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Saturday, August 24 2019 Navigation -> about -> pictures -> Climbing Mt. Williamson in May 2008

Climbing Mt. Williamson in May 2008

This was my first trip with lots of bush whacking. I have left LA around 5PM and battled traffic for over 1h before I reached reasonable road conditions. Once at the campground it took me some time to find my group as many people were already asleep - at 10PM. Went to sleep myself few feet from my car. Night was warm but it took me over 2h before I have fallen asleep. The following day we get up around 7AM and immediately started our drive to the trailhead which was more than 15 miles away. It goes onto a dirt road around Independence, CA. It took us over 1h of dirt road driving with my car to get to the place where 4x4 car was needed. In retrospect I think it was not wise for regular cars to slowly go on this dirt road - takes a long time and is not good for the car. We should do a 4x4 car shuttle from the very start. Once at the trailhead we started the hike late, I think it was like 10AM. The group went slow from the beginning - I had to wait for a while for people to catch up. At around 1PM 4 people decided to turn around as there was a slim chance for them to make it to the top or even to the base camp at over 10,000ft. Once there was 5 of us left we moved much faster. At 10,000ft+ me, BJ and Lee decided to camp, while other two members went ahead to over 11,000ft. We slept well, it never got colder than high 20s and we didn't sleep on the snow. Later I found out that at 11,000ft+ they also didn't sleep on the snow. We started ascent around 6:45AM and were at the top at 11:00AM or so. As we were getting to the top we exchanged greetings with the climbers from the 11,000ft+ camp. As we were ourselves about to leave the top Lee made it and we went down together. I sped in front and choose the first chute down which was much more steep than the one we used to ascend the mountain. I used a lot of glissading to go down quickly - so fast in fact that I caught up with the climbers form 11,000ft which had over 30min head start over me. At around 2PM I was in our base camp. I packed and waited for the rest of the team. It turned out to be a 1h wait. Finally they arrived - we still waited for Lee whom was slow on the descent. We divided into two teams on descent, but after about 30min I decided to be more adventurous and go ahead by myself. This was another adventure in itself as I had to go 6 miles off any trail with multiple river crossings. To make things more interesting my GPS was stuck on the Shasta map and I could not track back our previous path. All I had to do is follow the river to the end - easier to say than do. We are talking about a lot of bushwhacking with few incorrect river crossings - try jumping over rocks with a backpack or traverse trees or maybe go through bush armed with a lot of sharp thorns. I also had to worry about being in the dark etc. Much more adrenaline here than the climb itself. Made it back past 7PM about 20min in front of the other group which was now made of 4 people. After a ride of 1h+ I was on regular road and on my way home. I was back in LA past 2AM and in bed before 4AM - cool ride of over 460 miles was well worth it.

Click thumbnails to see larger image and more detailed explanation of what is shown on a given picture.

what is left of drug growers camp
what is left of drug growers camp
view from 11000+ft
view from 11000+ft
water above tree line
water above tree line
touching the clouds
touching the clouds
taking a break in the middle of nowhere
taking a break in the middle of nowhere
our way to the top is through the snow in the middle of the picture and then to the left
our way to the top is through the snow in the middle of the picture and then to the left
still long way to go out of all this bush
still long way to go out of all this bush
our regular cars cannot make it all the way
our regular cars cannot make it all the way
others are slow off the beaten path - we have to wait
others are slow off the beaten path - we have to wait
mountains everywhere cannot see details through the fog
mountains everywhere cannot see details through the fog
one last tree at around 11000ft
one last tree at around 11000ft
more from the top
more from the top
made it to the top
made it to the top
marker at the top - made it through all attempts at taking it as a prize
marker at the top - made it through all attempts at taking it as a prize
having a great day in May 2008
having a great day in May 2008
great view from 12000+ft
great view from 12000+ft
happy to be almost at the top
happy to be almost at the top
from the top of Mt
from the top of Mt
between these gandarmes lies our route
between these gandarmes lies our route
even through we are not at the top yet views are wonderful and make our break a pleasure
even through we are not at the top yet views are wonderful and make our break a pleasure
at the start of the bush wacking trail
at the start of the bush wacking trail
all these bushes will draw a lot of blood
all these bushes will draw a lot of blood
at 13000+ft we are almost there - its a bit windy with clouds passing right by us
at 13000+ft we are almost there - its a bit windy with clouds passing right by us
Mt
Mt
Bj going up
Bj going up
   

Album created on 2008-05-12 and last updated on 2008-05-12