Mount Baldwin, Bloody Mountain

5-Oct-96 (List Finish)

By: Mary Gygax Motheral


Saturday, October 5, 1996, four teachers set out on a modest quest - not to identify potential Pulitzer Prize winning students, locate supportive administrators, discover a clean, air conditioned campus, but to celebrate the realization of a goal formulated 24 years ago with the 1972 climbs of Angora and Coyote: my SPS list finish!

Barb Cohen, Dave Sholle, and I met at the Convict Lake Trail head parking lot and departed for Baldwin at 7:00 a.m. Tina Stough, along for a day hike, caught up with us at our first break, shortly before the washed out bridge that once crossed Convict Creek. After we backpackers dumped gear off at our Mildred Lake campsite, Tina led us toward Baldwin's summit along a use trail which went south along the east side of Hildred Lake, then curved back to a small saddle that overlooked Bright Dot Lake. From the saddle, we headed east up Baldwin's flanks, following the trail to the summit. En route, we passed a mine which littered the area with glittering parallelepipeds of calcite crystals t Thanks, Barb, for the correct appellation of the geometric shapes that dazzled us). Shortly before summiting what resembled a desert, more than a Sierra, peak, Tina graciously stepped aside to allow me the honor of going first. On top, Barb and Dave surprised me with a SPS pin specially designed by Dave Dykeman and a Winged Victory with engraved congratulations for my triple list finish. Tina presented me with a card, and everyone produced goodies to celebrate, chocolate predominating. (One might conclude that students can get more mileage out of chocolate than apples when trying to ingratiate themselves to teachers.) After basking in glory and taking photos, the group headed for camp, with Tina hiking out to work on her historic Jane Austin home in Independence.

Sunday morning we tackled Bloody, as Barb "needed" it. We got up at 6:00 a.m., left camp at 7:00, summited at 11:30, reached camp at 3:00 p.m., and got to our cars shortly after 5:00. Dave gets credit for the following information: Starting from the campsite at the NE end of Mildred Lake, go around the north end of the lake across a footbridge at the outlet, and then go south along the west side of the lake toward the southern end; then start NW up the trail that ascends to the west of the lake. After climbing the hill, descend part way to Lake Dorothy and take the branch of the trail to the right. Climb slightly for awhile, then descend to Lake Genevieve. Contour around the east side of the lake near its shore; then cross the log clogged outlet at the NE end of the lake. Continue following the trail for awhile; then choose an obvious way up a gully to the NW up to the NE ridge of Bloody Mountain. (It is well over 2,000' of gain from the lake to the ridge.) Follow the bumps on the ridge to the SW up to the summit. Fortunately, the furthest bump is not the summit. Descend the way you came. The RT distance from Mildred Lake by this route is about nine miles with about 3,700' of gain, including the climb out of Lake Genevieve up to Lake Dorothy.

Nancy Gordon, yet another teacher, recently honored this mountain with her list finish. However, none of us deemed it a favorite due to numerous false summits and irritating shale.

Like Tina and Doug Mantle, do I aspire to climb the list again? No, but I certainly think Californians are blessed with the finest mountain range globally, the Sierra Nevada, and hope to repeat many favorites.


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