I got word that there "might" be enough snow coverage to allow a direct line snowshoe to the summit. I woke up very early and drove out to Palm Springs to take the first tram up to Long Valley at 8:00 am. I met up with my friends Ellen and Cindy. There was also a hiking group that would be snowshoeing up. In total, there would be fifteen people shoeing through the wilderness.
The weather was great to start the day. Clear, no wind and 35 degrees. We were able to take the winter route to about 9,400'. Somebody had broke a nice path through the snow to this point. Once out of the forest cover, I could see that the chapparal was not completely covered. We would not be able to go direct to the summit, too much brush showing or brush just under the snow. Plan B was to take a shot at the Jean Peak/Mt. San Jacinto saddle. There was less brush this way, but no broken trail. A few of us would take turns breaking the trail for the group up to the saddle at 10,400'. The snow was soft and deep in places. Up to about four feet.
Once at the saddle, I decided to bag Jean Peak (10,670'). I led the trail breaking to the summit rocks. I had to crawl my way to the actual high point, but I did it. First time on Jean. Great views in all directions. Marion Peak to the southwest, San Jacinto and San Gorgonio to the north, Round Valley to the east and Mt. Baldy to the west. The snowshoe to Mt. San Jacinto was straightforward on the south ridge. Summited Mt. San Jacinto, then headed east to Miller Peak for a trifecta of peaks.
The snowshoe back to the tram was uneventful. Overall a great day in the mountains. Hopefully it will snow some more this winter and I can get back out to take the true direct route to the summit.
|Mt. San Jacinto From The North|
|Long Valley Scene|
|Not Enough Snow Coverage To Take Direct Route|
|Topping Out At The Jean Saddle|
|Frozen Boot :)|
|On The Summit Of Mt. San Jacinto Looking North To Mt. San Gorgonio|
|Great Day In The Mountains|
|Miller Peak Summit Block|
|Steep North Face|
|GPS Track, 7.5 Miles, +3,000'|