Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pinos Ridge

On April 8, Patrick Moran and I hiked Pinos Ridge Trail to Pinos Peak (~4500 feet).  The beginning of the trail crosses the privately owned Lazy W Ranch, which we passed through with permission.  The fifteen or so bumps along the ridge turn it into 5500+ feet of elevation gain over ~16 miles round trip.  It's a real grind, especially on a hot day.

We tried to beat the April heat with a pre-dawn start, but the heat caught up to us on the totally exposed trail.  With about three miles to go, Patrick came dangerously close to heat stroke or something similar.  I won't get into the details of that here, but it is worth noting how even strong, well-prepared hikers can get blindsided in the hills. 

 Should I take direction from this sign?  If so, then what does that mean?

 Full moon (or close to it). 

 Lots of ups and downs. 

 Santiago Peak in the background with Bell Ridge in the middle foreground. 

 Patrick observing hundreds of jumbo ants on the summit. 

 Preparing to slog back up a big bump on the descent. 

 Old Sugarloaf. 

 Looking back at Pinos Peak. 

We had to move this bundle of joy out of the way to pass safely.  He went berserk when Patrick prodded him with a trekking pole. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pleasants Peak

It's taken a week for me to post this, so I think I'll just let the photos do most of the talking.  The walk to and from Pleasants Peak (4000+ feet) involved ~3000 feet of elevation gain (lots of ups and downs) and ~16 miles. 

 This grassy stretch of the Main Divide Road is clearly visible from much of Orange County.

 More of the grassy stretch. 

 I seem to see a wrecked vehicle on every hike in the Santa Anas. I jokingly asked Dave to climb inside of this one for a photo ... and he did.

 Dave and Miguel on the rather uninspiring summit. 

Indian Warrior (pedicularis densiflora)

 Knobcone pine cones growing right out of the trunk.  Weird!