Saturday, August 5th, 2023

This page was last updated on September 4th, 2022.

Mt. Baldy 50k 2022 was fun for those who participated (on Saturday, August 13th, 2022). The date for 2023 will be Saturday, August 5th.

The four finishers of the Baldy50k 2022 were George Sefzik (12:14:02), Cliff Matthews (12:17:06), James DuPlain (14:30:23) and Spencer Briggs (14:30:36).

The event starts at 8am (please arrive at least 15 minutes early).

I haven’t significantly updated this page in years, but the race will be the same as it has been for the last several years (and yes, 2020 was weird, but Jeff Edgar and I did run the Baldy 50k then). I expect a light turnout, but maybe some people will show up.

There were more entrants in 2021.

Baldy 50k is a super awesome race and I’m embarrassed at how bad of a Race Director I am, but 2020 and beyond have been crazy. I look forward to seeing “everyone” on race day if not before.

Friday morning I’ll drive up to the ski area and run some of the course before setting up my tent. I’ll be camping overnight and will not have access to email at all and there’s no guarantee text messages to my cell (+1 505 363 5754) will get to me.

The 2019 running of the Mt. Baldy 50k and shorter distances was a lot of fun. Results are available on webscorer

Link to Garmin Connect that some people have had trouble with map:

(NOTE: this is my time.ย  Do not underestimate the course). If you can’t download the GPX file from the Gamin link, I’ve created a page where it can be downloaded or you can skip the page and download my GPX file from 2013.

This is a tough but beautiful run.

I will print a few copies of the route directions for people who don’t happen to see them in time (or who lack a printer), but please click on the Garmin Connect link or download my GPX track from last year and familiarize yourself with the course now. If you have the ability, please upload that GPX file to your GPS.

This is not for the beginning trail-runner or the faint-of-heart.  It has more elevation gain, a higher average elevation and a higher peak elevation than the Leadville 50 miler. YOU WILL NEED TO FILTER or TREAT YOUR OWN WATER.  There is no water on the course.  You will head down to the lake to filter and fill your water bottles.

Start & finish at the Windsor Trail head in the Santa Fe Ski area. Shorter distances are also an option.

The comments from previous years have not been erased, so some of the information has changed. Please be aware that the course will not be marked in any way.

You may be aware that Cliff Matthews took a wrong turn in 2016, wound up spending the night in the woods and had search and rescue called out on him. That screw-up might have killed this race, but the Race Directorship reigns were handed from Brian to Cliff and the race was successfully run in 2017, 2018, 2019 and it’s about to be held again in 2020.


For the last few years, Cliff Matthews was both the Race Director and a participant. This year he will do the same. If you’d like to help out by greeting runners when they come back and checking them off, please contact him at  If nobody steps up, we’ll continue with the honor system.

Additional Details

It’s too early to tell if we’ll have rain this year, but we typically have some. Bring rain gear, warm clothes, extra calories and waterproof containers for your dry clothes and electronics. If there’s significant rain, the temperature drop can be substantial and sudden.

Please bring enough calories with you to last longer than you might think you need.

Please arrive at least fifteen minutes early. In addition to taking people’s name, age and sex (for result reporting), you’ll also have the option of being photographed and having your cell number taken down to aid in the unlikely event that you don’t return in time. Be aware that I’ve had almost no cell coverage anywhere except close to the start/finish.

Please be back by 9pm. If you find the course more difficult than you expect and need to turn back early, that’s much better than the alternative. If you finish after 9pm you will have made it difficult on the organizers and you will probably be listed as “Did Not Finish”.

I will be running the race this year. It’s possible that nobody will be present at my truck (red Dodge 1500) for portions of the race. Regardless of whether there is someone to greet you, please check in when you return.

Please review this page every day between now and race day. I do not have a Facebook or Twitter account, although I’m hoping to get all the new info propagated by a volunteer.

Ancient Results:

Thank you for reading this far. As you can see, this was a low-key event previously and it’s even lower-key right now, because Cliff has been too distracted with other things to be a good Race Director. However, the course itself is awesome and it’s still a great way for the experienced trail-runner who is comfortable in the back-country to get out and have fun.

52 Responses to “Mt. Baldy 50k”

  1. I’m going to find a way to mark the beginning of the course where it’s harder to follow but not the entire course. The Windsor and Skyline trails are major trails in the Santa Fe area and very easy to follow.

