Brian Johnson, Rich Henke and I skied the Gorgonio Divide (San Gorgonio the long way) in February of 1995. We left Angeles Oaks at 8am on Saturday and had excellent snow for the 5,000 ft climb to the crest. From there we skied over summits of San Bernandino, San Bernandino East, Anderson, Shields (where we slept), Charlton, little Charlton, Jepson and San Gorgonio. From the Gorgonio summit we skied the east most gully down to Dry Lake. We reached our car at Jenks Lake parking lot on Sunday at 3:00PM.
There are very few multiday ski tours in Southern California. This one is the best! I often wonder, has anyone skied this since 1994?
In February of 86, I remember Miguel calling me mid week , saying since it rained in LA about an inch and temperatures are staying low, we better try to Randonee ski up Gorgonio. We slept at the parking lot at Poopout Hill Friday night and at 05:30 Saturday morning got going. On the summit ridge we encountered heavy winds and temperature of +5 F. The snow was incredible powder. We skied the North Face about 100 feet apart, fearing avalanches and in 25 minutes, descended all the way down. I will never,ever forget that ski run. The powder was knee to waist deep! You would never believe such a powder could ever be found in Southern California. This was a long day, 6,000+ feet of gain and 25 miles RT.
This was one of the first peaks I did, a great hike!! cold and clear at night,saw lots of satellites.
I got tremendous blisters on this hike breaking in a new pair of hiking boots
This was an incredible hike! I feel like a whimp after reading all the other summit logs. It took me 9 hours to reach the summit with breaks for filtering water at Vivian Creek and High Creek. Maybe because I was carrying a 35 pound pack? I had some pretty bad altitude sickness about a mile from the summit, and climbed in my tent as soon as we set up camp. I could barely eat when my fellow backpackers brought me dinner. While some of the backpackers did not feel sick when they reached the summit, by midnight each of the 7 of us had felt nauseous and had splitting headaches. Everyone felt fine by morning and were ready to make the trek back down the mountain. My feet were very sore by the time we reached the last set of very steep and rocky switchbacks. The sunset and sunrise were the most incredible I have ever seen.
Day 2 of my SoCal County Highpoint Tour. A very long hike! 4hr15m to the summit, 2hr15m return, back at the car at 1:15p. I then drove to the Palms Springs Aerial Tramway with the intent of climbing San Jacinto in the afternoon. But the tram was closed for maintainance. Darn. I'll plan to climb San Jacinto tomorrow by the long way.
A beautiful hike, but a good challenge to do in a day. We left the car at 7:45 AM. 6 hours to the summit and 4.25 hours back down, with 1/2 hour enjoying the views, sunshine on the summit with the mass of other hikers up for the weekend. The trec up the canyon wall at mill creek at the begining will get your blood pumping and at the end on a long day - it is a bit rough on the legs going down. Temps were warm at the summit - probably high seventies. Drank about 3.5 litres of water, but probably more would have been better as I was a bit dehydrated at the bottom. Wore light trail shoes which were fine, with a day pack.
We got a late start on Saturday. We wanted to make it to High Creek camp, but settled for Halfway camp.
On Sunday, we started up, and found some icy conditions above High Creek camp. The footing was dicey at times. The summit was windy and cold, surprise, surprise! We hung around long enough to take two pictures, and then started down.
We stayed the night at Halfway camp once again, and then headed out Monday morning.
As an aside, I think "Halfway" camp is a bit inappropriately named. That puppy isn't anywhere NEAR halfway.......
This was a beautiful hike. Fortunately, we made it to the Mill Creek ranger station early enough to get a permit for the hike. I think there were people after us that were not as lucky. We hit the trail by about 7:30 and made great time until we got above High Creek. From here to the summit was a struggle-but worth every step. The views from the top are great, but this is one of those hikes that has so much to see at every turn. We must have spent about 45 minutes at the summit and were back at the car by about 4:00. This is one I would like to do in winter, possibly an over-nighter.
This is one of my favorite mountains, it always helped me get in shape for my climbs in the Sierra. The 1st. time my wife & I did this mountain, we went up the South Fork Trail, then before branching off on the Dollar Lake Trail, we stopped at a rest/photo spot. This is when I first saw the North Face of the mountain, & I said to myself " that would make a good climb". Back on the dollar Lake Trail, we camped the 1st. night past Dollar Lake, at Dry Lake View. The next day we hauled all our stuff over the summit & down the other side, to camp for the 2nd. night near Trail Flat. This first trip gave us a real good knowledge of the mountain. The other 3-times I climbed this mountain, I went up the South Fork Trail to the Dry Lake Trail. At the S.W. corner of Dry Lake, I would go off trail to the west for a 1/4 mi. to a nice flat spot to camp, directly below the north face. The next morning we'd strap on our crampons & grab our ice axes, & head up the north face, then return to camp, pack up, & finally hike back to our cars. This was a fun way to do the mountain, because it gave you some trail & some off route travel also!
So far I summitted San Gorgonio Mountain twice.
First time: 9/9/00 (ascent: via South Fork, descent: via Dry Lake).
Second time: 6/10/01 (ascent: via Momyer trail/Dollar Lake saddle, descent: via Vivian Creek).
Next: I want to attempt San Gorgonio in the winter.
Have climbed San Gorgonio many times throughout the years. Favorite trail is Vivian Creek and favorite season is the wintertime.
Nice warm day. Little bit of ice on the road at the trail head. More ice on the trail just past Vivian Creek Camp. No need for crampons......just be carefull. Ice and snow in shady spots of the trail beyond Halfway Camp. The west facing slope above High Creek Camp had a good covering of hard snowpack. Only saw one set of footprints....(Maybe Josh's from last week). I put on crampons at the creek in High Creek Camp and ascended the slope to the ridge. Followed the ridge north to just below the long traverse to the summit ridge and then took off my crampons. It was warm enough that the snow was getting quite soft. Soon after I was on the summit pile of rocks. Great views. Decended all the way to trail head without crampons.
Vivian Creek 12/15/2002
Dispite a questionable weather forcast forjan, myself and two others (who we had just meet via the internet) decided to climb San Gorgonio anyway. Turns out the weather was near perfect (for a late Fall / early Winter day). As normal for this time of year the trail had many sections of ice and there was a small amount of snow above High Creek Camp and on to the summit. The ice was more of a hassle than anything else. Not enough for crampons but just enough to make the hiking slow and tedious. Forjan and myself made the summit in very windy conditions. As usual the views were spectacular.....we were inbetween cloud decks. We watched as the clouds swiftly moved up the slopes of the San Jacinto and the San Gabriel Mountain Ranges in the distance. Very fun day!!!
2/4/2009 via Dobbs West Ridge
Can't believe it's been so long since I've been to the top of San G. Fun day with Miguel. Hiked a loop starting up Dobbs Ridge to Dobbs Peak then over to Jepson and onto San G. Came down Vivian Creek.