Conquering Mount Baden-Powell

Hi, Everyone! I know it’s been a while. Happy 2020!

I want to start the year with a new blog post. This is quite delayed. Sorry, life always gets in the way. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to share my experience because this is the hardest trail I ever hiked in my lifetime (so far). Most of you who follow my blog know I love to explore but I’m far from a professional hiker. I love short hikes ranging from 3-5 miles. I have to admit this hike was way above my amateur(ish) experience and I almost quit several times before I finally conquered it.

Mt. Baden-Powell is considered to be one of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains with an elevation of 9,407 feet and an elevation gain of close to 3000 feet. It’s definitely a strenuous hike. I really thought I was prepared for it but it was far easier in my mind than it was in reality. 8.9 miles seems like a breeze with a way lower elevation gain right?

I was warned about the 40 long switchbacks I would encounter on my way to the top. I stopped counting after a couple and was ecstatic when I found a bench a mile and a half into it. Yes, I was that winded and I barely even started.

I was in no rush to complete this hike. I wanted to take my time even if it meant hiking the entire day. The views were rewarding and the people on the trail were nice and supportive. A lot of them were experienced hikers. Obviously, I was the only one struggling on the trail. It was a very popular trail for those training for an even more difficult hike which is Mt. Whitney -the highest peak in California. And I have no desire to hike that in the future. I’ve seen it from a distance and it sure is intimidating.

The stunning views kept me going. Good thing I packed enough food to help me every time I needed a little bit of energy.

I honestly have no idea how I reached the top there were parts where the trail was a bit narrow and you could easily slip and fall. A lot of accidents and deaths have occurred on this mountain and I made sure to be extremely careful.

I was glad I didn’t quit because I almost cried when I reached the peak. The exhilarating feeling knowing that I made it despite my legs cramping and entire body aching from the long hike. Most of all, the 360-degree view was absolutely gorgeous. I have no regrets. It was tough on the mind and body but I made it and it was a big accomplishment for me.


My tips for this trip:

1. This is not an easy hike and even if I hiked for months before this nothing really prepared me for it. Keep on hiking trails with higher elevation. Try to get accustomed to longer hikes before even attempting this hike.
2. Use a hiking staff or poles. I wouldn’t have survived without my hiking staff.
3. Bring water and food.
4. Start early. This is a heavily trafficked hike and the parking lot gets filled up easily.
5. If you’re hiking solo, please make sure that someone knows where you are, even if there are lots of people on the hike it’s always safer to hike with someone or at least inform your family or friends where your location will be.
6. Wear sturdy hiking shoes.
7. Bring a camera.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you.

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84 Comments Add yours

  1. Matt from MGC says:

    Beautiful to see these pictures and a wonderful description. We hike a lot (although more as a family than by ourselves) so it brings back wonderful memories. Keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! It was a great hike. 😊

      Like

  2. Wow – this hike looks truly challenging. Congrats to you for sticking it out and conquering it!

    Also: Your photos are amazing. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! It was tough. Appreciate it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you πŸ˜ŠπŸ™

      Like

  3. Fabulous and inspiring post about your rigorous hiking experience. I love hiking, though I have not done it in a few years. I long to get back onto those challenging trails. As I approach the half century mark, I find physical and mental endurance tests to be even that much more important for me. Of course, the beauty of the environment is its own reward as well. Thank you for posting your experience, and I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      I haven’t been able to hike recently because of the quarantine and I’m out of shape again and need to get back to it gradually. For me, hiking is not like riding a bike. I have to work with my stamina all over again. The mental endurance is what gets to me because my body can take the pain but the mind is difficult to defeat at times.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. tockwith says:

    Really enjoying your blog posts! Glad I found you, because you passed by my blog!

    Some great ideas for when I next get a chance to cross the pond back to the US for another visit .

    Declan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it! 😊

      Like

  5. K E Garland says:

    Hey Bel! Just checking on you. Have you been able to hike since the world shut down or were all trails closed?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Hello Katherin! Thank you for thinking of me. I haven’t hiked at all. Some of the trails are open already but still not risking it with the steady rise of Covid. I hope you’re doing well in this tumultuous times and I pray that we all get through it….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. K E Garland says:

