MT. BALDWIN (12,614'), RED SLATE MOUNTAIN (13,163') June 2-3, 1979

Advised by one local of the Angeles Chapter's Sierra Peaks Section, I was told that it was a good peak group to join. I found out about this early season climb, and sent to the leader my letter requesting to join the group, with a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) for their reply. So, Friday evening, as I came home from work, I found the reply in my mailbox! It was a photocopy of barely readable scrawl, and so I had to rush to leave for the trip, meeting early Saturday morning!

Motoring south on U.S. 395, I was used to late night long drives. They were all there at 7 a.m., Convict Lake trailhead. Ice axes and crampons were required with good snow climbing experience. This was one set of climbers that didn't fool around! We backpacked quickly along the trail next to Convict Lake, with a peak to climb this day.

We had to cross the raging creek, which I did on a snowbridge as others waded. Debris from a massive rock slide covered the trail, as there had been an earthquake earlier this year. We soon came to the first lake, and continued on a bit.

Making a quick campsite, we started with day packs to climb Mt. Baldwin. We scrambled up the west slopes, and came to a calcite mine. Then, it was up more class 2 slopes to the top, where I used my Nikon to capture the views.

Back to camp, I had my nice rest and sleep, and even dug up a discarded stove gas canister to pack out. The next morning, it was cold, and ice lay over the area. The leader stepped on a log bridge, and slipped hard on ice, crashing down but not totally into the water. Gratefully, he was not incapacitated, and managed to lead on.

We snow climbed up the north slopes, and to a saddle. Following the ridge to the top, we had more resplendent views. Descending was fun, with a thousand foot glissade. It was back to camp, and our backpack out went well. I was singing on my way home, with this success, a double climb, and keeping up well enough with some of the best climbers in the world.