Friday, December 7, 2012

White Baldy - A Classic Winter Scramble

Jason, Tom, and I went for a hike up White Pine this morning.  The guys wanted to stand on the summit of the Pfeiff but I convinced them that White Baldy would be more fun.  Besides, neither one of them had stood on the summit previously so a nice adventure was in store for all.  

The UAC had predicted high winds throughout the day with gusts to the 50 mph range.  We thought they were wrong as we left the parking lot under calm skies.  An hour later as we climbed high into the White Pine basin the wind picked up enough to make Jason pull over his hood since he forgot a hat (and sun glasses for that matter).  30 minutes later, the wind was sufficient to make us cower behind any boulder we could find on the exposed ridge, even if the relief was only temporary.  

In spite of the incessant biting wind, we enjoyed easy rock moves over the blocky granite ridge and Jason and Tom both stood on the summit for the first time. Unfortunately, my promise of good skiing on the Red Pine side appeared to be a lie.  From the top all we could see was endless talus dusted with too little snow.  However, a continued traverse allowed us to spy a shallow gully that seemed to hold enough.  Another 5 minutes of down climbing set us free. 

Not quite done, we bounced over to Lake Peak and sampled fantastic snow in the Lake Couloir and in another more NE facing line before braving the Alders on our exit.  

It was really nice to get in one more day in the high alpine before some more sustained weather moves in over the next few days.  Looks like our scheduled workout consisting of painful intervals just got pushed back another day. 

Skinning toward White Baldy as the winds begin to strengthen

Tom (blue) and Jason (orange) along the Baldy ridge

The way is up!

More fun moves

And a couple more with big exposure to the climber's right

Jason dancing around rocks on the descent
Tom and some cold powder

JD also forgot a helmet on top of sunglasses and a hat

Last one of the day
And just for fun if you have 30 seconds to waste, here are a couple clips showing the cool ridge and the wicked winds.

A few clips of a windy day on White Baldy from andy dorais on Vimeo.


  1. Your endless phixation with the phifferhorn is always phascinating and phun! keep it up.

  2. Thanks guys! Jason has the phixation! I had to steer him away from the Pheiff this time. My true love is Timp!