Big day for me coming off the couch after 3 weeks rehab on my cut/bruised knee and only one outing per month. About 1700 -1800 m elevation plus 20+ km. Took us about 12 hours due to a wrong turn on descent on Volcano so we just avoided the headlamps.
Took trail along the creek all the way to plateau – turn off Evan-thomas trail just before the creek crossing. After .5 hours there was a trail off the left side which probably went up to the SW ridge to the plateau- better winter access versus creek – but it would be longer. Trail has some narrow ledge sections over creek that would be dicey with snow/ice. Take left fork of trail later on to get to plateau and avoid going to lake below McDougal. Upper ridge was mostly easy with one moderate slab – went to right and up past dark rock where the cairn was. Four hours to top.
Took scree gully down to col and followed bits of trail – no real scrambling – over to McDougal at easy pace – about 2 hours.
Ridge to Volcano – first upclimb was moderate – short, second longer but also moderate to diff. Rest of ridge has some problems from this direction but can walk around on ledges on left side. Hour and 1/2 to volcano with stops for pics.
Started down west ridge but got sucked off to right side and went over NW side too early and went down some real ugly talus, rockbands, dense trees, slippy moss, ugly talus gullies, etc. so 2 hours down to trail and then 1 hour 15 out.
Should also read others trip reports – Quote from Steven Song on Clubtred
“We decided to take the gully immediately towards skier’s right. Poor decision, this gully turned out to be very miserable. It reminds me about Storm Mountain, the worst scramble ever… There’s even a big cliff near the end and forced us to do some bushwhacking to get around. Once down to the main drainage, more bushwhacking was waiting for us… After what seems like eternity of nasty stuffs, we finally managed to find the trail on the right side of the stream.”
Recomend to stay up on volcano ridge along trees until nearer the west end of ridge.
Pics at BaldyMcdougal Traverse
Poor video of Kevin climbing the crux up climb between McDougal and Volcano on Youtube crux – I have since learned how to adjust the quality of video on my camera.
Kevin Old Baldy McDougal Pics at Summits for Seniors – Great cause.