        You’re welcome! I understand. I’m doing the best I can.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I did one in Colorado where I thought I was prepared. I had layered my clothes and was drenched 1/2 way up. People kept asking me if I was OK. About 300 meters from the top, my face was beet red and I was breathing so hard and so far back of the rest of the group that my daughter (who worked at the camp) stayed behind with me while the rest of the group finished the hike. My youngest 2 literally ran to the top. The view where I stopped was spectacular and the time and conversation with my daughter was so precious! But I felt like a loser for weeks.
    That hike you took looked amazing!
    When I went to Florence about 10 years ago, I climbed to the top of the Duomo…463 steps. There were openings in the wall to even out the pressure and temperature on the inside dome, and every time I came to one I stopped and took a picture. OH! Look at that!!! Pant pant pant. I gotta get a picture of that! Go on by. Pant pant pant.
    I anxiously await your next post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Oh wow! That sounds like a difficult and wonderful experience all combined into one. It’s quite exhilarating isn’t it? And the best thing about it – the kind and encouraging people you meet along the way. Thank you for sharing your experiences as well – loved reading about it. I can’t wait to go on another adventure once everything goes back to normal. 😊

      Like

  7. unsaid words says:

    That feeling when you finally reach the peak, even though you wanted to call it quits but glad that you didn’t.Moments like these are bliss❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Yes. Definitely a memorable and amazing experience 😊

      Like

  8. Hester Guest says:

    I enjoyed your post, and the pictures were awesome! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I appreciate it 😊 I hope to get out and explore again sometime in the future when things get better.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Bravo on your hike! Beautiful photographs. 😍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! The views made it worth the hike 😊

      Like

  10. Wow. Great site. Wasn’t expecting all this. It’s very informal and easy to relate to, even for the novice hiker, trekker, etc. And great photos – is that with a phone or a camera?
    I wouldn’t have found your site if you hadn’t dropped in on mine and taken the time to read some of my stuff. Thanks for doing so and I’m glad you liked it, even if it’s a bit cheeky.
    And you’re right: wherever you go the best thing you can ever take is comfortable shoes!
    Wish I had your Air Miles, kiddo.
    All the best.
    John Ormsby

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      For this hike, I used a phone and a point and shoot camera. Nothing fancy. It was a long hike and I didn’t want to carry anything more than necessary or I would not have made it. 😊 Comfortable shoes are a must in this hike. Appreciate the comment! Thank you!

      Like

  11. chasingbeans says:

    Such a gorgeous place!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes it is! 😊

      Like

  12. You have some great photographic captures here. Which part of the hiuke was the most breathtaking for you?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Reaching the top was my favorite because I didn’t think I’d get there. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does look like a bigger climb than I would make for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Rich says:

    Nice post! It’s good you mention how you almost gave up, I’m sure it’ll help others push on when they need it.
    Fitness is a concern especially when doing distance with any challenging ascent! For me, cycling Portugal was a challenge β€” starting off at 18–20 miles a day then 60 in the end! I’d also add that I estimate me pushing my bike about a quarter of my 834 mile trip due to trails being too steep, too rough or both.
    There’s no problem with not being 100% ready, just be mentally ready to keep going as you clearly show, the rewards are amazing!
    Keep trekking! Much love and light from The Whimsical Detourist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Wow. Cycling 60 is pretty impressive. I’m sure it was quite an adventure for you. It is tough to cycle uphill because you are technically carrying the added weight of the bicycle. You’re also right about not being 100% ready…I rarely am ready with anything life throws my way…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ But we keep pushing anyway. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  14. Many thanx for sharing your photos and info. Being a hiker, I know how important those tips are. Peace. Art

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Appreciate it 😊

      Like

    1. Bel says:

      Yes it is really gorgeous! Nothing beats nature ❀️

      Like

  15. Amielle says:

    The views are surely worth the struggle! Your photos are beautiful πŸ’–

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, definitely one of the things that kept me going. Thank you! 😊

      Like

  16. This is awesome, good for you! I know how good it feels to conquer a difficult climb. 40 switchbacks is CRAZY! The exposed hillsides would freak me out too! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      I know part of me was so tired that I was scared I would just slip and no one would ever find me. But I survived πŸ˜‚ Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Janet says:

    Wow, good job! I especially liked the photo of the narrow trail. Tip #5 is a really good one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you. It was a tough hike but so worth it once you reach the top. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  18. bo says:

    Your post is an inspirationβ€”thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Appreciate it 😊

      Like

  19. Pit says:

    Absolutely stunning pictures of a gorgeous landscape.
    And a Happy New Year to you, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! The landscapes were definitely so beautiful. Dangerous in some places but still amazing 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  20. mich says:

    what a beautiful view! i miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Wish you were with me. It would have been crazy fun 😊

      Like

  21. Carly says:

    Congrats, Bel! Happy you pushed through! It seemed to be so rewarding! What stunning pictures! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I wish I have those same views where I live. Wishful thinking πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carly says:

