Monday, October 17, 2011

Cactus (Palm Springs) To Clouds (Mt. San Jacinto) Report

Sunday October 16, 2011: Took my annual trek to Palm Springs to climb the Cactus To Clouds route up to Mt. San Jacinto. I left my house at 0130 for the long drive out to the desert. After a couple of coffee stops, I arrived at the parking lot at 0340. I met up with Ellen who would be accompanying me to the tram this morning. We were on the route at 0400. It was a bit warm at 75 degrees, I would prefer to start off in the low sixties, but oh well. I started out with three liters of water and two liters of powerade. The starting elevation for this trail is 480' and the top of Mt. San Jacinto is at 10,834', lets go.....
Hiking endlessly uphill in the dark is normally a pain, but Ellen and I chatted it up about our respective John Muir Trail journeys this past summer and before too long the sun was coming up and we were at 4,000', good times. The heat of the day never affected me too much, it was warm, but doable. We made good time to Flat Rock where we took a nice siesta. Smoked Salmon and crackers for me. The break helped propel us up the last 2500' to the tram. The weather ended up being great, we must have hiked right along at the comfortable/uncomfortable line with the heat.
After stopping for lunch at the Ranger Station, Ellen bid me farewell and I continued on to the summit. It was a very enjoyable trek, so enjoyable that I decided to bag Miller Peak. I arrived at the summit to a hoard of people, I almost forgot it was a weekend. Had to wait in line to get a photo of the summit sign. The views were incredible as usual. Looking down the north face to the desert floor is awesome, the geologic forces at work are still ongoing and very evident. On the way down I took the ridge down to the first big switchback in the trail. I call this the snowshoe route :). I made it down to the tram in good time. I finished at 3:00 pm with a total of 21.5 Miles and 10,850' of elevation gain and two summits. Not a bad autumn day in the mountains.

My Topo Profile Of The Upper Mountain

My Topo Profile Of The Lower Route

From Summitpost: View Of The Route

From Summipost: Another View Of The Route

First Light


Early Morning Light On San Gorgonio

The Route That Lies Ahead

Looking Down To The Desert Floor

Good Times :)

View North From The Summit

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