Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Adventures In Los Angeles - Backpacking Trip To Mt Baldy

The last few old age that I lived in the Los Angeles area, I spent most of my free clip in the mountains. Usually it was the Santa Monica or San Gabriel Mountains, but I also enjoyed the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains. They were my cure-all for work related stress, metropolis traffic and the demand for fresh air and exercise. Because the Santa Monicas were closer to my place in the South Bay, I spent more than clip there at first, especially for mountain biking and after work hikes. But as I got into longer hikes, backpacking, and especially peak bagging, the San Gabriels became my favorites. Anyone who doesn't like life in the crowded large metropolis of greater L.A., just necessitates to look up to the hills, where a whole different human race awaits.

The chief trail in the Cucamonga Wilderness is the Center Pitchfork of Lytle Brook Trail, which is accessed from Interstate 15, via Sierra Ave. Iodine had hiked the trail numerous times, including my first solo nightlong backpacking trip. Wanting to share this beautiful country with others, I organized a figure of backpacking trips in the area. To me, any tramp is better if it affects a mountain summit, so the first 1 was supposed to be a trip to Mt. Baldy. I figured this would be a nice nightlong trip, especially because it would avoid the crowds on the normal Baldhead paths that start in the Baldhead Village area. Of course of study it would be a batch longer, but that is the intent of a backpacking trip, something longer than a twenty-four hours hike. The trip would be about 28 miles, and was planned for December 8th and 9th, billed as the last backpacking trip before winter.

I was listening to the weather condition reports, and keeping an oculus on Baldhead as well. From the 2nd flooring windows of my house in Torrance, I had a great position of the summit, to check up on on snowfall conditions. Yes, there is snowfall in the mounts in L.A., and there is even a popular skis vacation spot on Mt. Baldy. There had been some snowfall seeable there already, but as the weekend approached, I was happy to see that it had all melted. Maybe others were wiser than us, but Frank was only other individual to subscribe up for the trip. I hadn't met him yet, but we were both on the Pacific Ocean Crest Trail electronic mail listing and he responded to my invitation. Frank had previously thru-hiked the PCT, from United Mexican States to Canada, and as that was one of my dreams, I was looking forward to meeting him and talking to him about hiking the PCT.

We met at the Lytle Brook Texas Ranger Station at 8:00 on Saturday morning, where we got our needful permit, and were planning on taking my auto from there to the trailhead, a few statute miles east of there. As Frank was putting his gear wheel in my car, he realized that somehow he had forgotten his sleeping pad. I had a couple of other little pad of paper of paper pieces that I used for dual thickness under my hip and shoulder, so suggested that he could utilize those, instead of drive to the nighest Wal-Mart to purchase a new pad, which was probably 45 proceedings away. In the involvement of economy clip so we would still be able to attain our end for the evening, Frank agreed with my plan. Our end was to encampment someplace along the subdivision known as "The 3 T's", which are Boom Mountain - 8587 feet, Telegraph Extremum - 8985 feet, and Lumber Mountain - 8303 feet. We started up the Center Pitchfork Trail, which climb ups steadily up to Icehouse Saddle, which is at 7580 feet. Here is a major trail junction, with 1 trail going up to Cucamonga Peak, one up to Lake Ontario Peak, another going to The 3 T's, and a 4th one going down Icehouse Canyon.

As we hiked, I was enjoying getting to cognize Frank and hearing about his Pacific Ocean Crest Trail hike. We were about the same age, so it encouraged me to believe there was a opportunity for me to make it as well, even though I was over 50. However, I detest being common cold and wet, so when Frank told me about the water ice cold river crossings in the Sierra Nevada, I wasn't certain that I would be able to make it. There were soon other things to see though; we needed to happen a camping topographic point for the evening. For some reason, I wanted to encampment on a peak, so we had three options, one of The 3 T's. The acme of Boom Mountain isn't on the trail, and I don't even retrieve if we took the side trail up to it, but we decided to travel on to Telegraph Extremum - besides it was higher - and higher is cool to a extremum bagger. Somewhere on our manner to Telegraph, we were surprised to meet snow, which wasn't supposed to be there.

My house confronts the sou'-west side of the mountain, which is clear of trees (hence the name Mt. Baldy) and was clear of snowfall as well. We were now on the nor'-east side and in the trees, and there was difficult and icy snowfall on the inclines and on the trail. Of course of study neither of us had crampoons or an water ice axe, because I had said we didn't necessitate them. When we got to the acme of Telegraph Peak, there was snowfall all around. We finally establish a little bare topographic point of frozen ground, but at least there was no snow. I believe Frank spent one of the worst nighttimes of his life that evening, trying to kip on frozen land with two little froth pads of paper under his hip and shoulder. It wasn't just a bad night's sleep, I don't believe he got any sleep; he was so cold and uncomfortable! In the morning, it didn't take us long to make up one's mind to name off the Baldhead acme attempt. The trail was very icy, and on a steep slope. We had tried going up on the bare ridge to avoid the icy snow, but that didn't go on long - soon we were back on an icy trail. We agreed that is was best to name off the acme effort and caput back down to the car.

We of course of study made programs to seek it again in the spring, but Frank wasn't able to suit it into his schedule. On a 2nd effort in the summer, the job turned out to be a deficiency of water, but I, along with my friend Jady, made it to the summit, while two others decided to turn back. Jady and I finally establish H2O at the lodge at Baldhead Notch on the manner to the summit, and enjoyed a nice luncheon there on the manner back. It's a great nightlong trip, just be prepared for snowfall and H2O ice in the wintertime and convey tons of water in the summertime.

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