Similar question for San Bernadino Peak.

I am trying to plan in terms of what gear to Bring and if I should bring someone not experienced in the snow or just do this one alone.

Lastly, I recall a parking permit AND a wilderness permit are both needed for these? Are the permits the same for both?

Thanks for any thoughts/suggestions!

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#52644 - 02/21/18 06:27 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: nyker]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 68
Loc: UK
I think San Bernardino & Gorgonio wilderness permit requirements were dropped last year - I certainly didn't get/need one when I went up in October, tho' parking permit was required.

Have you considered the Gorgonio/Bernardino 9 peak traverse. It was the route I took and it's a spectacular day out.

Best description I found is https://socalhiker.net/the-nine-peak-challenge/

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#52645 - 02/21/18 07:09 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: britonwhit(ney)]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 198
Loc: New York
I have thought of the traverse, but figured that might be a tough one day trip in Spring snow, unless conditions are more summerlike. Is that the route you did in October? Was it dry?

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#52646 - 02/21/18 07:55 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: nyker]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 68
Loc: UK
The route I did was a loop starting from Momyer up the road to vivian Ck, then up the normal trail to Gorgonio - I've just found the description I used which is pretty much precisely the route I took:
https://www.summitpost.org/san-gorgonio-9-peaks-challenge/793559

There was no snow at all in October. You're right, in snow it would be tough (tho' at least your pack wouldn't need so much water!). Personally, it was close to my limit for a comfortable day hike. _Much_ harder than e.g. cactus to clouds for San Jacinto.

I assumed it would be dry the whole way and took 6.5L of water (drank it all!), although I could have filled up a few miles in at the camping area on the way up Gorgonio.

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#52648 - 02/21/18 09:03 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: britonwhit(ney)]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 22
Loc: San Diego, CA

We plan to hike up Mt San Gorgonio next week. As I understand, a permit is required. I was able to get a permit via email (using their editable PDF application) within one business day, although they say to expect it within 4-5 business days. You can also get a permit via USPS or fax.

Planning to bring only microspikes for traction and overnight gear, although we're trying for a 'day' hike... fully expecting this will be darkness to darkness.

There should be water available at the creek crossings, although this is my first time on this mountain, so I can't confirm for sure this time of year.

Baldy will be next. I've never hiked to the summit of Mt San Antonio (one of the three saints of SoCal).

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#52649 - 02/21/18 09:24 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: futbol]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 68
Loc: UK
From sgwa.org:
"Free Wilderness permits are not required for day hikes, but they are highly recommended as a safety precaution for anyone going into one of San Bernardino National Forestís eight wilderness areas."

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#52650 - 02/21/18 09:39 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: nyker]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 461
Loc: Saugus, CA
Baldy will likely be snowless in April, pending a miracle. Any snow this winter has been less than 2-3 inches, and it burns off within days. I summitted on Sat and it was snow-free.

I can see Baldy from my street, and I've summitted over 30 times over the last 8 years. This week will be the most snow we've seen, and it is only projected to be 6 inches. WCS, you might need microsppikes by April.

San Bernardino Peak mainly follows west, and south facing aspects. As such it will have more snow than Baldy, but in April there is a fair chance that it will be snow free. Higher up, especially the trail all the way to San G, will retain snow in April, especially the N. Facing stretches. I'd imagine popular routes like Vivian Creek will be passable with Microspikes, as it is so popular and it won't take long for a boot-trail to take shape.
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#52652 - 02/21/18 07:54 PM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: Snacking Bear]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 198
Loc: New York
Hmm ok thanks all. Wow, no snow currently on Baldy.

Also, how would the road conditions be to get to either? trailhead, assuming the "standard routes"- Even if there is no meaningful snow on the peaks, would there be anything seeping/melting on the road up to freeze and make for hazardous driving in a 2wd rental?