  2. rms said

    Ok. Just looking at the garmin map though, directions are not at all clear. Looking at the big loop near the start, are we taking a different route on the way back; what are the trail junctions inbound and outbound, as only Windsor is shown on the garmin map; is there an out-and-back to the Baldy peak. Hopefully those will be made clear in a handout we can carry.

    Also, water. What’s the distance between water sources? How much do you recommend we carry to start? What kind of water quality, will chlorine tablets be enough?

    And I’m hoping this will be added to Ultrasignup, like the other fatass events, but do you want us to show we got to the turnaround with a picture or something

  3. Brian Pilgrim said

    Ok, the run will start at 8:00 a.m. at the Santa Fe ski area Windsor trail head. It takes about an hour and 40 minutes to reach the trail head from the Albuquerque city center.

    The beginning of the run, about the first 10 miles, is the hardest part because it contains all the substantial climbs, basically Deception peak, and Baldy. When I was in good mountain running form (ran a 26:35 at Leadville, 7:35 Jemez 50k and a 4:33 marathon at run the caldera) it took me about 3:15 to cover the first 10 miles. Going that route there is no water until Lake Kathryn at about mile 11.5 to 12. Any mechanism for purifying water will be good. All the water is clear with little or no suspended sediment. I personally carry a pump filter.

    I would like to hear from any runners who do not consider themselves strong climbers so I can suggest an alternate route that skips the “loop” part and heads straight out and back. This route will have access to a stream roughly half way between the start and Lake Kathryn. In order to maximize your enjoyment, if you are on the fence about big climbs I would recommend this alternate route.

    Ok. I will print up some directions but here’s the skinny. We start on the Windsor trail, trail #254 and head up the trail to the Santa Fe wilderness boundary sign. At the sign there is a fence. Trail #254 goes through the fence but if you want the climbing you will turn right onto an unmarked trail on the near side of the fence. Follow this trail up to where it intersects with the Skyline trail, trail #251. I will go ahead and mark the trail, probably with flour. If you feel like taking out faster than me you are on your own but you should be fine, it’s not completely obscure. However, a slower start will pay off big later.

    The intersection with 251 is not marked but it happens above tree line and you can see an obvious trail heading north to the mountain peak. From the peak you can see the trail though it can be very faint and grassy. As you circle around the south east side of Penatente. Right in here there is also a narrow ridge line that you have to negotiate. It can be difficult to follow but just remember to mostly stay on the right of the ridge. When in doubt angle slightly right and straight.

    You are still on #251 and there is a really fun and runnable series of lazy switchbacks that will take you down Penatente and you will intersect back with the Windsor trail #254. At this intersection you turn west/left and you will take it to where it intersects again with trail #251 at Puerto Nambe. Here you take #251 to the saddle at the base of Baldy. It it on out and back spur to the Baldy peak. After completing the Baldy climb it is back to #251 where you will turn north/ left and it is a series of switchbacks descending toward Lake Kathryn. If you are doing the 50k you just take #251 all the way to a spur that is marked for Lake Johnson and the you come back to the Puerto Nambe and the intersection on #251 and # 254.

    On your return SKIP the Baldy climb. Just head straight back to the #251/#254 intersection and then take #254 back to the start SKIPPING all those early climbs.

    If you seriously only want about 13 miles but want a big climb then you follow the above directions until you get to the saddle at Baldy base. That is your turn around where you go back to Puerto Nambe and catch #254 back to the start. With this route you will not see water until about 3 miles or less from the start. You would get to water faster by throwing in an out and back to Lake Kathryn, still skipping the Baldy climb. This will get you about 16 and is what I recommend. If you are going to work that hard to bag the initial peak you may as well throw in the relatively easy extra few miles and see the first lake, it’s the prettiest one, that and you’ll get to water faster.

    If you want the marathon distance just follow the 50k directions but turn around at Lake Stewart, the second lake you come to. That’s my initial guess I’ll fine tune it.

    Carry some way to clean water and basically as much as you can carry. I did a hydration pack with a 64 oz bladder, 2 18 oz hand held bottles and about a 50 or so oz nalgen collapse able bottle. It was a lot but I never wanted for water. You can probably get by with a bit less.