        Haha! Me too! I live in Houston, it’s a great city, however, it’s still a city with a lot of buildings and traffic. I love how quiet nature can be! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Yes, the city is nice because of the convenience but I would no doubt trade it for a cabin in the woods. Nature is so soothing and destressing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Carly says:

        So true! The city has sirens, dogs barking and lawn mowers. I would rather hear the rustling of the wind! But realistically, the convenience and social aspect is important too. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Bel says:

        I’m kind of a loner….So I can skip the social aspect but I do need the convenience of a grocery store that is at least a couple of miles away πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Carly says:

        lol! I can understand. I like my alone time too. πŸ™‚ But I personally, sometimes I enjoy a lot of social interaction. I actually took a personality test and I am not an extrovert or introvert but somewhere in between. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Bel says:

        Yes! It’s different for everyone.😊 It’s good to be in the middle. You get the best of both worlds 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Carly says:

        But I understand what you are saying Bel. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow, Bel. What an accomplishment. That’s a long hike and a lot of elevation. But what gorgeous views. Thanks for sharing your adventure. I don’t see myself doing that one, so I’m glad you got the great pictures. Happy 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Hi Diana! Thanks a lot for dropping by. I truly appreciate it. Yes, it was quite the hike. I have no idea if I would even do it again. Who knows? The experience was worth it. Happy 2020 to you and your family! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Discover and Explore says:

    πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  24. buddy71 says:

    what was your total round trip time? when did you do this hike? great pics and story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      It was around September. I stayed for an hour on top to eat lunch and admire the view. So it took me at least 6 hours total. I was really slow πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. buddy71 says:

        that is a nice time frame since it was not a race and you were there to enjoy the hike.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Yeah I rarely rush through hikes. I like taking tons of pictures and just looking at the views I don’t get to see often. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. buddy71 says:

        😁😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Good job, Bel. Isn’t it lovely to have real mountains so close to so much citiy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, it’s the best thing ever! I feel like I stepped into a different world. Thank you for your comment 😊

      Like

  26. Congrats Bel on reaching your goal and the top of Mount Baden. I remember the ecstatic feeling when reaching the top of difficult hikes where I conquered internal fears and limits. And the joy of the views and wonderful condition I was in after a summer of travel and hiking in our National Parks. Maybe I’ll do it again someday. I know it would be different to do it in my 60’s, but I remember part of my inspiration was seeing elders who were in great shape hiking up the same mountains. Kudos and thanks for the fond memories. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Hi, Brad! Great to hear from you! The National Parks have amazing trails. And I’m pretty sure you can still hike them without a problem. The experienced hiker on the trail that helped me out was in his 70s and he was way more fit than I would ever hope to be. I’m a lazy and slow hiker – πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ You should definitely hike a tough one again. It’s never too late!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the encouragement Bel. Yes, I would love to hike some big mountains again.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Congratulations! So happy for you and proud of you, babygirl! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

    But…um, did you say NINE THOUSAND FEET? 😰😭🀒 *throws up then faints*

    πŸ˜„πŸ˜πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes 9000 feet is the peak but I only had to hike around 3k for the gain. But I know you hate heights…πŸ˜‚ I was bit scared of the peak too. It was a bit slippery!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The view of the SG mountains FROM my Pasadena home back in the day was enough for me. I love your sense of adventure! πŸ†πŸ‘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Hey Pasadena used to be my favorite place in the world…😊❀️ I’m going to rub off some of my adventure on you!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ll take it! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

        Liked by 1 person

  28. edgarone2 says:

    Hello Bel, Congratulations. You notched a hard achievement. It’s inspiring. I wish I can do that myself. Thank you. Edgar

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Trust me. If I can do it…anyone can! Haha! I don’t even know if I would have the energy to do it again but the experience was unforgettable 😊 Thank you!

      Like

  29. Jill says:

    The views look like they were well worth the struggle! There’s nothing like that view at the top where you can see the blue ridges of the mountains one after the other.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      It’s so peaceful up there I wish I didn’t have to go back to reality. The hike down was painful on the knees but I was so happy from the experience that I ignored it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Reblogged this on Griffin's Nest and commented:
    Truly inspiring!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you for the reblog 😊

      Like

  31. I am so glad you didn’t give up! You are so inspiring!! The photos are gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      The people on the hike were so encouraging to a struggling solo hiker. It gave me strength to just keep going (that and the tons of food I had in my backpack πŸ˜‚) Thank you for reading and appreciate the comment! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Meerykhati says:

    Hi !!! Bel awesome pics and nice post .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. Happy New Year 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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