Viewed from afar, Bald Hill is a small and rather inconsequential bump on the west ridge of Camels Hump. In order to improve the self-image of the peak, I have given the features rather grandiose names – the Great Western Saddle, Great Eastern Saddle, and Foreboding North Wall among them. Our route started at the Honey Hollow Trailhead (thus ‘the hard way’, from the river).
Six of us went up the Catamount Trail to where the trail rejoins the Honey Hollow Road, and met up with our 7th team member there. We then continued to where the road ended, and took logging roads south into the woods. Our motto was to head south always, and to head up always. At about 2200’ on the Foreboding North Wall, we left the logging road as it started to head west. We continued straight up, bushwhacking our way through the spruce and hobblebush. Three hours after we started, we reached the summit, just in time for lunch.
Given that peaks like Everest have records for ‘first person of whatever nationality to reach the summit’, we bestowed on Robert Preisser the title of first German national to reach the summit of Bald Hill. (Could be true – who knows??) After a half-hour for lunch, we headed down a steeper, rougher bushwhack route to reach the Great Western Saddle, as participants wanted to learn all the secrets of the mountain. In the area of the saddle we were pelted for a short time with one of the variations of sleet, but since it was frozen we didn’t even get wet. From the GWS, we followed the logging road north-east, and soon came to the place where we had left the logging road on the way up – to the amazement of some participants, who suspected (incorrectly) that the leader was lost most of the day. We retraced our route in reverse back to the start.
The total trip was 6 hours – 3 hours up, hour on top, 2 hours down.
Participants – Joel Tilley, Phil Hazen, Robert Preisser, Sheri Larsen, Daniel Scheidt, Phil Howard, Trip Leader Richard Larsen