Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bald Mountain, Ketchum, Idaho -- September 23, 2008

When the Hip Hiker household decides to seek out peace and quiet away from home, the road usually takes us to a little town in Idaho called Ketchum.... also known the as town right next to Sun Valley. It's a winter playground for most, but Dave and I have only ever been there in the summer. It's our favorite summer getaway.

And the hiking is amazing.

For years we've been wanting to tackle Bald Mountain -- known affectionately as Baldy -- the ski hill that looms over the Ketchum/Sun Valley area. Every year we've turned back. No matter how you approach it, hiking up a ski hill is a formidable task.

This was going to be the year. No matter what.

We approached Baldy from the Warm Springs side. This was excellent strategy, since our condo was only a few blocks away and close enough to limp home to once the hike was over.

From the bottom of the ski hill.... the Warm Spring lodge.. beautiful building:



Looking down at Warm Springs from about 15 minutes up the hill. Those are the snow making guns along the trail. We took a service road up the hill because we thought it would be easier. As you can see, it wasn't.



The upside to climbing straight up a mountain is how quickly you gain height. Looking north east, and down at the maintenance shed about 45 minutes into the hike.



The "more difficult" made me laugh.



Peeking through the trees at Sun Valley Road, north of Sun Valley.



I'm used to the Rockies, but this is pretty amazing to me....



A look at the town of Ketchum, with Sun Valley in the background.



Another look at Ketchum and Sun Valley



Looking east, including Hyndman Peak



Same angle... I just love the softness of the sage covered mountains in the foreground:





In 2007, the area was struck by the Castle Rock fire. The area of Warm Springs was evacuated as the flames reached Baldy and threatened many homes. The trail took us past some of the fire damage on the northwest side





Looking west at more velvety hills.. can't get enough... some of the fire damage can be seen right in front:



Looking northwest.... up high now..



Wow.



We made it to the top! And Dave was really happy about it.



Ski lifts at the top. The sign says elevation 9010 feet.



Ketchum/Sun Valley again:



Another look at the burned area:





More to come from Ketchum....

6 comments:

Anna said...

Thanks for beautiful images. I like this place. May be one day I will visit. Anna :)

Suzanne Perazzini said...

That is truly stunning scenery. How did you find your breathing etc. at that height. We are going to Machu Pichu in Peru in July and am worried about altitude sickness.
You are two super-fit puppies!

Michelle said...

@Suzanne - Don't remember any breathing issues -- other than pure exhaustion!! That said, I live in an area of high elevation, so I might already be partially acclimatized.

Machu Pichu! How exciting! I can't wait to hear about it!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't help but smile. My boys & I visited ID, including Haley/Ketchum a couple years ago & I loved the scenery & the people I met along the way. We traversed Boise to Stanley, Haley-Ketchum, Mountain Home & finished in Boise. Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories of a stunningly beautiful state!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't help but smile. My boys & I visited ID, including Haley/Ketchum a couple years ago & I loved the scenery & the people I met along the way. We traversed Boise to Stanley, Haley-Ketchum, Mountain Home & finished in Boise. Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories of a stunningly beautiful state!

Michelle said...

It's a beautiful vacation through a part of the country that doesn't always get its due. Thanks for stopping by!