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General Conditions
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What is your favorite season?
Winter
40%
 40%  [ 10 ]
Spring
24%
 24%  [ 6 ]
Summer
8%
 8%  [ 2 ]
Fall
28%
 28%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 25

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Taco
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject: General Conditions  Reply with quote

Feel free to add conditions in this thread, with the date observed.
Or, ask any question you have about conditions in the mountains.
Please check the pinned topics devoted to trails, water and snow before posting here.

________________________________________________________

JAN 06 2008

-1-2 inches of snow at 5,700ft on Wilson
-Forecasted mild-wet weather through the week


JAN 07 2008

-18" in Baldy area
-Snow levels in morning down to 3,200ft near Valley of the Moon/Crystal Lake; later on up around 4,500ft


JAN O8 2008
-6-12" in Icehouse Canyon, near the saddle
-Snow levels below Icehouse parking lot


JAN 11 2008
-6-12" in Icehouse Canyon, with less closer to parking lot. Thick but unsupporting crust on snow.
-Bad conditions for climbing on north side of Ontario and Sugarloaf, as temps are too warm.
-Crampons somewhat helpful in parking lot, as always.  Laughing


FEB 12 2008
-Stockton Flats has PLENTY of snow, despite higher temps this week. Don't go back there unless you're capable of travelling on a loose dirt road with ice and snow.
-North face of Harwood has lots of snow and avy potential, same for NE face as well.

Last outing with snow, MAY 25 2008

________________________________________________________


Waiting for 2008-2009 season to begin...

December 17th, 8 inches at 4750ft... my best guess as to the first snow... the next day, fifteen car accidents. Laughing


Last edited by Taco on Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Monrovia Peak: 2008-01-19 Reply with quote

I am planning on hiking up to Monrovia Peak (via Sierra Club Route #1) and wondering if anyone has been up there recently and can report on conditions of the firebreak leading up from the top of Bill Cull trail to Clamshell. Anyone interested?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Monrovia Peak: 2008-01-19 Reply with quote

HikeUp wrote:
I am planning on hiking up to Monrovia Peak (via Sierra Club Route #1) and wondering if anyone has been up there recently and can report on conditions of the firebreak leading up from the top of Bill Cull trail to Clamshell. Anyone interested?


I was up there last summer, here is my Trip Report and GPS data. THe firebreak was in good condition but the bush was heavy in spots. As long as you wear pants you should be fine, I did it in shorts.

http://www.gpsmountaineering.com/monrovia,rankinandclamshellpeaks
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, for the info Travis. I had seen your TR before and figured a January trip would be a bit easier as far as temperatures and bush growth than when you went in July (are you nuts!  Surprised ).

I got a very late start (dog had to go in for surgery) so all I did was a short loop hike -- went up the Bill Cull trail for a short distance to the piss poor/overgrown/tick infested/washed out/piece of shyte "proposed" trail that goes up to the ridge, then back down the ridge (past the homeless guy's camp) to the fire road, then over to the city streets and free parking area near Canyon Blvd. and Ridgeside Dr. The "proposed" trail (as it is listed in the park brochure) looks like it was once a really great trail (good grade, tread width, etc.) but is currently in terrible condition and is in fact kind of dangerous, especially as it nears the ridge (near the 4 palm trees). I, like Travis, would recommend starting any trip up to Clamshell, Rankin and Monrovia Peaks by going up the fire road to the ridge trail directly and avoid going up the Bill Cull trail route.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harumph!

Hope your dog is doing good!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, the mutt seems fine. Kinda funny to see a dog trying to walk as it is coming out of anesthesia! Walked right into a wall Shocked

BTW, long pants and some desert gators are good advice for these "trails".
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monrovia sounds perfect for this time of year - thanks for putting the idea in my head.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KathyW wrote:
Monrovia sounds perfect for this time of year - thanks for putting the idea in my head.


