Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mt. Baldy Speedo Hike 2008



My son and I hiked up Mt. Baldy last Saturday with his boy scout troop.



No we weren't participating in the 2nd annual wearin' of the speedos. One of the adults said "I didn't need to see that!". he may have been referring to the guy in pink briefs that said "no boys allowed" in the back (sorry, no pic). I applaud this minor rebelliousness to those social mores that dictate decency. it helps us discover what freedom we really have. the speedo hike is an annual event done by some folks at the Claremont colleges - fun stuff but not much coverage on the web. my friends, this is news you can use!

back to the hike: it's a steep four mile trail that climbs up 4,000 feet of loose granite. Mt. Baldy is a mountain that most Angeleno's can see daily if they bothered to look - it's the highest peak in the San Gabriels at a little over 10,000 feet. being up there, the mountain and environs take a very different look than that from the freeway. you actually see blue skies and weathered gnarly pine trees. and a stream still flowing in september (filter before drinking of course).

halfway up the trail is the Sierra Club's "ski hut" -- I haven't quite figured out how anyone could ski to this place. speaking of skiing, there was a dude there that demonstrated rock skiing - no special equipment required, just trekking poles, long pants and hiking boots; and a daredevil mentality. I was tempted to try it too. maybe next time. try finding a video of it on youtube -- it's pretty wild. the granite slope is steep enough and the rocks are small enough that I think you actually could get a good run in with parallel turns just like snow skiing. Baldy was where I first learned to ski (at the tender age of 8), so it will always have a special place in my memory. digressing a bit more, I also want to mention there is genuine aircraft wreckage off the trail about a half mile down from the top - the remains of a USMC training mission gone wrong for a couple hellcats in '49.

anyway, back to the "ski hut" - it was locked, but it
also features an outhouse that is probably the fanciest I've seen anywhere. it has a window to a great view outside as well as interior lighting powered by solar charged battery. and a real toilet seat like you'd find at home. cool!

so while the rest of the world spouts off about Palin, Freddie Mac and Chrome, remember this news you can use... go hike Baldy, wear a bikini or rock ski. and visit the solar john. it's good for the body and soul, so just do it!