    This run is definitely one where you try not to die. Serious bragging rights here but beyond that, it’s a beautiful run and I’m excited to be able to share it with folks who haven’t run it before.

    I like the idea of taking a picture of your self at your respective turn around point as proof you made it and ran the full route.

  4. Hey everyone, I just wanted to remind folks that we will be at high altitude and mountain weather can be unpredictable, especially in the afternoon so be sure to bring some kind of all weather wind breaker or something that will help you fend off a cold, driving rain for at least a little while. It is also a good idea to bring some type of safty signal like a whistle. We are going to be in some very remote areas.

  5. rms said

    I’ll treat this like Q50k and plan for ~8hrs. 80oz pack + 2 20oz bottles, bleach drops and ~2000 calories of food (drink mix + pemmican bars). I’d brought 1600cal then, and wanted more. Probably both a camera and a phone, and I’ll give you my # as I did with Andrea at Q50k. 60% rain forecast is a concern; will turn back if it gets bad. Not sure what shoes yet, PI M2 that I just got, or Hokas: Are the trails mostly rocky or smooth ?

  6. The trails are generally not as rocky as Jemez. Maybe on the whole they are more like the Pino trail. Weather may be the greatest concern going up on Baldy. If it rains early and looks sketchy it may be best to cut that climb. That would subtract about 2 miles from the 50K and marathon. Nothin from the other two. The climb up Lake Peak should be good because it’s first thing and there tends not to be bad weather then unless it’s already present.

  7. rms said

    Was that a 50k or a 50M? Still reeling a bit from that one! Here are a few blurry pics plus Baldy summit & Johnson lake turnarounds. Thanks Brian for organizing this!!252&authkey=!AJlJxgEyAMiYLw8

  8. ctmnm said

    Jeff and I had a great time.

    I have a picture or two, but don’t have an account to share it from. I’ll email ’em to Kelley.

    My Garmin claims 8,250 ft. of elevation gain and over 32.27 miles. That’s more climb than the JMTR 50k (both old and new course), or any other 50k I’ve done or heard about.

    I ate all 2,600 calories I brought with me and would have eaten another 300-600 additional ones if I had them. I drank all 156 oz. of water that I brought with me and another 30 oz. or so of water I treated with tablets.

    The runner in me was disappointed that so few people showed up. But, as a search-and-rescue member, I was glad that everyone was fully prepared, although one entrant mistakenly thought the 8:30 time on the course map was Kelley’s time and as such, he underestimated how long he’d be out there.

    This race is in a completely different league than the other races in the Fat Ass series. Brian, you should mention the make and model of the filter you were using, especially if this race goes on the calendar again. I’m certainly looking forward to running it again.

    • rms said

      Agree with all these comments. I’d only brought 2000cal, and was running on fumes the entire 2nd half. The water up there is wonderful, and I just used a few drops of clorox in each bottle. The course difficulty in my mind is comparable to the Speedgoat 50k in many ways, and definitely makes me question my preparedness for upcoming races.

      An SFStriders group was up there just today so perhaps more advertising/coordination beforehand would help for next time.

      Also, Brian mentioned he’d made out separate direction sheets for different distances. It would be good if those were added as text files to this page, for future generations ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Brian Pilgrim said

    Sorry, I had used the results as a bookmark. Next year I’ll post sooner.

    50k results.
    Roger – 10:38:50
    Cliff – 11:31:29
    Jeff – 11:32

    Misty – 4:28:32

  10. Brian Pilgrim said

    I also want to let folks know that I will also have an option that is more in the 14 mile range. It will shoot straight out Windsor trail to Skyline and then over the Baldy ridge down to Lake Kathryn where the turn around will be and then it’s straight back. It is a good option for those who don’t want the 50K but still want to get to some beautiful places. Misty and I will be test running both courses at least a couple times in late June/early July. I also recommend a “First Need” water filter. You can get them at REI. They are a bit pricy but pretty easy to carry in a hydro pack, fast to use and you get to drink the water right away with no weird smell, taste or color.

  11. Brian Pilgrim said

    Ok everyone, if you didn’t come to the 2nd annual Mt. Baldy 50K yesterday you really missed out on a fantastic day of mountain running. We had 11 men take on the 50K and one woman take on the marathon (she would have done the 50K but said “I only wanted to get in about 10 hours today.”).