Go do it!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I led a group up to Monrovia Peak last Saturday via the ridge from the Clamshell Trail.  I too passed the homeless man in the blue tarp tent...where the trail meets up with the Bill Cull Trail, I walked a bit on the BC, and it appears to be in pretty shitty condition, I would not suggest taking that route.

The weather was pretty overcast and foggy that morning, so we could not see much further than a couple hundred feet, and did not have a good feeling for when we were finally making it up to Clamshell Peak.  Up to that point the brush was somewhat annoying on the legs (as said before, wear pants!), but the views were much better after descending toward the fireroad.

The weather cleared up upon hitting the following 2 peaks, and was pretty good on the descent.

I will admit that some of the group were ahead on the way down and I wasn't paying attention, and we started descending down the wrong ridge!  It happened to be the ridge to the west of the one we ascended. We knew we were on the wrong ridge because, well we could see the blue tent of the homeless guy!

This way sort of met up with the upper clamshell trail, which abruptly ended, but we found a trail that apparently was created by someone with a chainsaw cutting through branches.  

This trail quickly descended on the east side of the ridge along very fertile and damp soil that was quite fun to sort of safely slide & step down.  We descended all the way into the canyon bottom close to a waterfall where the trail faded away.  We had to navigate down a rocky portion of 30-40 ft drop next to the waterfall, cross the stream a few times, where I then located a sort of small bridge on the east side.  We climbed up this, and followed the path.

I had remembered when turning off the clamshell trail to start the ridge up with a sharp right, that there was another trail to the left that descended into the canyon.  I guessed that this trail was the one we would find, and I was right.  So we ended up not losing much ground but had a very interesting & fun way down!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome aboard, Joseph. (Ryan here)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR. Interesting "route finder" descent! Congrats. I've seen TR's from way back (60's or 70's I think) describing a route from Chantry Flat to Clamshell.

I'm going back at this peak this Saturday, but I plan on doing the Sierra Club Route #3 (20+ mile round trip death march up/down Upper Clamshell/Rincon-Red Box road). Using it as distance training with a medium weight pack.

Quote:
where the trail meets up with the Bill Cull Trail, I walked a bit on the BC, and it appears to be in pretty shitty condition, I would not suggest taking that route.

Now you tell me Very Happy! I certainly agree with that recommendation. I think the Sierra Club needs to update the info on the route up the Bill Cull trail.

By the way, did you notice the sandbagged foxholes just south of the homeless guy's camp? Very odd I thought.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is for the San Gorgonio Wilderness but I figured any info for the local mountains would be good to put in this thread.

Anyhow, I was hiking the South Fork on Saturday and they had volunteers from the FS at Horse Meadow. The offered water to the hikers but they were also checking permits. Seems like they're stepping up patrols over there. They also mentioned that they would do more patrols this winter. Just an FYI.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday: A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59.

Saturday Night: A slight chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 42.

Sunday: A slight chance of snow. Partly cloudy, with a high near 58.


Edit: this was the ad under my post just now:

Bedwetting Message Board
Discover Why UnderJams™ NightWear, Fit Like Underwear. Read More Now!
www.underjams.com

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the hell? If that happens, SUPAH COOL! Just like last year.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If only I didn't work. Maybe sunday morning a quick hike up baldy would be nice!
Hopefully get some rain/snow. I'll post pictures!

Though, the chances of it actually raining/snowing when I'm up there, extremely small, but still! Could be worth it.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My prediction is no snow and less than .1 inches of rain. Muahahaha...I have very low confidence in this latest NWS forecast....in fact I change it to it will not rain at all...Ive been hearing about lowering temps for days from the weather kooks...they cant predict acurately one day out much less more...BTW these same clowns said this next year will be the driest...and now they say rain? Ha!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree AW. I'll believe it when I see it - clowns in pin stripes regurgitating NWS predictions are unreliable. BUT, I will be carrying the necessary gear on my hike this Saturday, just in case they get it right!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this is the case, I hope to do a lightweight overnighter or something, as I want to try out some ideas for lightweight bivy stuff.

