I have taken #13 3 times and will be taking it again this year. I agree with Brian regarding his description of the trek. The climb from French Henry is long and seems like it is straight up. But the view as you come into Copper Park is GREAT!!!
Get an early start when you go up Baldy. 7am at the latest, you want to be off the top by noon as the afternoon thunderstorms start to come in. We always go down the other side thru Baldy camp and pick up one days food(so take an empty pack and take turns carring it), then pick up the rest the next day on the way down. you will need the one days food and you willnot have so much pick up in Baldy Town. The hike back up to Copper Park up and over Astec Ridge is tuff and steep, but it is neet and toy will see some mine areas and an old grave along the way. It is not too bad of a climg...you just climbed Baldy!
You can take showers at Baldy Camp on your way down to Black Horse. On our food pickups we take a few min. to go thru the food packs and take out the stuff the crew does not want and put in the swap box. Sometimes you can trade it with the staff for somethings you do want. This is a crew decision as to what to take and what to swap. This helps to cut down on the weight, as you are not packing around a bunch of stuff you will never use. Make sure that you dont tear up the food bags as you will need to place what you are keeping back in them!
We also use a frisby and 1 gallon freezer bags as our plate. Each crew member carrys enough bags to cover each meal. We slide one bag over the frisby and use it as a plate. When done just slide the bag off, turn it inside out and place in the trash bag and pack out. This eliminates having to wash all those plates after each meal, just a spoon, cup and the cooking gear. Always use good smellable practices and put the trash up in the Bear bags.
To get to Head of Dean, you can get to the trail to Baldy skyline by going to the bottom on the meadow at Maranda, cut to the left of the corral, cross the stream and hike the road to the jeep trail up to Baldy Skyline. It is a tuff up hill hike. I understand that they have opened a nice trail up to the skyline but it was not open the last time I was there in 1996.
You can also get to The Baldy Skyline trail at Ute Meadows. I think this one is easier.Check your maps before you go.
Get an early start from Dean Cow as the trip is HOT, especially as you get doun to the highway and on the way to Harlan. I am looking forward to the new trail to Harlan as the old trail was tuff and hot. Be sure all have plenty of water as it is no fun going into Harlan with empty water bottles.
Brian is right, this is a great trek with a lot to do plus going over Baldy and hiking into base camp thru the Tooth. Be sure to get an early start each day and be safe, have fun and enjoy!!
Troop 76 (Manhattan,KS)