Mile 372 to 394 (plus 1 mile for the endangered species alternative).
Today, we got to summit Mount Baden Powell, named after the founder of Boy Scouting . It was the second named mountain I have summited, though both it and Mt. San Jacinto were technically on spur trails and not the PCT itself.
Last night we camped early and decided to tackle the summit in the morning. In non-typical PCT fashion, the climb would be relatively short, but steep gaining 2,900 feet of elevation over 4 miles.
We walked the 2 miles from our campsite and crossed Highway 2 to the base of Baden Powell. The trail was all business and we knew we were in for 4 miles of continuous climbing. I personally prefer uphill so I was excited for the challenge and led the charge up the mountain. Bedazzled stuck with me and Burnout and Valdy soon fell a couple minutes behind.
About 1/3 of the way up, there was a seasonal stream that we planned to get water at. On the short side trail, I spotted a deer, my first on trail sighting.
As we ascended, we encountered occasional snow patches, but nothing like what was up on Mt. San Jacinto.
Just before the spur trail to the summit, we encountered the “Wally” Waldron Tree, named in honor of Mr. Waldron for his contribution to the Boy Scouts. The tree is estimated to be 1,500 years old.
The short spur trail brought us to the 9,399 foot summit of Mount Baden Powell. There was a memorial and an American flag. Apparently, Americans like to celebrate their patriotism on the tops of mountains. Bedazzled thought it was strange and told us they typically have crosses on the tops of mountains in Europe. Equally strange.
We took some hero photos at the top.
The PCT rode a ridge for a bit alternating between ups and downs. We came to a section with trees affected by the bark bettle, which causes their bark to fall off and leave just the husk of the tree.
We took a short 1-hour siesta today since we were slowed down due to all the climbing in the moring. However, we weren’t done with all the climbing. Shortly after lunch we had a 1,500+ feet of elevation gain spread over 2 miles. After coming down from the climb, we met a man on trail with his two German Shepards. We was just getting into backpacking and asked us about our gear. When he ran into B&V, he apparently complained about the trails closer to L.A. since the city people leave trash and glass all over the trail, and he doesn’t want his dogs cutting up there feet. We’ve noticed that when we get to a trailhead with parking and easy access from a highway the garbage increases exponentially. It’s sad that people are incapable of taking care of the natural places they go to escape the sounds and pollution of cities.
In the afternoon, we got to a trail closure for the Yellow-Legged Frog, which is an endangered species. The alternative had us road walk for a little over 2 miles before we got to the Buckhorn Campground, which had a trail that would connect us back to the PCT. In total, the alternative was about 5 miles.
We found a campsite among some large trees and were in our tents before the sunset. Today was a long, but enjoyable day.
I almost forgot to add that Bedazzled offered to show us around Germany if we ever manage to make it over there. I may have to take her up on that offer. I have only been to Stuttgart and Freiburg, but have always wanted to go to Munich.