Was reading my Facebook wall after work and heard a second hiker died on one of my favorite mountains. The beautiful Mount Baldy that towered over the foothills of Claremont, CA where I lived for two years getting my MBA at the Drucker School.
I miss seeing mountains and had such a beautiful place on Foothill Boulevard (Old Route 66) with the gorgeous Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden across Foothill Boulevard and a clear view of Mount Baldy and the San Gabriel Mountains. I drove up the foothills a few times to Mount Baldy Village and enjoyed looking over the Los Angeles Basin, it’s a huge metropolis. Probably the best views of how big are going south on I-15 from empty desert to vastness and flying in over the basin and seeing all of the cars in red and white.
I remember seeing white on Mount Baldy while wearing a t-shirt and shorts in the 70s down in the foothill town of Claremont. Felt surreal, I missed seasons.
And I remember walking up Mount Baldy with my friends Erik Hansen and Ryan Schnobrich up Mount Baldy through the trees and down through the Devil’s backbone. I think it was late spring, maybe May? I can’t imagine going through that narrow ridge in February. I know my friend Erik went through so many of the peaks of the San Gabriels and Southern California including Mt. Whitney. One of the highest peaks I have ever summited at over 10,000 feet and a glorious day, around 15 years ago now in I think Spring 2001.
Learned today that a two hikers this winter died on Mount Baldy. One Daniel Nguyen trying to save his friend. I grieve for his friends and family. He sounded like a wonderful young man. Another was Dong Ling Xiu who was 48, and died on a day 12 hikers had to be rescued. I am glad the trail is closed.
Here is a beautiful tribute video to Daniel Nguyen, enjoy the outdoors, love our beautiful world and be safe.