Mt. Baden-Powell (9,399')
I left Chatsworth at about 5:30am and drove to La Canada, where I started the 51-mile drive into the Angeles National Forest.
At 7:00am I arrived at the parking lot trailhead for the Mt. Baden-Powell approach. The trail is well marked and the Boy Scouts have done a wondeful job by providing small signs every few hundred vertical feet, showing elevation as well as distance hiked. The summit is 4 miles from the parking lot. At 40 minutes into my hike, I was at the 2-mile sign. I took a short break after another 20 minutes. The forrest is pretty interesting on this mountain, tall pines dominate the landscape, and visibility is limited. Occasionally, on east-facing switchbacks, a view of the low clouds in the valleys below were visible.
After 1 hour and 40 minutes, I reached the summit. There was a short oblisk dedicated to Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. A very nice summit register was placed here in 1993 as part of a Eagle Scout project. I signed in and read some of the entires. As expected, many of them were from boy scouts. The mountain is the highest thing around, and the view was well worth the effort. I took a short rest and decided not to return to my car, since I had been gone less than 2 hours. I headed west from the summit, and scrambled up a 9086-foot knob 15 minutes from the summit. continuing on, I reached the summit of M. Burnham (8,997') after 35 minutes and happened upon a small summit register hidden among a pile of non-descript rocks.
At the Dawson Saddle cut-off I met a group of about 10 boy scouts, they were very courteous hikers, stopping their progress, moving off the trail, and inquiring about my hike, what time I left, weather conditions, and where I was headed. This pleasant meeting was so much better than my run-in with the Boy Scouts on Mt. Whitney in July, 1997. The cut-off is 6 miles from the parking lot that I had left 3 hours earlier. I scrambled up to the summit of Throop Peak, finding that many people had voiced their displeasure with the Forest Service for cutting down some trees up there last year. There were a few low stumps near the summit. There was also a ground-level plaque, telling about the mountain's namesake.
Realizing that I had not displayed my "Adventure Parking Pass" from my rear view mirror, I decided that I would make haste towards the road and hope that I had not yet recieved a parking ticket. In 25 minutes, I descended the 2+ miles and 1,250 feet to Dawson Saddle, realizing that I still had 5.5 miles back to my car. After 2 minutes of walking, a rocket scientest from JPL picked me up in his silver Miata and zipped me back to my car. My 8-mile hike had taken 3 hours and 50 minutes, and the car ride only 10 minutes - I arrived at my car 4 hours after I had left it. The parking lot was now very full, and the sun was warm in the sky. It had been a wonderful morning. On the drive back to civilization, I came upon a very unfortunate sight; a man had lost control of his motorcycle, and was being attended to by police in the middle of the road, waiting the arrival of the ambulance.
updated: 15 June, 2002
submitted: 25 October, 1998