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Mt Pinos, Sawmill Mtn. snowshoe

 
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michaelmagno



Joined: 26 Nov 2009
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Location: Leona valley, ca

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Mt Pinos, Sawmill Mtn. snowshoe  Reply with quote

After a fitful (read:shitty) night sleep, I made it to the Mt. Pinos parking lot by 5:20, only an hour before I was supposed to meet Hiking Buddy for a quickie snowshoe up and around Mt. Pinos.  Worse yet, my steaming hot thermos of GO-GO juice sat forlornly and forgotten on my counter, at home, leaving me to draw upon the grace of the beautiful full, blue moon for launch power.  Used the time to prep and do some self arrest practice on the slope behind my car.  Iím sure I looked a sight, 245 pounds of man meat in the dark and cold, repeatedly sliding down an icy slope, skittering to a stop (stopping is good) at 5:30 in the morning.  Somebody call the psych ward.  Fortunately, Buddy arrived promptly on schedule to save me from my own devices.  After usual pre-trip formalities, we were on trail by 7:05.  
It was 32 deg with a stiff wind from the East when we departed.  
Snow conditions were great.  Firm with a thin icy crust.  Opted to leave the 8" tails off of my rented MSR Denalis and had no problems, even at 250+ lbs loaded..  Followed road up to summit stopping for photo ops and made FAA tower by 8:04.  Windy and a bit hazy, but still had spectacular views of San Gabes, Catalina, Southern Sierra, Carrizo Plain and Central Valley.  Forged on down ridge toward Sawmill Mtn.  From the Pinos summit, snow was deeper but with mixed vegetation to slow things down, and trail was only traveled by one before.  Soon ditched the previous hikers tracks, so we were blazing trail through virgin snow.  Mmmmm, virgin.  Struggled (GO-GO, why have you forsaken me?) up to summit of Sawmill, hit rock tower at 9:10.  Brief rest, refuel and layer down, and we were headed back, since H.B. had prior engagements (note to self: find Hiking Buddy with less non-hiking agenda).  Actually, I was glad he had to get back, because I was gassed.  Sucked wind back to summit of Pinos, then made quick work of getting back to car.  Off trail at 11:13, which as Buddy pointed out, was the exact time of the true full, blue moon.  Why he knew that, Iím not quite sure, but kind of cool nonetheless.  


Trail out of parking lot.







San Andreas Fault with Pine Mtn Club nestled in valley below.



Central Valley in the haze with the Sierra in the distance.



Lockwood Valley




Mmmmm, virgin.





Sawmill summit.



More Sierra



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EnFuego
SGMDF Rescue Crew


Joined: 15 Dec 2008
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Location: Seal Beach, Ca

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR and pictures.  Haven't seen this area in quite some time.
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michaelmagno



Joined: 26 Nov 2009
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Location: Leona valley, ca

PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was my first time up, but certainly not the last.  And at 8800'+, it's a good option for us North County residents to get some altitude and white stuff.
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