Matt 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 G from where we stopped. Where 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...
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 Sunset