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Difficulty:3B IV (v3a2 IV)
Raps:4-10, max ↨150ft
9 May 2021
"Nice cool morning that warmed as I hiked up Bear Canyon Trail with the views getting better and better. Reached the saddle at the top of Cattle Canyon
a new canyoneering first descent (as far as we could tell) down Cattle Canyon on the SouthWest side of Mt Baldy.
Swaney: We did a loop starting from Glendora Road, down to Baldy Village, and then up the Bear Flat trail to the 9400' level near the West Baldy summit. From there, we headed down Big Horn Ridge. We immediately dropped straight off the ridge for a horrendous descent down to the canyon floor. This is an extremely steep, completely rotten section of mountain that you could easily get into serious trouble in.
May 2021 descent: Dropped directly into Cattle from the saddle at its head rather than contouring around to the west. It was a steep scree slope but didn't feel overly sketchy. It took 25 minutes of sliding down this to intersect Swaney's track.
Information from May 2021 descent is below. There could be more rappels depending on the group's downclimbing abilities. Anchor material is abundant throughout.
R1: 150' - webbing around boulder, two-step rappel, possible to do as two pitches using a shorter rope
R2: 70' - rope placed directly around log, low angle in watercourse
R3: 30' - rope around boulder
R4: 60' - rope around tall boulder; beautiful vertical slot in the watercourse
NOTE: And after the last rappel the drainage goes down into private land. And permission from the landowner should be obtained before attempting this canyon It is not Public Land. But the surrounding ridges are in the public Nation Forest. But there are also other access points to get out onto public land by climbing out to the ridge-line, and not continuing on down toward the mining road. This can be done with that extra effort to climb back out again.
Notes on 2021 descent: research on Landgrid did not reveal any current private plots on the route described, although there is one if you were to continue down the valley to Heaton Flat. The old mining road that goes a good way up Cattle Canyon is entirely washed out in many places and definitely impassable to any vehicle. There are some small buildings at the northern terminus of this road which did not have any signs of activity.
Trip reports and media
First Descent trip on 10-1-11 - Completed by Scott Swaney & Aysel Gezik
There is an east fork of Cattle that starts about half a mile south of the main fork. jcsjcs and party explored the possibility of dropping into this fork in November 2023. Unlike the main fork, the surface was primarily hard-packed dirt rather than scree or talus and there did not appear to be any safe way to either slide down it or to fix anchors.