|Big Baldy - Highest Point in the Little Belts|
|Zeno ignoring my attempts to find a paw-friendly route|
Like the Big Belts, the Little Belts see a wide range of recreational activities from hiking, to ATV-use, to resource extraction. During the seven miles I drove to my trailhead (no trail, just a spot that I arbitrarily picked as a take-off point for bushwhacking) I passed numerous ATV trails with well marked signage, and hillsides in different stages of recovery from logging efforts.
|The storm that hit me as I reached the summit|
|Looking down into Rhoda Lake|
After a couple miles we popped out onto a wonderfully friendly ridge complete with a well maintained trail. The north side of the ridge fell away rather steeply down to a lake and was clearly the more rugged side. Looking east we had an unobstructed (aside from a few snow drifts) path to the summit of Big Baldy.
With a nervous glance back at the thick virga obscuring a point less than a mile away I broke into a run up the steep, exposed trail to the summit. Alternating between running and power hiking I was able to make good time and reached the top in front of the storm. 15 seconds later the storm caught up.
|At the top of Big Baldy|
After a few chilly minutes taking in the large cirque on the eastern face, I turned into the wind and began a mad dash down to the trees leaving Zeno to fend for himself on the descent.
After seeing the well-worn conditions of both the ATV and foot trails I already have a few long days mapped out for a return to the Little Belts. Maybe this time I'll stumble across a blue rock or two.