Ascent of Bald Mountain in 2004-11
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||2729 ft / 831 m|
Ascent Trip ReportBald Mountain is a nice classic hike in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park (SRSP). To get there, take Adobe Canyon Road from CA-12 just north of Kenwood. A sign near the junction identifies Adobe Canyon Road as the way to the park, which is well-developed: it has a campground, a visitor center, and a good system of well-signed trails. Bald Mountain is easily climbed via park trails with 1600' gain. I do not recall the exact route but the trails are well-marked and there are maps posted everywhere.
Although I had already determined on Mount Hood the day before that Bald Mountain is higher than North Bald, I decided to take the opportunity to investigate North Bald anyway. After a less-than-10-minute-hike north on a road that skirted the east side of the ridge leading to North Bald, I pulled abeam of North Bald and then bushwhacked to the summit. What I saw there was even greater compelling evidence that Bald is higher. The brush on top of North Bald is gigantic: at least 12 feet high, and it probably averages at least 15 feet. All of my previous sightings were to the top of the brush, so this demotes the possible elevation of the highest earth even further. In fact I feel it is likely that the 2720' contour shouldn't be there.
I learned after climbing Mount Hood that it is more easily climbed from SRSP than from HMRP. Future prominence climbers who want to climb both peaks can do so much more conveniently by doing all business from SRSP and forgetting about HMRP entirely. The campground is a nice stay and climbs of both peaks can begin here without ever moving your car. When I was on top of Hood the previous day, there were a number of other people there too, and all had come from SRSP.
18 months after my trip to Bald Mtn, Richard Carey and Gail Hanna used professional equipment to perform a formal survey showing that Mt Hood is 2 feet higher than Bald. That leaves Hood and Sonoma as the only remaining contenders for the title of Sonoma county prom point.
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| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack|
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