My wife and I summited San Gorgonio Saturday afternoon via the Fish Creek Trail to the Sky High Trail here is the trip report:
Followed the very scenic 7 mile 1N05 to the trailhead without problems. There are only a few areas of real bumpy stuff, but take it slow and you'll be fine.
8:35AM 8100' My wife and I left FC trailhead full packs. Beautiful blooming meadows on the lower portion of the trail before Fish Creek camp. Water is available from Fish Creek up to the beginning of the switchbacks to the Saddle.
11:30AM We arrived and the Saddle (thanks to Ranger Teddi found a great spot to setup camp with views of the still very snowy slopes of Gorgonio). Above the saddle there are still patches of snow on the north slopes of Lake Peak available to melting.
12:30AM 9,900' Left the Saddle daypacks (thankfully)
Nice views of the greenish water collecting in Dry Lake. Small patches of snow start crossing the trail even before the Mine Shaft Saddle. Significant snow begins crossing the trail throughout the switchbacks. It is intermittent, but we were sinking as to as much as thigh deep in the drifted areas. It was slow going and quite laborious postholeing through the drifts covering most of the switchbacks, and traversing the gullies could be difficult if they are iced over. It was very soft most of the afternoon. Hit the trail above the tarn (which has collected some beautiful aqua green water from snowmelt) and the trail ended at a pretty large snowfield. Traversing was easy as the snow was fairly firm and consolidated.
3:45 11,502' The TOP! Only two other hikers on the top with us, but the register was full of about 10 other sign-ins for the day(mostly via the Vivan trailhead). Snow relatively was clear of the summit itself with a few huge snowfields to the north and south side of the mountain top. Temps were in the 50’s on the summit and the wind was persistent but not strong (maybe 10-15MPH) Views were spectacular! You know what I’m talking about if you’ve had a clear day on the summit. A couple of gliders were circling the summit for a while only about 500 ft above us.
4:15 Left the summit and returned via the Sky High trail easing our descent by glissading a few of the gullies that were manageable. Gaiters were real handy, but crampons were just extra weight since the snow was soft.
6:00 Arrived back the Fish Creek Saddle. Camping at the saddle was very peaceful no bear activity that we noticed. Awoke to a magnificent purple and red sunrise on the peak Sunday morning from the crags on the SE side of Grinnell. Hope to be back in summer to take on the trails snow free. Have fun out there!
-Steve & Erin-
See our Trip Pictures at http://community.webshots.com/album/75662569oGXPxD
Also See the SGWA message board at http://members.boardhost.com/sgva/ if you are looking for current trail conditions or advice.
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world."
--Oscar Wilde on Absinthe