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Saturday, August 24 2019 Navigation -> about -> pictures -> Mt. San Gorgonio Hike

Mt. San Gorgonio Hike

On a Sunday, May 6th 2007 I went for the most challenging solo hike of my stay so far in Los Angeles. I decided to climb the highest mountain of southern California, Mt. San Gorgonio. At 3506m the mountain is quite high by any standard, that is more than 1000m higher than the highest mountain in my native Poland. San Gorgonio is about 1000m short of the highest mountain in continental US, Mt. Whitney. I decided to hike using the shortest approach route with a total round trip of around 16miles = 25km. The hike through Vivian trail is the most challenging one, however the quickest route to the summit. I have started rather late by leaving home at almost 9AM. By 10:50AM I started the hike from an altitude of about 2000m (the base camp is about 100miles away from my home in L.A.). I took me just under 5h to reach the top. The first 3/4mile of the hike are easy - until you cross the river. Watch out the trail here as it restarts on the other side a bit up river. The next section at around a mile, maybe a bit more is rather hard with heavy incline. For the next 4.5miles or so the hike is not very strenuous. The last 1.5miles are rather hard as the incline is steep and the altitude makes one go tired quickly. This is the hardest part of the hike. I had to rest often and towards the end I felt like I was about to vomit from exhaustion. Also in the last few hundred meters muscles in my legs (both of them) gave me few seizures and I had to massage them. The very last 100m are not steep and you walk on the saddle towards the highest peak. I have arrived at the location at around 4PM. The last two people I saw that day on the mountain were just leaving. I passed about half a dozen people climbing up on my way to the summit, but none of them made it - I was the last person up on Sunday - the whole mountain to myself. It was very relaxing to be finally on top. The main nuisance was the fact that through I looked hard for it I could not find the mountain marker with the altitude on it. I did take a picture of the summit registrar (no paper in it just a bunch of pens and pencils). One of the rocks had hooks on it and it looked like it once contained the marker. I had a beer on the top and enjoyed the view which on this clear day was wonderful. I could see for many miles all around me. I have taken few pictures of the wind breakers people have build on the top - these enclosures are designed for people to place their tents into. Some people camp at the top of the mountain which I think is awesome as the feeling in the morning looking down on the world must be great (that is if they don't freeze in the night). Also I don't think you have to worry about the wild animals as do people camping elsewhere on the mountain since I doubt bears climb this high (it is a waste land out there - what would they be looking for - rocks?). After I took a well deserved rest between the rocks I put some bandage over small scrapes my legs and hands taken during the hike. I began my descent late - around 5:30PM - this is after spending whole 1.5h at the top. On my way back I almost immediately lost the trail - it is poorly marked at the top - after all people don't make too many marks on the rocks. Didn't take me long to find the trail again as all I had to do is do a cross patter search for it. After just over 2h it was dark and I had to use my flashlight to help me in my descent. The trail for the most part is easy to follow in the dark, with the exception of few spots. Also the steep section at the end of my trek gave me some trouble - this is where I hurt both of my knees. When I arrived at the base camp location I had to look for my car. This was not that easy as it was very dark and even with two flashlights I could not find the parking lot for about 20min. I got home around 11:20PM and after quick shower went to bed.

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Album created on 2007-05-08 and last updated on 2007-05-08