I just want to be cold again. Sad
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject: special people Reply with quote

Tim wrote:
but they were also checking permits. Seems like they're stepping up patrols over there. They also mentioned that they would do more patrols this winter.

I am surprised at how many people hike w/o permits. What are these people thinking? fascinating!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:21 am    Post subject: Re: special people Reply with quote

FIGHT ON wrote:
Tim wrote:
but they were also checking permits. Seems like they're stepping up patrols over there. They also mentioned that they would do more patrols this winter.

I am surprised at how many people hike w/o permits. What are these people thinking? fascinating!


Once on SummitPost when I mentioned I used to be a Forest Service volunteer ranger (permit-checking dude) I got hassled.

I think there are a lot of mountaineers who think that since they are such hairy-chested tough guys with all the necessary gear, the rules of society simply do not apply to them.

I didn't meet many people like that when I was patrolling, but I get that vibe from a lot of the postings I read on some forums.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Simonov wrote Once on SummitPost when I mentioned I used to be a Forest Service volunteer ranger (permit-checking dude) I got hassled.

I think some people have a problem with authority (not me).  I resent having to ask permission to enter the great outdoors, however I understand the need to assign accountability to those who may be less than responsible with the resource, and or overestimate there abilities by getting lost or worse.  
Unfortunately in reality they are only keeping track of the responsible ones! Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill wrote:
Unfortunately in reality they are only keeping track of the responsible ones! Rolling Eyes


The permit system is not about keeping track, it's about limiting numbers.  And with proper enforcement, the irresponsible ones are sent back down the mountain.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Permits are for quitters. I can't stand those volunteeHEY SIMONOV, how's it goin'? Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simonov wrote
Quote:
The permit system is not about keeping track, it's about limiting numbers.  And with proper enforcement, the irresponsible ones are sent back down the mountain.


    I defer to your expertise, but as you have accurately stated there are a high number of those without permits.  Without proper enforcement, the point is moot.  
 Basically, I'm just yakin', because personally although I am a rule follower, I would not want it to get to the point where there was a FS ranger at every trailhead checking permits.(that would ruin the experience)
    But, it is a little distressing to know that there are some elements attempting to elicitly exploit our forests, and who will protect there activities by what ever means.  Shocked I really don't see a solution to that other than reducing the demand for their product somehow.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill wrote:

 Basically, I'm just yakin', because personally although I am a rule follower, I would not want it to get to the point where there was a FS ranger at every trailhead checking permits.(that would ruin the experience)


Actually, when I was a volunteer (around 1989-92), there was a ranger on every trail, checking permits.  I didn't think the experience was being ruined.

I haven't seen a ranger in the San Gorgonio Wilderness at all this year, and the only ranger I've seen in the San Gabriels was making his annual hike up away from a parking lot, and wasn't checking permits.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son and I did the entire John Muir Trail in 2006 and met one ranger.  He did check our permit.  We have been to Whitney 6 times together and have been checked once.  I have never had a permit checked in the San Gabriels and only one in the San Bernardinos.  I think we have been checked a couple of times in the San Jacintos.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been checked at least three times in the San Gorgonio Wilderness (usually on the S Fork Trail but once on Forsee Creek).

I don't recall getting checked in the Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness, but then again, I don't get out there as much because it's a longer drive.

I have definitely been checked in the Sierra on a number of occasions, particularly in National Parks but also in USFS areas.

I live 10 min. from Angeles Crest Hwy.  I live about the same distance from Big Tujunga Canyon Road.  I'm 5 minutes from FR 3N76, and I've been hiking for 40 or so years.  In other words, I'm in the San Gabs a fair amount.  I've never even seen a ranger on a trail (let alone get checked) in the San Gabriels.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No checking in the San Gabriels because they aren't trying to limit the number of visitors. Even in the one area requiring a permit, the Cucamonga Wilderness, they aren't limiting the number of permits. What's there to check except fire permits, and hunting/fishing licenses?

