Originally published November 6, 2012
We departed camp with our light daypacks on at 6:45am to begin our Baldy ascent. We screamed up the mountain, passing four other crews along the way and reaching the summit at 8:30am.
The climb was not at all technical but did get steep and rocky at times. The weather was perfect and the views were spectacular.
Very often folks experience high winds and thunderstorms at the summit but for us it was calm, just a little cool, and blue skies all around. That is definitely an advantage of starting early.
We hung out on the peak for at least 90 minutes before we started our descent to the northwest. Our path today is a loop where we come up the south side of the peak then head out the northwest, circling back east to French Henry Camp before turning south and west to get back to Baldy Town.
French Henry had our worst porch talk so far but a nice spot to crash and have a relaxing lunch. I was impressed by the vast array of wildflowers near the creek and the assorted colorful insects lurking thereabouts. We signed up for the Aztec mine tour at 1:30pm.
The Aztec Ponil mine was a pleasant treat, though we were fortunate that a few of us had flashlights as it was dark and no lights were supplied. I had to navigate off Jacob's light in front of me and I hit my head (with helmet) or back (without protection) on the ceiling a few times. Our tour guide was great and we learned much about the history of this silver mine.
Tomorrow we leave for Pueblano and Elkhorn Camp for what will be our very favorite camp site.
This article is part of my Philmont 2012 series. You can find all articles here.