Posted by Dana H. 07-25-05

It seemed like a Whitney convention on Gorgonio of Friday. Seemed like everyone was in training for the Big W. I stopped at the 10,000 ft ridge when I saw the clouds forming up top. My husband went up to the scree slope and then turned back. Chris and Dave went to the summit. I have Chris' harrowing run from the ensuing thunder and lightning storm if anyone is interested. For anyone going up to Gorgonio-bring lots of bug repellent(eaten alive as soon as we opened the car door) and watch out for the thunderheads brewing around 12:30-1:00 pm.

Posted by Larry, 08-07-05
That's cool. I hiked it 7-19-05 in preparation for Whitney. Similar cloud experience. Did San Antonio AND San Jacinto 8-5-05. Looking forward to Whitney Saturday!!

Posted by kaos, 08-08-05
I was there yesterday too (aug 7)and I did not see you..... Ran into the T-Storms and lots of rain..I forgot my pack cover and I think my camera is kapoot.

Posted by Dana H., 08-09-05
On Sat. 8-6 at Trail Camp, I met up with the guys from SoCal we originally saw heading up to Gorgonio 7/23. Hey! You guys seemed like you had a lot of fun on your 4 dayer up in the Sierras. They were smart and blew off Whitney. Most of our party did too. Just too many dark clouds and as we were leaving Trail Camp the rain and hail hit us. We were soaked even with rain gear. The trails became overwhelming drainage channels from all the rain. Just as we were settling in to our burger at the Portal the thunder started booming down the canyon. At least some of us were using common sense in getting off the mountain.

Posted by RLfstop, 08-09-05
My son and I went up Gorgonio on Aug. 8, last Sunday.

We've summited Mt. Whitney on the main trail and aborted a Mountaineer Route due to snow last year. We're planning on trying again in a couple of weeks...

Unfortunately for Gorgonio, driving to the hike in the morning we missed the trailhead by 1/2 hour on hwy 38 so didn't get started until an hour later than expected.

The hike was more beautiful than I expected from reading trail descriptions in the past (that's why I didn't do it as a Whitney training hike. It was great though along the stream and Alpine like landscape.

There weren't many people on the trail, it was great!

About 100 yards from the top, dark thunderheads had moved right over the top of us really fast and it began to hail. We dropped our gear and literally ran to the top (we weren't turning back when we were this close and 10 minutes wasn't going to make much difference in the big picture)! It took us 5 hours to summit. The size and intensity of the hail stones was increasing and we probably ran for most of the first mile down while being pelted by stinging hail. Lightening had started and was way too close. Every time we'd see lightening or feel that stillness in the air that often occurs just before, we'd jump on a big rock and duck!

We continued to scurry down the mountain as fast as we could to get into some tree cover and off the exposed part of the mountain.

About at the tree line the hail was turning to snow, we put our rain gear whereby it continued rain for about the next hour hour or so. The trail was rushing like a stream!

It was fun in the hail storm but a bit nerve racking being exposed to the lightening especially with the recent reports of the scouts and leaders being hit...

The rain stopped after a bit, the sun was back and dried us out pretty well. I used a Granite Gear Vapor pack for the first time. Amazingly comfortable and light for the capacity but there's no top cover! I'll fix that for the Whiteny trip in a few weeks. I loved the pack.

If we had started on the trail at the expected hour, we wouldn't have been on the summit for the lightening.

Over all it was really a great hike. Better to do in two days and enjoy the landscape. It's really nice up there and a shame to just race to the top and back.

Anyone have Mt. Whitney mountaineer route overnight permits for August 26, or 27 they're not going to use?

Posted by lcpman, 08-10-05
From the SoCal Guys. Nice to see you also a trail camp. Here's the reply I just added to another thread. Many happy trails ahead.

I and a few friends were part of the 10 or so people that got zapped a top Mt. San Gorgonio a few weeks ago. We ignored all the warning signs, rain, light hail, humidity, forming clouds. We ran down the mountain only to have the storm over run us with very strong rain and hail, about 4" thick on the ground and lightening and thunder loud enough to make you jump. We could have gotten down fast in a boat. So...our trip this last week from Cottonwood to Whitney included a watchful eye towards the sky. When crested the ridge by Discovery Pinnacle, we choose to cut our trip a day short, skip the summit and descend the main trail. The weather was not good and turning worse yet we passed 30 or so people going to the summit and saw many more on the summit. It rained and hailed and dark clouds came and went as we descend to the Portal. I guess we only learn when we personally have near death experiences and I suppose in time the effect will fade. Odd creatures we are.