Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mt. San Gorgonio, NW Ridge

On June 6, 2014, I scrambled up the Northwest Ridge of Mt. San Gorgonio. I had no plans to climb the route when I left the South Fork trailhead at 5:30AM. But when the line came into view, and I had no information about the ridge other than what I could see, I sensed an opportunity for modest adventure that should not be missed. Thus it was that mere minutes later I was thrashing through brush to the base of the ridge.

The north side of Mt. San Gorgonio. The NW Ridge forms the right skyline.

The bushwhacking actually wasn't that bad, but I didn't know that prior to bee-lining it toward the ridge. Once on the ridge, I found the class 2-3 scrambling to be very enjoyable. In fact, I felt that it was the most rewarding route I'd ever done on San Gorgonio. It wasn't until the upper third of the route that I began to see signs of prior travel. This gave the route a wild, backcountry feel that can be elusive in southern California.

Looking back at the approach to the ridge. It involved some bushwhacking, but surprisingly not that much. 

Jepson Peak from the NW Ridge

Looking down the NW Ridge

 A moment of backcountry bliss on Mt. San Gorgonio

Gaining the crest, it was an easy plod to the summit, which I reached at 10:45AM. I then took the line of least resistance straight down the scree on the north side and was driving home by 3PM. All in all, it was a surprisingly great day in the local mountains.   

The final plod to the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio