Sunday, March 31, 2013

Skyline on Mt. San Jacinto (#2)

At 5:30 AM on March 31, Ellen, Liz, and I started up the Skyline trail, which follows an eastern ridge on Mt. San Jacinto for 8100 vertical feet (not including some ups and downs) to the upper tram station. Minutes later, friends Steve, Patti, and Mark headed up as well. Though it got a little warm for my tastes in the bottom half, temperatures in the upper half were perfect. And there was no snow/ice in the final traverse chutes to worry about. 

We're heading just right of that high point in the middle. 

Ellen and Liz with Mt. San Gorgonio in the background. 

Some tempting tuna (I think) at flat rock. 

 Yet another vegetation zone. 

We'll be traversing through the pines to the obvious crag (Coffman's Crag). There are a couple couloir crossings in there that can be very hazardous when filled with ice/snow.

Traversing to Coffman's Crag.

 At Coffman's Crag.

The top of the Skyline trail. Just ten more minutes to the upper tram station.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bell Ridge on Pinos Peak (round 2)

This has become one of my favorite hikes in the Santa Anas. It took Patrick M., Dave G., and me a little over seven hours to cover the 13 miles and 4300 vertical feet. At least two of us brushed up against poison oak. I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking while I scratch my leg.

 Patrick and Dave an hour or so after dawn.  I'm just a shadow of myself.

Looking back down Bell Ridge

Santiago Peak

Dave and Patrick on the summit of Pinos Peak.

The final dry and warm stretch into suburbia.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Register Ridge, Mt. Baldy (yet again)

It had been over five months since I'd hiked up a mountain, and boy did I need it. I went up Mt. Baldy via Register Ridge and the Ski Hut trail. The stretch from the summit down to the boulder field was mostly snow-covered, and I donned micro-spikes for the west side of the bowl. Twas a fine day in the hills.

 Early morning light on the surprisingly dry bowl

 First time I've ever seen a sign here

 Register Ridge

 Register Ridge

 Register Ridge

 Register Ridge

A hazardous snow crossing on the Devil's Backbone trail. 

 A young bighorn sheep

 Looking down the Devil's Backbone

 The summit

 Here's another view of that hazardous snow crossing. 

Where the Ski Hut trail intersects the South Ridge

 The icy west side of the bowl