I saw a break in the hot weather this week and decided on climbing San Gorgonio. My last hike up the peak was in July of 2002 and was a hot and miserable experience thus my personal renaming of the Mountain "San Whoregonio".
This day was exceptional though. I grabbed a hiking partner and headed up there expecting cool weather and I go 38 degrees in the morning at the Vivian Creek trailhead. We headed out at 7:15 and headed up the wash. It was amazing to see how the heavy rain moved massive boulders and came exceptionally close to several of the nearby cabins. (Note: DO NOT CROSS THE WASH IN HEAVY RAIN!!! If the wash can move 1/2 Ton Boulders, you will not stand a chance) This portion of the trail was much different than I remembered from the last trip the wash is much wider and deeper than my 2002 climb.
Once we found the marker (about 1/2 mile up the wash). We started the bear of a first mile. It is about a 1000' vertical in a mile. Once clearing the initial mile, the trail gets much easier with a rolling gain through halfway camp (really it is about 1/4 way, but you can be hopeful) then to the High Creek Camp which is a nice place to take a short breather. We actually needed to shed layers at this point. It may have warmed to the low 50's at this point.
The long, exposed, dusty trek above 10000 ft level was just as I remembered. Long, Exposed and dusty. The views at the top was unimpressive. The the east was the khaki haze covered Coachella Valley. To the North more khaki haze with a slight glimpse of the southern sierra. East is Mt Baldy surrounded by some puffy whites blown in by a marine Layer and to the south is San Jac carving its way through the ever present smog.
The summit temp is comfortable and I enjoy sharing my lunch with a brave squirrel who sets up camp on my back pack.
The way down is a little jarring and my knees feel it a little the next day. We finally see our first hikers at Vivian Creek at about 2pm.
All in all this was a nice day to hike.
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