Harwood Ridge, Thunder Ridge, Mount Harwood, Thunder Mountain
By: Bill T Russell
Leaders: Bill T Russell, Patty Kline, Frank Goodykoontz
Twelve of us met at Harwood Lodge at 0730 for this Oktoberfest route bagging adventure. Patty lGine and Frank Goodykoontz were the Vice Leaders. We hiked NE across Manker flat and up the Baldy notch road to the ski hut trail which we took for about 200 m. We then went north.up the prominent ridge that leads to Harwood Peak. Last year, I led a group up this same ridge which we named Harwood Ridge. It is steep in spots, but good firm walking through scattered pine trees and no brush. We spotted a bighorn ram not far from us and watched him for a considerable time until he moved off. When we reached the main trail, we found David Eisenberg waiting for us; after a good chat, he went on to do Baldy. We went on up to the flat top of the undistinguished mound called Harwood Peak where we were greeted by Paula and Bruce Peterson, Bob Sumner, and Pete Doggett. We all descended the Devils Backbone trail to Baldy notch which we reached at noon. Here, Ann Bennett left us to descend via the ski lift and Pete Doggett joined us for the rest of the trip.
After lunch, we ascended the ski lift hill called Thunder Mtn, perhaps via the ski run called Toilet Bowl, and then went along the west ridge of Thunder to a spot at elev 7440' that is right at the topo map boundary. We named this ridge Thunder Ridge. It is good walking with a few spots of what might be called exposed class 1. It has many nice trees including sugar pines and excellent views of Baldy and of our ascent route to the north and Icehouse Canyon and Ontario Peak to the south.
From the small bump at 7440', we descended the NW side ridge. This ridge is steep with some surface rock on a firm dirt base. Lower down, there is a good scree run of about 2W. We had to be careful about rock fall and indeed, one of the party had an encounter with a large slow roller that someone above him had set in motion. On this ridge, about 2W above Harwood Lodge, is a small water tank that is partly hidden in some oak trees. From this tank, a pleasant trail leads down to the back' door of the lodge, which we reached about 1530.
The weather was excellent, warm but with a gentle breeze. It was a good outing with fine people, excellent views and pleasant flora and fauna. Participants were: Bill T Russell, Frank Goodykoontz, Patty lGine, David Odalsky, Steve Gatlin, Diane Dunbar, Don Croley, Ray Riley, Sandra Johnson, Bob Thompson, Dan Butler, Ann Bennett (first half), and Pete Doggett (second half.)
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