Mount Baldy (Manker Flats)

At first sight Baldy is impressive enough to make your heart pound with excitement. It definitely takes courage and perseverance to conquer this impressive peak. And iron will. With iron legs for that matter. Being my first real summit the entire time I was buzzing with excitement and adrenaline.

The trail Devil’s Backbone is just that. You feel you are walking on the remanent of a great dinosaur or the pregnant belly of mother earth. At times it seems as if the ground itself is swelling and moving with its own breath to its own beating heart. Until you realize it is the pounding in your own chest and the heaving of your breath’s.

To try to describe the thousands of intricate and delicate moments of delight and wonder as you ascend is impossible. Simply said, it must be done. That yearning inside you for a greater understanding of your own will and strength will be fulfilled. Once at the summit the true you is revealed. I felt lighter and stronger than I have ever been.

The decent was poetic and beautiful with lovely expanses of rock and tree formations, brilliant colors and rushing mountain streams. Unlike the ascent which makes you feel naked and exposed with vast areas of rock and slate, the descent feels warm and alive and cozy. Perhaps it is from tasting the victory of the climb, perhaps it is that while climbing down you feel one with nature.

I definitely felt this one for days, both in my legs and my heart. I know that I will be back soon to experience the wisdom and strength in this great mountain.

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