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Saturday, August 24 2019 Navigation -> about -> pictures -> Cactus to the Clouds

Cactus to the Clouds

On Saturday May 19th 2007 I waken up very early at 1:30AM. I guess it is fair to say that I never really went to bed in the first place. Got maybe 2h of sleep when one accounts for all the time when I got up from bed. I have risen so early since the hike called Cactus to the Clouds starts at 4:15AM in Palm Springs - which is around 150 (200+km) miles away from my home in Playa Del Rey. It took me less than 2h to drive to the location of the hike trail head. The trail starts at the end of the parking lot of Palm Springs art museum. Initially there were four hikers including me, however one dropped off rather quickly. This hike is not for people that are out of shape. The first two miles of so where rather strenuous but I didn't have problems keeping brisk uphill climb since I was not tired yet. I have seen the sun slowly rise over the desert. It was going to be a hot day down below at the desert floor. After initial steep hike the terrain became up and down rolling hills which would not be of an issue if not for the fact that the sun started it activity and the three of us didn't gain yet any respectable altitude. The heat slowed us down and I started to feel more and more tired. We rested a bit at a major milestone called flat rock. From then on it was only about two miles to the top, but around 2000 feet in elevation gain - hard two miles. We managed to climb it by using 'keep on moving at any cost even if slowly' mantra. At the end of this leg of our trip we have seen surprise in the face of people that just came off the tramway and were taking a short walk. We have hiked about 12miles and gained around 8000+ feet of elevation in approximately 6 hours. At the tramway one of us (Gregory) decided that his knees would not survive the second part of the trip - he took the tram down. Me and Udi decided to continue to the top, 5.5 miles each way with around 2000+ feet of elevation gain. We have meet many people on this trail and finally arrived at the top. The last hundred yards was non-exposed scramble. After resting for about half an hour we decided to go back. I was taking it slowly to come down and Udi soon was far in front of me. I could not speed on the descent since my left knee still didn't fully recover from last weeks hike. After coming down in the tramway Gregory drove both me and Udi to our cars. Another two hours or so later I was back home, it was around 10:30PM when I got home. Whole day was spent on the road or trail. The hike I just did is one of the hardest ones in North America, ranked number 5 by backpackers magazine with just 800 feet of gain less than climbing the highest mountain in the world. While I was going up I was passed by many stronger hikers than myself - I still have a lot of training to do in order to increase my endurance. In time I will be able to do the 1st part of C2C in like 4h... maybe.

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Album created on 2007-05-20 and last updated on 2007-05-20