Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 34.08679°N / 116.8475°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Dec 1, 2008
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Winter


Me and MattMatt and I
Before this hike, I hadn't been out hiking in the mountains for almost two months. Because of this fact, I was almost going mad. Finally, now that cross country was over, I had some free time on my hands. Plus it was thanksgiving break.

It was hard finding some of my normal hiking friends to come with me. The little bit of snow from a storm system that moved out three days before scared them I guess. However, I finally found one of my friends to hike with me; his name was Matt Ranos....poor soul....

The plan was to day hike the Vivian Creek Trail up to San Gorgonio and, if we had extra time throw a few other peaks in the mix as well.

What Really Happened

San GSan G from where we stopped.
Matt EatingWhere we turned around.
This was my first time going hiking w/o adults. I had been before, but that was when my parents were close by. This time, I drove 70 miles away from them then I went hiking. Quite a change from the norm I was used to. But, to keep the parental authority over me, they gave me a curfew of being back at the trailhead by dark (around 5pm). I thought this would be easy.

Also, I had to deal with the permit and adventure pass stuff. I was a little nervous about doing that stuff; however, it turned out to be real easy.

After getting out adventure pass and permit, we hit the trail. This was around 8:20am, which was kinda a late start. The first mile I had heard was very steep....and indeed it was. This part took us nearly two hours. I wanted to be at the summit no later then 2:00pm.

Also, my friend had recently dislocated his shoulder, so a few times during the hike, he managed to tweak it some and that resulted in a few 20 minute breaks.

The weather warmed up a lot, so we had to shed our jackets. At around 9500 feet, the snow began to kick in. On the way up, there were some areas iced up and with out crampons, this was a little hard for us. The trail was pretty easy to follow considering that there was snow a few days before.

Our progress was very slowwwww. We reached Halfway Camp at around 10:20. We keep going. We reached around 10,500ft at around 1:30. We had planned on eating lunch atop San G, however, we were both starving and plus, being a mile (plus 1000ft below), we decided that it was possible for us to make the summit and hike back before dark. So we ate lunch there. Also, I forgot to mention at this spot (which was pretty close to tree line), was very very cold. My hands went numb in 2 minutes. So we threw all of our extra clothes on and at a fast lunch.

At 2:15, we began our hike back. It was disappointing not being able to summit; however, we had to get back before dark. We made an extremely fast pace down the mountain. Going down, the trail wasn't iced up like it had been on the way up, so that was nice. We reached Mill Creek Canyon right as the sun was setting and got back to the cars right as it became dark. It was perfect timing, however, no summit … My knees were hurting after that descent...

Looking Back

We were both kinda bummed that we didn't make it to the top of San Gorgonio; however, the mountain is still there. Also, Matt remembered how much he liked hiking, so we are most likely coming back for a second attempt during 08 Christmas Break. We are most likely going to go up the South Fork Trail, camp at Dry Lake (which hopefully won't be dry) and then make the summit.

Also, next time I hope to have crampons and an ice axe.

It was an amazing day even without the summit!

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy this trip report!

Mill Creek SunsetMill Creek Sunset


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-5 of 5
Augie Medina

Augie Medina - Dec 3, 2008 11:53 pm - Voted 10/10

Good Job

Your adventure translates to "gaining experience." Its probably happened to a lot of folks around here (including me), that is, not having enough time to get to San G.'s summit. One thing you do have is good judgment- you turned around according to your plan. Plus, higher up you might not have been able to continue without crampons.

Tell your buddy good job last Friday in the quarter-finals and good luck in the semi-finals.

Alex Wood

Alex Wood - Dec 4, 2008 12:03 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Good Job

Thanks for your comments! Yeah, I have been late too many time and I wasn't going to be late again on my first "real" outing. Plus, it was really cold up top and he wasn't prepared enough. He dislocated his shoulder, so he has been sidelined. He was a starter before that. I'll tell him! Cheers!


Blair - Dec 4, 2008 9:22 pm - Voted 10/10

Lessons Learned

And the experience teaches these lessons. Good try and getting out there. Hopefully you also saw the dangerous side as well, as you mentioned you lacked some equipment that was needed (crampons, etc., and gloves and proper layering system) and can grow on this.
I was there too dude, my first trip up Old Greyback resulted the same in many ways. From starting late to the place you finished!
Glad that you got out there and BACK

Alex Wood

Alex Wood - Dec 5, 2008 1:54 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Lessons Learned

The only thing, according to me, that I thought I really needed for the hike was crampons. I had gloves and plenty of warm clothes, but I had shed them before and once we had hit tree line, it got very cold very fast. Event w/o crampons, the trail was hikable...but as said before, it was probably going to get icier up top..Haha thats funny... I guess a person needs to learn sometime. Thanks for the comments!

Alex Wood

Alex Wood - Sep 16, 2010 1:01 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Lessons Learned

haha looking back, I wasn't prepared for shit on this hike! haha

Viewing: 1-5 of 5