    And so, here are the results for the 2014 Mt. Baldy 50K.
    1. Michael Chertkov, Los Alamos – 8:10 – Course Record
    2. Roger Squires, Albuquerque – 8:30
    3. Sergey Trudolyubov, Los Alamos – 8:56
    4. Travis McWhorter, Albuquerque – 9:14
    5. George Sefzik, Clovis – 9:35
    6. Chris McElveny, Albuquerque – 9:41
    7. Jeff Edgar, Albuquerque – 11:51
    8. Sean Trujillo, Albuquerque – 11:54
    9. Cliff Matthews, Albuquerque – 12:50
    10. Aaron Martin, Albuquerque – 12:53
    11. Jeff Strozier, Albuquerque – 12:53

    Results for the Mt. Baldy Marathon
    1. Andrea Feucht, Albuquerque – 9:05 – Course Record

    I want to express my gratitude to everyone who came and shared this beautiful and demanding race with me.

    See you next year!

  12. rmsquires said

    July 18 to me is an excellent date. Last year was a week before La Luz, which had me considering choosing between them. No worries on that front now

  13. ctmnm said

    July 18th is excellent to me too, because I’ll be running the much easier (I suspect) Vermont 100 that date. I think Brian knew that and set it up on the same day so I wouldn’t be tempted to try both. Good luck everyone out there.

  14. rmsquires said

    Feeling old and busted, and in too poor a shape to do the race justice this year, alas. I’ll focus on la luz training instead, and maybe a leisurely sandia crossing attempt sometime soon. But I expect to see a new CR from Chris or Michael! ๐Ÿ™‚ Being more efficient with water resupply should drop times significantly. Have fun, all! I’ll miss being there

  15. clydeologist said

    The third Mt. Baldy 50K is in the books with fewer runners but faster times. I want to thank everyone who came out to enjoy the course and I hope it didn’t disappoint. We had some good luck in that the weather was absolutely perfect, there was only one snow patch remaining and best of all the Forest Service had cut through the big tangle of downed trees near the intersection of Skyline and Windsor trails leaving a wide, flat path. Hopefully next year they will have the remaining solo trees cut though the rest of the way up and the fast descent off Penatente Peak will once again be restored.

    So, without further ado, the 2015 results.

    1. George Sefnik, Clovis, NM – 7:57:00 New course record!
    2. Chris McElveny, Albuquerque, NM – 9:18:00
    2. Clifton Trujillo, Albuquerque, NM – 9:18:00
    2. Ed Trzcienski, Albuquerque, NM – 9:18:00
    (Yes, none claimed a second over the other so who am I to argue)
    3. Jeff Edgar, Albuquerque, NM – 10:21:53

    1. Mathew Crownover, Sunnyvale, TX – 8:29 Course record!

    Big Brute Half-marathon (this was only supposed to be about 17 miles but the man threw in the Mt. Baldy out and back section for good measure so it ended up being about 19.3 miles)

    1. Justin Atteberry, Las Cruces, NM – 6:08:49 Course Record!

    Lake Kathryn Halfish-marathon
    1. Jane Cudney-Black, Albuquerque, NM – 5:41:30
    2. Misty Pilgrim, Albuquerque, NM – 5:53:00

    Again, I want to thank the runners and a special shout out to Ed who I thought was preparing to camp but instead was breaking out cooking gear complete with a table and some chairs. The man ran a 50K and then generously supplied the finishers with fresh cooked Brats and cold beer. There were tales told and laughs had. It was a great day to be an ultra runner.

    • ctmnm said

      Darn! If I had been there and not been injured I might have taken 4th out of 6 runners. I’ll bet it was a great day out there.

      Thank you, Brian, for putting this on and thanks to the runners (especially Ed, ’cause cold beer) for doing a most understated race.

    • rmsquires said

      haha very good! Congrats all!

  16. Hey everyone, the date for the 2016 Mt. Baldy 50k, marathon and half-marathon is set for Saturday, July 23rd. Hopefully that’s a decent time for everyone’s busy training schedule. Spread the word!

  17. Michael Chertkov said

    Hi! I am planning to attend this year and have spread the word at

    Would be nice to get a confirmation that the run will actually take place. (The last message here is from Jan.)

