Mount Baldy


I had never seen someone get altitude sickness until recently when my girlfriend and I were hiking up the Ski Hut trail to the top of Mount Baldy. Most people hike the loop counter-clockwise, but we were short on time, so we decided to shave off a few miles and hike the most direct line to the top. She started to show symptoms right around the time we hit the Sierra Club’s cabin. She developed a severe head and stomach ache, and she couldn’t seem to catch her breath. From what I’ve read, its a condition that can actually be fatal in some cases. People get disoriented, they panic, and then they wander off the trail. At first, I thought that she had been food poisoned. Then it dawned on me that we were over 7,000 feet above sea level. She seriously considered pushing through the pain, but after some debate, we decided to head back down to the car. About a month earlier, she and I had hiked to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion national Park, a much more difficult hike, with absolutely no issues. I’ve dragged this girl on some pretty rough trails. We’ve swam across raging rivers, bushwhacked inch by inch through unnamed canyons, and hiked up mountains with only the clothes on our backs. And despite this, she now refuses to attempt Mt Baldy a second time. Her bout with altitude sickness has given her a mental block about hiking Baldy.

Read about Our Second Attempt at Hiking Mount Baldy here.

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