During Unbounded Days, every Webb student enrolls in an intensive course for three to five days. Our course, "Adventure Winter," was intended to take students into the depths of winter on San Jacinto. After learning navigation skills on campus, the group departed Thursday for the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, and then a hike into Round Valley. We dropped our packs there and continued on to the peak on a sunny, crisp afternoon. Making for a surreal hike, the storm that had moved through earlier that day left ice coating the upper reaches of San Jacinto. After retiring to our tents, a new front moved in, depositing an inch of snow by midnight. Unfortunately, it warmed up slightly after that, and the snow turned to a heavy, wet rain. On the hike out, even though the whole group was uncomfortable (we had contests to see who could squeeze the most water out of our gloves!), there was nary a complaint. The reward was pizza at San Biaggio's and a hot shower at home.
The group at the start.
Apollo, Jackie and Raphael on the ascent.
Dylan led with a perfect pace during the early stages of the hike.
Ms. Bauman, Adam, Johnathan and Robert
Once we started gaining altitude, the terrain turned surreal, as ice coated everything. Click any of these pictures to enlarge them.
Wellman Divide is about halfway to the peak. Here, the group shows off their micro-spikes, which we strapped over our boots to give us grip on the ice.
Andrew gets a little snack.
Johnathan and Adam take in the view on the way up.
The sun mixed with ice to create glowing landscapes.
Getting near the peak now…
The final push to the peak involved scrambling over icy boulders.
San Jacinto, 10,834'
RJ, Andrew, Apollo, and Stacy at the peak
Darren looking down into the wind farms surrounding Palm Springs. If you enlarge the photo, you'll see the rows of windmills below.
Brooke and Savannah
We used the ice axe to chip away ice on some of the boulders so we could get down without slipping.
This was taken at the same spot as the first photo above. Slightly different conditions. A huge thank you to the group for their indomitable spirits!