Cowboy camping is epic. Not only do you get a clear view of the stars all night, but getting up early is so much easier! We were up at 05:00 and packed by 05:30. The mountain was black, but the sun was bringing beautiful reddish hues over the range. We followed the switchbacks as best we could, but downed trees and snow covered much of the way. We ended up just cutting straight up the slope, challenging our legs but cutting out unnecessary distance and time. The snow had not frozen over night and was already soft even as the sun first touched it. This, however, was not an issue, and the climb, though physically tough, was far from dangerous. As we neared the summit we had to walk along a ridge; not quite a knife-edge but the slopes either side were incredible! Finally, at 08:00, we made it to the summit, having passed through some of the most beautiful snow filled forest yet. The views were like those of San Jacinto – which could actually be seen from here all those miles back – 360 and jaw dropping.
We hung around for a short time before starting the descent which actually took us to the peaks of many smaller summits flowing down from Baden’s side. It took a long time to navigate the path through the snow and to drop below its altitude. We bumped into Juke Box (@emperorbebe) along the road at the bottom, where she learned us of a beastly 2-3 mile climb up towards Mt Williamson. We tackled it with the last of our strength for the day, sweating more than ever at the top, which rewarded us with insane views of what may have been LA. There was a natural wind barrier made of tree branches and roots, and with the recent buzz of cowboy camping, we decided to bed down there, ending the day of Baden Powell.