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Deaths on Mt Baldy

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Deaths on Mt Baldy

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:01 am

I just read in the newspaper that Mt Baldy is closed due to two deaths in the last week. A slip on snow on Mt. Baldy is also where RJ Secor had is accident and where another CMC member died due to a fall years ago. I did Mt Baldy as one of my "county high points" years ago.

I see Mt. Baldy as an accident waiting to happen. Easy year-round access to a large population center with a demographic that has no experience with snow and a "climb" that basically is a hike (but with some steep gullies nearby) that just about anyone can get on. I grew up in snow country. Every kid over 3 years old knew how easily you could slip on snow. We played in snow hours each day and came to know its ability to change conditions in minutes. Becoming a climber in the PNW, we took snow seriously- every spring our mountaineering club had a 2-day "snow school" - even required as an "annual refresher" of experienced climbers if they wanted to go on a club trip. Most people have an inborn fear of steep rock; not so for snow which can be dangerous at much lower slopes. And I think those who grow up in areas without snow in their backyard have a disadvantage.

I just would like to encourage anyone here who wants to step onto snow in the Sierra, to get some training in snow climbing and learn how and when to use ice axe, crampons and rope. Many accidents happen to climbers who are properly equipped but fail to use it, for various reasons - such as such a bother to put on crampons to cross a small patch of snow. RJ had crampons tied to his pack when he slipped and fell on ice. And practice, practice and practice. This time of year, it also includes some training in avalanche safety.

Climb on! Be safe.



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Re: Deaths on Mt Baldy

Postby copeg » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:19 am

I just read in the newspaper that Mt Baldy is closed due to two deaths in the last week.


Hate hearing news like this :(
Link to LA times story:
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html

I see Mt. Baldy as an accident waiting to happen.


Climbed Baldy three times, once without snow, the others in winter up through the bowl. Both winter climbs was turned back from the summit due to what I considered unsafe snow conditions. Don't recall experiencing such variable and unpredictable snow conditions in such a small area (even for the area) - from ice to crust to slushie that really moves when you step. Even recall assessing the snow conditions as quite avy safe as I moved up the bowl (homogenous semi-spring snowpack) only to hear (and feel) a dreaded 'whump' several feet above where I just previously assessed. Neither time do I recall even have much fun

I just would like to encourage anyone here who wants to step onto snow in the Sierra, to get some training in snow climbing and learn how and when to use ice axe, crampons and rope. Many accidents happen to climbers who are properly equipped but fail to use it, for various reasons - such as such a bother to put on crampons to cross a small patch of snow. RJ had crampons tied to his pack when he slipped and fell on ice. And practice, practice and practice. This time of year, it also includes some training in avalanche safety.


Excellent advice :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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