The Mount Baldy Boys Summit the Peaks

The team
Photos courtesy of Alexander Stuempfig

By MARIE TABELA | Special to the Palisadian-Post

The idea of summiting the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains sounds like a feat of epic proportions reserved only for the most experienced climbers and hikers.

With the highest point reaching just over 10,000 feet and the climb beginning at over 6,000 feet, most would opt for any form of transportation to the top of Mount San Antonio (also known as Mount Baldy) other than their own two legs.

For Palisadian kids Aidan Stuempfig (9), Pierce Bendikson (11), Graydon Larson (11), and their fathers Alex Stuempfig, Jonathan Lischke, Aaron Bendikson, Andrew Scott, and Michael Larson, that very climb was just another fun adventure with the boys.

The ambitious group spent their days leading to their climb up the Ski Hut Trail preparing by running the Rustic Canyon stair circuit and local trails, like Will Rogers State Park, Topanga State Park, Goat’s Peak and El Medio.

Making the trek

Though the boys are short on years, they are long on experience.

As avid hikers for as long as they can remember, they were excited to summit the highest point in Los Angeles County.

Their eight-hour round trip climb was filled with plenty of nutritious snacks, water, and time resting and simply enjoying the company of those in the group.

The boys showed great determination, none of them even considering giving up along the way.  Summiting the beast of a mountain was a high point (no pun intended) for the families.

When asked how they felt when they reached the top, the boys responded with a resounding, “Amazing!”

So, what is next?

With the difficult climb under their belts, they are looking forward to taking on San Jacinto Cactus to Clouds outside of Palm Springs, which boasts the largest elevation gain in the United States.