Summit Elevation (m): 1671
Trip Date: May 29 2016
Elevation Gain (m): 440
Round Trip Time (hr): 3.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 8.5
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 1/2 – you fall, you bruise your ego
Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking on a good trail with markers, other than some scrambling down from the summit if following our route. Hikers or young kids might not enjoy the steep dirt.
Technical Rating: OT5; YDS (Hiking)
GPS Track: Gaia
Map: Google Maps
After easily hiking to the top of Mount Baldy near Beauvais Lake in the Castle Wilderness, we turned our attention towards Mount Albert – it’s slightly higher neighbor to the southeast. We had lots of great views in between short stints through “dwarf forest” as we followed orange trail markers that were sometimes harder to spot than you’d think based on the fact that they’re orange. The hiking was very pleasant for the most part – getting quite steep to the summit. As expected, the views from Albert were slightly better than from Baldy.
After enjoying the summit of Mount Albert and having a lunch break out of the wind behind some shrubs, we continued along the ridge on a faint trail – still following orange markers and heading in a southeasterly direction. At the end of summit ridge we dropped down, eventually heading left (northeast) and linking up with the Christy Mines trail which we followed past several small ponds in very pleasant hiking weather.
At the Cutline Trail junction, I decided to take it rather than the route Bob took which simply stayed in the valley bottom. I didn’t realize it at the time but apparently we could have bagged a third high point for the day in the form of Piney Point – but now we have a good reason to go back so no big deal. We followed the Piney Point trail back to the truck to complete a very pleasant hiking loop.
This outing reminded me yet again, that the enjoyment I get out of a hike or a peak usually has very little to do with the height or the effort required to get there, but rather with the fresh air, chirping birds, green grass blowing in the wind, colorful flowers, blue skies, cold lakes and views for miles. And of course enjoying it with my kids makes it even better.