On October 30 2010 I decided to get up early and try to get some sunrise pictures from Wedge Pond. Of course I also had an idea that maybe I could whip up and down a peak while I was out there anyway... ;-) I had to be back in Calgary early so that's why I had to 'whip' up and down rather than 'stroll'.
Driving out to Wedge Pond I realized two things;
I was way too early.
There wasn't going to be a great sunrise because there wasn't a cloud in the sky!
Oh well. I was up now and so I decided I might as well keep driving. Sure enough, I stood around a froze for about 45 minutes before the sun started to come up at Wedge Pond. The silver lining was some low cloud hanging over The Fortress. I managed to get some nice zoomed images of that at least.
I was the only one parked at the Baldy Pass trailhead at about 09:45. I have never been up the trail to the pass and was pleasantly surprised by it. I mean, it was nothing really great but it wasn't as mind numbing as I was afraid it would be either. Once the sounds of highway 40 diminished behind me I felt pretty lonely out there and made sure to do some 'bear yelling' every once in a while.
[Looking at the south ridge on Baldy from the Old Baldy Pass trail.]
[At the pass, looking up at Midnight Peak. I just followed the ridge from left to right.]
Like I always do on small mountains, I imagined that when I reached the pass I was almost at the summit. WRONG. I was maybe 1/3 of the way but if you go up the north ridge / fact it's pretty loose. I also couldn't really follow the trail since there was snow covering it. I managed to scramble up rather awkwardly. The whole time up the slope I thought I was looking at a false summit but apparently it was the actual summit, so that was a pleasant surprise.
[The treed sections had cairns and obvious trails. More bushy than I expected though!]
[Looking behind me at Baldy Mountain.]
[The moon and the summit above.]
[Looks pretty green to the east! Lusk Ridge in the distance here. ++]
[Getting higher than Baldy now.]
[Nice views to the prairies.]
[The slope was loose and fresh snow made it slippery.]
[The Fortress doesn't look so good now (this is how it looked earlier). The views are still nice from the summit though!]
[Looking towards Canmore.]
[Looking over Nakiska.]
[Another shot looking west - more wide angle.]
[Vern on the summit of Midnight Peak.]
[Summit panorama. ++]
[Summit panorama including (L to R), Fortress, Gusty, Galatea, Bogart, Ribbon, Sparrowhawk, Wind, Lougheed III, Allan, Lougheed II, Collembolla and Lougheed I. ++]
[Looking at the other summit to the south - now called "Midday Peak". Groan. ;)]
[I was thinking of descending this way - straight down to the gully where there's an obvious trail on skier's right but it wasn't worth it. I descended more to skier's right of this picture on my ascent line.]
[Looking back on my way out.]
[Baldy Pass trail is almost a road in places.]
I'm not sure it's worth doing the various other routes that are suggested. My round trip time, including all breaks, was 3.5 hours so it's not like this is a long outing! Worth it as a solo or half day objective, especially when the Chinook winds are howling.