A majority of the "good" trails in the San Bernadinos are located in the 2 major wilderness areas around Gorgonio and Jacinto, where they are trying to limit the number of visitors. Makes sense you get checked there and not in the San Gabriels.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ought to be permits required for all areas. Any mountains. You don't have a permit, you can't go.  Anyone w/o a permit has to pay a big fine. Like $2,000.00 or more.
That would pay for the rangers and would make it harder for the pot farms.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i did the John Muir trail this past summer and wasnt stopped once for a permit.


the ski hut should be nice saturday night! booyahhh!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FIGHT ON wrote:
Ought to be permits required for all areas. Any mountains. You don't have a permit, you can't go.

Wow, do I ever disagree with that.

Anyhow, sorry if my original post implied that a bunch of law-breakers were infiltrating the SGW and they were sending out swarms of rangers to hassle everyone. The FS people I met that day were all volunteers and they were just hanging out at the cabin at Horse Meadow. They were very nice and offered everyone water. I think they were there to help and inform people as much as they were there to check permits. I told them it was good they were stepping up patrols in the winter because maybe they can inform people that go out there and are unprepared.

That day we met probably 20 people beyond the wilderness boundary, nearly all of them backpackers and they all had the proper permits. I think the vast majority of people follow the rules.

Anyhow we probably should get this thread back to current conditions.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:59 am    Post subject: talk about the weather Reply with quote

it's dark outside. not raining. Tomorrow it will http://forecast.weather.gov/MapCl...p;mp=0&map.x=25&map.y=115
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FIGHT ON wrote
Quote:
Ought to be permits required for all areas. Any mountains. You don't have a permit, you can't go.


Maybe I'm in denial, but is a permit required every time you enter the forest?  Rolling Eyes
I live within a mile and a half of the PCT, and I'm sorry, but I'm not going to get a permit to walk up the street and hit the trail (unless I'm camping out).
I guess it depends on where you go. Probably necessary in high use areas.
I have great respect for FS rangers, and the work they do, but they work for us, and as long as we are acting responsibly, we should be left alone.
 How about this.  An annual permit worn like a fishing license.  You could file trip requests online for high use areas, but otherwise you would be held accountable for the terms of the license(fire safety, etc.)and thats it. Cool
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject: Baden Powell or Baldy or ? Sunday Reply with quote

Im itchin' to get out and was wondering what thoughts anyone had on heading up to BP or the ski hut trail tomorrow.  Im still rather new on the snow, have crampons and snow shoes.  I read the SP about avy danger along the ski hut trail.  I figure I could always go as far as I was comfortable.  Is one or the other trail more or less treacherous right now???
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snowshoes and a willingness to swim through powder are required at the moment. Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, today's reports are starting to come in.  Sure lots of snow.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say Ski Hut would be better. The trail is basically plowed to the Hut, from what people say. South facing so more sunlight.

Best of luck regardless.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx Taco.  Your info gave me the last minute push I needed to move my sorry bum out into the snow.  Went up to the Ski Hut.  Great day... and then there was the drive down the mountaing.  TR coming soon.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject: Conditions on Mt. Wilson? Reply with quote

I'm not experienced enough with winter hiking to visit my favorite area, San Gorgonio wilderness, this weekend.  But, I am okay with hiking in some snow.  I want to hike from Chantry Flat to the top of Mt. Wilson tomorrow.  Has anyone hiked in that area lately?  I'm just curious about conditions.  I've made phone calls and gotten no good information.  Also, the Mt. Wilson tower camera is not currently working.  Thanks!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know some people hiked up the Santa Anita ridge from Chantry to Mt Wilson last Saturday:

http://hiking.meetup.com/196/calendar/9306531/
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some friends  and I went out last Sunday toward mt disappointment

we had 1 to 2 feet of wet - powdery snow. Wet near Mt Wilson - Red Box Rd dryer as we went up

Conditions likely have changed since then with the rain and freezing temps at night, I'd expect it to be icy

I looked at the Mt Wilson area as drove back from Stoney Point on the 26th and noted the snow cover was much less.

My experience in the Mt Wilson area is the snow melts leaving a sheet of ice where the sun doesn't linger long.