  18. Brian, could you please confirm that the run will actually take place. The last message here is from Jan.

  19. Michael, yes, the run is taking place this Saturday, July 23rd starting at 8 a.m. For whatever reason most all of the traffic regarding the race this year has taken place on Facebook.

  20. cooperkel said

    We’ll be there with bear bells on

  21. rmsquires said

    I’ll likely do the 50k course up to and including the baldy out-and-back, then directly back to the start: half-marathon?

  22. ctmnm said

    I’ll be starting and “running” at least to baldy. My plan is to attempt the entire 50k, using my Fat Dog 120 gear, but I’m still recovering from some stupidity and can imagine returning w/o the requisite Ks.

  23. clydeologist said

    The route you describe is more like 17 miles. I have directions for what I call the “Big Brute” half marathon that is the initial climbing of the marathon/50K except it skips Baldy but goes to lake Kathyrn and then straight back. That’s about 16.5 miles.

  24. Isaac said

    is there a sign up required or do we just show up morning of? This will be my first fatass run, looking forward to it!

    • cooperkel said

      Just show up. Please be aware that this is a tough course and you will need to be prepared to filter water or bring your own.

    • rmsquires said

      I’d say print out Brian’s turn-by-turns, and study a map beforehand, so you have a good mental picture of the course. I didn’t review it myself last year, missed a turn and wandered around for an hour

    • rmsquires said

      and omg I completely forgot this was this month. Feeling a little stunned ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ctmnm said

      I’ve updated this page to have some 2017 specific information. The big issue is the rain. I may have further updates, so please check back regularly. Thanks! — Cliff

  25. Aaron said

    I am trying to download the track. What “…” button are you talking about?

    • ctmnm said

      If you click on the link at the top of this page, it should take you to a Garmin Connect page that will have a white rectangle in the upper left titled “Baldy 50k”. In the lower left of that rectangle will be a button labeled “Share” and in the lower right of that rectangle should be three dots (“…”). If you click on those three dots, you should get a menu that has a “Download (GPX)” option.

      Let me know if the above works. If it doesn’t, I’ll figure something out.

  26. rmsquires said

    The 13mi loop feels good to me this year, see you there!

  27. ctmnm said

    I’ve added links to the documents that contain the directions for the four routes (50k, marathon, “heavy” half, half). One file is a PDF that you can print. Another is a Word Document that you can edit. If you have any corrections, let me know.

    The directions are largely what Brian has used in previous years. I’ve made the font a little bigger (because I have bad eyes) and I’ve added a few sentences that are supposed to clarify. I added a mention of a sign that has been confusing to people in the past, so, in addition to the links to the directions, I’ve also linked a photo of that sign.

    I will be bringing printed copies of those directions tomorrow, but please review them ASAP. By the way, the Garmin link above doesn’t list the elevation gain, but it’s around 8,000 feet.

  28. ctmnm said

    A big thanks to all who came out. It was a lot of fun and the weather was fine after all.

    Congratulations to Isaac Burleigh for finishing the 2017 Baldy 50k in 7:49. I believe that’s a new course record. After he finished, I told him that I thought the course record was about 7:30, but I don’t think that’s the case. Five other runners finished the 50k. I’ll have official finish times within the next day or so.

  29. ctmnm said

    Here’s a list of the 6 finishers along with the time they finished. The race started two minutes late, so subtract 08:02 from the finish times if you want to know how long each person took. Additionally, Roger Squires finished the Big Brute Half at 12:02. and Elijah Kamermans made it out to Baldy, partway up, and back by 11:51.

    I apologize for my delay with the results and for presenting them as a PNG. I’m going to retroactively try to get all the Baldy 50k (and probably other Albuquerque Fat Ass) results into a database and presented in a better way.

  30. rmsquires said

    I feel like I let down the team, bailing at Katherine lake, wanted to complete the full course this year. But totally chose the wrong shoe, way too minimal for the course & distance, and my feet were getting quite painful. I’ll be back!

  31. ctmnm said

    FWIW, I’ve posted the 2019 results on webscorer:

    I will rummage through my paperwork and see if I can find the results for 2018 and retroactively post them, too.

  32. ctmnm said

    The 2020 edition of Baldy 50k will be 8:00am, Saturday August 8th. It may be a few months before I update this page other than adding that date.

  33. James DuPlain said

    If you’re an AllTrails fan..this is from Cliff’s GPX

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: