I don’t understand why I cave so easily while walking in our current heat. Yesterday’s walk was a three-Cytomax-stop. That cocktail seems to be exactly what I need, so it’s not a problem, but I don’t understand the physiology of it.
Anyway, Jeff and I set out yesterday to walk on the Bridger ridge, above The M. We had some cloud cover, which turned out to be much appreciated, even though a lot of the cover was smoke from forest fires – just like last summer.
Since we wanted to spend most of our time walking on the ridge I decided to substantially shorten my walk to The M by walking up to and scrambling over the rocky outcrop that I’ve mentioned in the past, which was easier than I’d expected. It wasn’t until about halfway above The M to the ridge that I realized that the heat was getting me down. We stopped so I could guzzle half of my extra water bottle with Cytomax and after a few minutes, my muscles seemed ready to hit the trail again.
Someone’s built this since our last trip up here…
The lower end of this trail looks like this, although the upward angle is missing in this shot!
I spoke with a downward-bound walker about what we’d be facing as we started on the ridge and he described a fairly moderate start followed by a steep section, then a huge, beautiful meadow (covered with wildflowers in the spring) and finally, Baldy Mountain. Sounded okay.
Some of our early scenery…
The farther along the ridge we walked the more runners we met, headed downward. Turned out that the group was completing the second half of the Bridger Ridge path, having run the first half last Saturday. I was completely in awe…the steep section was quite a climb in places and these athletes were flat-out running down it. I decided to stop for another Cytomax break and think about that 🙂
The ridge is a knee-jarring path, with uneven rocks, twists, and even a couple of squeezes through rock breaks. In the above photo, while it’s nice scenery, the rocky foreground gives a good look at what we were walking on.
On we went, quite enjoying being up on the ridge and I figured that when we reached the top of the steep section we’d be at the meadow, with Baldy not too much further off. Turned out that wasn’t quite the case, and when we reached this rock outcrop…
…we saw how much further we had to go to climb Baldy. I’d had enough at this point…if I’d known to expect this then perhaps carrying on would have been fine, but I wasn’t anticipating the long walk between our current location and the meadow, so we decided to end our outward bound walk and have lunch, figuring we were about 1.5 miles short of Baldy. So, we dined at 7,600′, having walked around 3.5 miles.
I need to mention two young girls, sisters, they said, who were running and passed us on their way up. As we were enjoying our lunch we saw them running in the open area in the above photo. They passed us on our way down, still running, and said they’d been to the peak of Baldy! I stand in amazement 🙂
Jeff, at our lunch stop, with Baldy in the background.
Me, same spot.
So, we started our descent and had a bit of rain, which is unnerving at this altitude when there’s a chance of thunder and lightning. That didn’t happen, though. Our descent took only an hour to The M, where we sat and relaxed for a bit before finishing.
It was a beautiful walk, tough, but doable with my Cytomax buddy along. Now I’m carrying my camelback with water and a water bottle with the electrolyte drink…seems to be what it takes for me in this heat.
At the end of this walk I decided that I’ve had enough of ridge walking for awhile. We’ll get to Baldy sometime, but walking on rocks and more rocks has gotten old. We walked the Sypes Canyon trail last weekend, which was lovely and less jarring. It still offers views of lovely wildflowers…
…and of three of my four favourite walking buddies (our youngest was working)!