Mt. Baldy, take 3
Temescal Canyon, tk5
Temescal Canyon, tk4 Parker Mesa, take 2
Del Cerro Park
Temescal Canyon, tk 3
Mt. Baldy, take 2
Temescal Canyon/Skull Rock
Parker Mesa Overlook
San Gabriel Peak
Another hike up Mt. Baldy. This time-- at long last-- the "easy" way via the Devil's Backbone both up and down, as opposed to the more difficult Manker Flat/Sierra Club Ski Hut/Baldy Bowl we normally take.
A Travelzoo coupon gave half off breakfast/brunch and the ski lift ride up and down, so it was kinda cool. Brunch was a spartan affair, almost like the pancakes, french toast, eggs, and bacon came from a box at Costco or off the Sysco truck, but hey, it's about the view, the hike, and the company, right? Plus the nice toasty wood-stove in the middle to keep away the morning chill.
Having never hiked the Devil's Backbone up, I hadn't realized how steep the ski run trails are. Oops! They rapidly thinned the herd, and we ended up breaking down into a few different groups on the way up. The last mile or so-- the first half (of the last mile) was the flat-ish part I remembered from coming down, while the very last half mile was the final approach up, in all 700 feet of its vertical gain and charming glory. *grins*
The top was crowded as usual, but not as bad as it was the previous trip. Hung out for a bit, took pictures, helped a few other hikers take pictures, that sort of thing. Then back down (ran most of the way) to call it the end to a lovely day!
Total uphill time was about 3 hours, including stops-- about 90 minutes actual moving time. Downhill was quite a bit faster, 55 minutes or so with fewer stops and a lot of running. Given previous attempts up via the much more difficult Manker Flat approach have only taken 2:45 or so (2:25 moving time), clearly we were taking way too many breaks this time. ;-)