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[TR] Mt. San Jacinto - Cactus to Clouds (C2C) 10/9/2013

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Trip: Mt. San Jacinto - Cactus to Clouds (C2C)


Date: 10/9/2013


Trip Report:

OK, I am sure that there are those that call this a hike, but I've seen TR's for Hood and South Sister, so I'm posting it.


My wife and I have been heading to Palm Springs in October for a couple of years. This year, I looked into doing some sort of hike or climb.


I found this C2C hike to the top of Mt. San Jacinto. It climbs from a few hundred feet pretty much in town, up to the summit at a tad under 11K, for over 10K feet of pretty much continuous gain over some 18 miles, and then descends about 6 miles back to the tram that rises to about 8,000 feet. Then, its a 15 minute ride down to the tram station.


First, let me show you what I am leaving, so you know how hard this hike is. Did not want to leave the pool!




I left from the Ramon Road trailhead (which i think is called the Lykken Trail) at about 6am. I had jogged up the trail a couple of days before, so I was familiar with the route that I would be covering in the dark.


Daybreak brought some great views. I did see one other headlamp in the dark, coming up from the Museum Trail, which is the alternative starting location.


It does not look like the mountiain could possibly be that far away or that high, but once you get up there a ways, you believe it.


There are a couple of rescue caches that have water and food, flashlights, emergency blankets, etc. along the way. Apparently there have been some fatalities.


I made some pretty good time and did not see a soul until I got almost up to the Tram station around 11am. I ran into a guy name Joseph, and we did part of the rest of the way together.


We hit snow pretty soon after the tram station. I was not particularly happy that I had opted for tennies, in order to get everything in one carry-on. It was warm and pretty damn slushy for miles.


I got the to the top around 2pm, and was back down to the tram station at about 4:30pm enjoying a Stone IPA. The upper mountain was pretty busy with tourists. But, not very many people made it to the top if the tracks in the snow were any indication.


I highly recommend the hike if you are down that way. I had the legs for the return to the trailhead, but had dinner plans and would not have made it down until probably 8 or 9pm.


Here are some shots.










Gear Notes:

Tennies, 3 liters of water and 1 of Gatorade


Approach Notes:


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Nice, that's a pretty big day from the desert floor.


If you're headed that way sometime when there is more snow, you should bring boots, axe, and maybe crampons and climb the Snow Creek route, the closest thing to mountaineering Southern California has to offer.




You'll want to follow the obvious gully. Summitpost and Mountain Project have some decent info on the route



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Wow. That's a beauty. Not sure if I'll make it much later in the year though. Have to pay to heat the pool in winter!



Edited by dinomyte

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It's a very nice area, even if close to LA hordes. Some time ago, decades, I did an overnight ski ascent of San Jacinto in winter, coming up from the Idylwild side. Never saw any other tracks.

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Well, you could hike in 12 miles or so to it, or you could pay your $25 for a tram ticket, and the tram stops pretty much at that crag. It's right around 8,000 feet.


Name slips my mind, but I think it starts with a C.


This is a State Park as well. Not sure about any regulations.

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Cool, I took the tram up with my folks and little sister once. Nice thing about the LA crowds is they don't seem to wander far.

Have you seen that survival show that included the story of a couple from Texas or someplace who got lost up there and had an epic which included finding the remains of a backpacker who had been injured and didn't make it out? It sounded like a nightmare. Here's a summary account:


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Snow Creek is definitely the most challenging route Southern California has to offer if snow that winter permits good climbing conditions.

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