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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

1st Solo & Summit #5

Walked my first solo hike today. My friend Michelle caught a cold and couldn't make it. Went up Marion Mountain trail, I had read up on it, it is the shortest route (11.2 miles roundtrip) to the San Jacinto Peak, but also one of the hardest. People had said they've done it, and will never go this route again. It's just steep and the hike back is just as rough. So I thought I'd go check it out, go partway just to see if its really that bad, and also walk on a trail I haven't been on yet. The first 2.5 miles took 1hr 45 min., definitely the longest 2.5 miles I've hiked. Still had some time so kept walking to Little Round Valley...and ultimately to the San Jacinto Peak. Overall, the hike wasn't as bad as expected, I'd do it again and probably will prefer this route. Would rather do 11.2 rough miles, than 18 moderate miles.

Some pretty flowers along the way...

Little Round Valley

Little Round Valley Junction. This would of been my turnaround point. The sign says the peak is 1.6 miles away. Hmmm, I wonder if I walk fast enough I'll have enough time to go there. It'll be a shame to get this close and turn back...

Only .3 miles to go...almost there....

I was so happy to see the shed. Finally...I'm there!

Inside the shed. Looks like a shrine to Hikers, with a couple bunkbeds on the side.

Signing my first summit register!

Behind the shed is the pile of boulders you need to climb to reach the summit.

The view from the top. Whenever I reach a summit, I wish my camera had the panorama feature.

At the peak, 3 1/2 hrs later, elevation 10,834'. Total climb: 4534' gain. Believe me, I was so happy to reach the top. Too bad I couldn't stay and enjoy the scenery and rest a bit. I had 2 hrs. to run back to my car and go pick up my kids. Summit #5, check!

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