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#52653 - 02/22/18 08:35 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: nyker]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 461
Loc: Saugus, CA
Thin possibility, more so in the San Bernardinos but not in the San Gabes
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#52663 - 02/27/18 10:35 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: Snacking Bear]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 461
Loc: Saugus, CA
Update, I went up Baldy on Saturday after the mountain received snow the week before, and I STILL didn't need spikes. The mountain will receive more this week, but I anticipate a similar quick melt-off
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#52685 - 03/03/18 08:36 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: Snacking Bear]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 198
Loc: New York
ok great, thanks for the info. Appreciate that.

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#52695 - 03/04/18 07:48 PM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: nyker]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 54
Loc: Pasadena, CA
We had some snow come through Saturday Night. I went up Register Ridge this morning - very little snow cover at the bottom an inch or two over rime ice in places. When I turned around at 8400' feet there was about 6-8 inches of fresh fluffy powder drifting up to 12-14 inches in places. When I got down to the bottom near 10:00 the main track was melting out in places.


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#52725 - 03/12/18 11:46 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: psykokid]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 22
Loc: San Diego, CA
We hiked up Mt San Gorgonio yesterday. There are patches of snow all along the trail, much of it negligible until over just under ~9k feet. That's where we used spikes, but crampons would have been better. On the way up the snow was mushy until ~10k feet. On the way down much of it firmed and became slippery. Deepest was waist deep, but that can be avoided. The trail is completely obscured at sections. The only dangerous spot is near the summit on the north facing slope. You would likely need an ice axe to arrest a fall there.

We passed few hikers along the trail, but one guy we met near the summit was wearing rubber water boots with something clipped to the soles. He also had gaiters to keep the deep snow out. That's what I will do next time.

Water is available at locations along the trail.

I hope to post some pictures tonight to give an idea of what can be expected of this Southern California range.








Edited by futbol (03/12/18 09:03 PM)

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#52827 - 03/31/18 09:20 PM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: futbol]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 198
Loc: New York
Nice pix. Thanks for posting. Looks like I might be able to get a shot at Mount Baldy on April 14. I assume I'll be bringing all my snow gear?

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#52842 - 04/03/18 01:29 PM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: nyker]
illyav Offline


Registered: 08/24/16
Posts: 17
Loc: California
I made it up to the Baldy summit this past Sunday (04/01/18) and the snow is melting fast. There were only patches near and at the top that are easily avoidable so not even microspikes are needed now unless it snows again.


Edited by illyav (04/03/18 01:30 PM)
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#52848 - 04/04/18 07:36 PM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: illyav]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 198
Loc: New York
ok, thanks for the update illyav!

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#53044 - 05/08/18 06:01 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: nyker]
WhitneyHiker085 Offline


Registered: 05/14/17
Posts: 20
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Anyone from Southern California hiked Mt Baldy recently? Any comments on conditions? Planning to hike Baldy within the next couple of weeks.

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#53046 - 05/08/18 09:00 AM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: WhitneyHiker085]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7394
Loc: Fresno, CA
WPMSB has a long-running thread, "Conditions on Baldy". The last entry was by Brent N (also a member here), that he posted on Apr 14:

"Answered my own question up on the mountain today. Zero snow on the summit or the trail. It was bone dry. Sad."

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#53068 - 05/09/18 08:26 PM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: WhitneyHiker085]
ScottHikerEsq Offline


Registered: 05/23/16
Posts: 23
Loc: California
I did Cucamonga Peak 10 days ago. Only a trace of snow in the shadiest spots and nothing near the trail all the way up to the summit.

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#53092 - 05/11/18 03:07 PM Re: Mt Baldy / San Bernadino Peak in mid/lateApril [Re: ScottHikerEsq]
selina Offline


Registered: 05/11/18
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
I went up Mt Baldy on Apr 29th. I only saw a few traces of snow in shady areas from afar. I used the ski hut route (baldy bowl trail), and there weren't any snow near the trail.

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