Going up to San Gabriel Peak could be scary in one or 2 spots near the summit, 3rd Class climb to Strawberry Peak could be dangerous

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Liz,

I live at the base of the mountains.  There was no visible snow from this last storm.  Probably what happened is all of the rain melted off the snow.  As Matt says, the danger is now ice.  A woman did die on one of the trails in and around Mt. Wilson last year after slipping on ice.  It's been quite cold here at night, and I'm at about 2000'.  Mt Wilson is 5000+ feet.  

Higher up, you may encounter better conditions since it snowed and didn't rain like on Mt. Wilson.  The service road to the Mt. Waterman Ski Area is
a nice snow shoe if you're so inclined.  

HJ
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Liz



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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject: Vivian Creek Reply with quote

Has anyone been up the Vivian Creek Trail lately?  I left a post on the San Gorgonio site, too.  I have only a lil' winter experience, but do have snowshoes and expect the trail to be farily worn, at least to a point.  I'd go as far as I could. Don't know what that point is, but I sure miss that beautiful wilderness.  I'm tired of seeing downtown LA from my hikes!  Mad
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Location: Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience, there are places where one does not follow the trail in the winter.  For example, the hated switchbacks above High Creek are buried and people head pretty much straight up.  That often applies to the switchbacks after Halfway.  The paths are easy to follow except right afrter a snowfall.

I have done Vivian Creek in boots, snowshoes, and crampons.  As in all winter hiking, things change a lot.  vivian Creek can be easy, tedious, downright dangerous, etc.  I have not been lately, but imagine that it is looking pretty good these days.
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: New hike for me tomorrow Reply with quote

I'm planning on trying out a new route tomorrow.  I've been on some of the trails, but not all.  I'm going up the Sam Merrill Trail, to bag Muir, then take the trail and road to hit Lowe, Disappointment and San Gabriel. Then I'll  make a little lollipop loop, in a clockwise direction, to come back down.  I'll eventually catch the Castle Canyon Trail to Sam M to finish.  Has anyone recently hit the peaks I mentioned?  I'm just curious about what the trails are like, particularly getting up to the summits.  I'd welcome any helpful insight.  Cheers!
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HikeUp
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Location: Pasadena, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The approach to San Gabriel from Markham Saddle is shaded and has some short stretches of serious exposure. This is just a guess since I actually haven't been up there recently, but I'd assume there would be snow/ice on the trail from Markham Saddle to San Gabriel Peak. If you can't get to San Gabriel the rest of your trip as planned is still intact so no loss really.

Trails to Mt. Lowe are on the north side near the top and might have snow/ice but I don't recall any steep drop offs that would cause hesitation.

Markham should be no problem.
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Location: El Segundo, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: San Gabriel Reply with quote

I was up on San Gabriel two weeks ago and didn't make it to the top.  Too much snow, and one of the guys I was with forgot his crampons.  But yes, steep drops and a little icy.  Some of it might be clear by now, but I don't think all of it will be.  Good luck.
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Location: Seal Beach, Ca

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the other responses saying there might be snow or ice sounds like this might be a fun hike.  Wish I could make it out there with you, but unfortunately, got soem other obligations this weekend.

Have fun.
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Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of the SG Pk trail is exposed, so you might be OK.  If not... live to fight another day.  Smile

I'm going to try the Bailey Canyon - Mt. Wilson Trail loop tomorrow.  Baby steps, yes, but my knee has been doing much better.  Smile
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:24 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Hey guys!  Thanks for the info. If I do the whole hike, it'll be about 17.5 miles.  If I don't feel safe doing San G, then I can still do at least 15 ish miles, so cool.  I'll bring my crampons, just in case.

Hikin' Jim- Good luck tomorrow! I've done that loop a lot.  Last time I was on Mt. Hastings, I waved at you, as you were on another trail, not too far away.  I hope your knee does okay.

Now, hikers, let's all meet up for a cold beer after our hikes tomorrow.  Woo hoo!  Twisted Evil
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