Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hiking San Jacinto

In the fresh snow of a late-week storm, Jack, Vicente, John, Terence, Adrian, Mr. Owers, and I set out to San Jacinto on Sunday for a rigorous hike through a wintery landscape.  Mini-spikes gave us extra traction as we navigated up to around 9,700 feet.  After that, the terrain got even more challenging as we approached the 10,834 foot peak.  

 Near the trailhead

 Terence, John, Adrian, and Jack wade through knee-deep drifts. Luckily, we didn't have to do too much post-holing.

 Terence, Adrian, Jack and Vicente at Willow Pass (9,700')

 After Willow Pass the snow got deeper and softer, so we had to abandon our hopes of reaching the peak as a group.  Vicente, however, borrowed my spare set of snowshoes and the two of us pushed on.  Since he's already climbed Gorgonio and Baldy, this was the only peak he needed to join the 10,000 Foot Club, and the others in the group graciously yielded to his attempt.

Exhausted by the final push, we collapsed at the peak.

Vicente displaying his 10,000 Foot Club medal.  Congratulations!

Taking in the view.  Baldy is off in the distance on the left, and Gorgonio is the snow-capped peak straight ahead.

 Vicente tests the winds with Gorgonio looming in the background.

 The valley of Palm Springs, over 10,000 feet below.

We were joined at the peak by one other hiker, who was kind enough to take our photo before we headed down.

 While Vicente and I were hiking to the peak, the rest of the group brought a snowman to life at Willow Pass.  Though we didn't all make it over 10,000 feet, everyone had a great time playing in the snow and breathing the mountain air.

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