Friday, May 04, 2012

Day 13- Snow to Fuller Ridge

San Jancinto Peak
The beginning of the 2.5 mile hike up the Devil's Slide Trail made my calves burn, but they stopped burning about halfway up.  It wasn't that bad of a hike-the trail was in morning shadows and not nearly as steep as some of the side trails to get water.

At the top there was a hiker party.  It seemed like everybody that zero'ed (took a day off from hiking) in town yesterday got an early start today.  As a herd we set off north, and slowly broke up in to groups as we gained elevation.  I started out near the front, but quickly fell back.  I wasn't feeling the climb, and my pack felt heavy even though I hadn't added weight.  It seems like every time I leave town my pack feels different to me.

It wasn't long until snow patches started dotting the trail.  It was the same old snow as before the town stop.  There was one spot when there were two sets of tracks through the snow-the footprint down were wrong.  That was the extent of the route finding in the morning.

Lunch was a quick one by a small creek behind some boulders with most of hikers that started hiking this morning.  Lots of people had packed out town food-I had two small pieces of pizza.  Town food makes great lunches.

After lunch there was more snow.  Starting the day I met two hikers heading down Devil's Slide trail because they turned around due to too much snow.  There must have been other factors, because I didn't think there was that much snow.

There was enough snow that everybody decided not to hike San Jancinto Peak.  We just didn't know enough about the conditions.  Knowing that two hikers turned back because of snow it just didn't seem like the best idea to go up to 10,000 feet.

Without the peak it was a really short hiking day-which was fine-I was beat.  There was more snow and I did slip and fall once.  It was enough of a fall to elicit a yelp of surprise as I slid down the side of a hill.  Not a bad fall, just surprising.
Drying out and staying warm

Even through it was a short day I didn't get into camp until five p.m.  Camp is a dirt parking lot.  There are two picnic tables, a fire ring, water, and plenty of flat places to pitch a tent.  Pretty much everybody who was at the trail junction this morning is camped at the parking lot.  Some of the hikers got a huge fire going.  It was great to eat dinner by the fire.  We were a tired bunch-lots of yawns at 7 p.m.  I know I'm beat.

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