Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 11 Guests and 64 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3625 Members
10 Forums
5506 Topics
50496 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Topic Options
#44797 - 11/12/15 11:08 AM Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
My 3rd and toughest C2C - lessons learned about choosing hiking partners and following my intuition.

Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015
Cactus to Clouds, via Lykken and Skyline Trail || Distance: ~23 mi || Duration: ~14 hours || Gain/Loss: +13,400';/-2,300' (per Backpacker.com) || Net Elevation Gain (at Max Elevation): +10,319' || Max Elevation: 10,834' || Difficulty: Strenuous

Some photos:
Sunrise


Watching Sunrise:


Group Photo on the summit


SnackingBear and I on the summit.
_________________________
HikingGeek.com

Top
#44800 - 11/12/15 12:28 PM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7584
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sheesh! Someone shows up for a 11,000' climb with unknown hikers??? That's just plain crazy! Though the fact that they made it means they must have been in great shape.

I hiked once with a group where one person refused to give up some of her pack, and hiked slower and slower. At least we didn't break up the group. But I was really ticked, and basically stopped hiking with that person. I am a firm believer in keeping a group together, and when someone is obviously having trouble, taking some of their weight from them.

Your group was wise in waiting for you. There is NO gain for anyone when they leave a slower person behind. In fact they open up the possibility of even more trouble, leading even to the need for a rescue. It is really great that the group consensus was to stay together. The aid they gave you likely was the reason all were successful.

I know of a few local people here who are avid hikers. But they have, in multiple situations, failed to help slower hikers, and consistently hike on ahead leaving others behind. I won't hike with them at all.

It sounds like you gained invaluable experience in several areas on this hike. Sure glad it worked out!

Top
#44801 - 11/12/15 02:54 PM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: Steve C]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Sheesh! Someone shows up for a 11,000' climb with unknown hikers??? That's just plain crazy! Though the fact that they made it means they must have been in great shape.

One of the 2 people that he brought only hiked the first 11 miles, which honestly is an accomplishment all on it's own(8,000 ft of elevation gain in that 11 miles). He was too slow, so the guy that brought him left him behind.

Originally Posted By: Steve C

I hiked once with a group where one person refused to give up some of her pack, and hiked slower and slower.

yup, stupid move on my part. I really need to start doing stuff like splitting up some of the group supplies among the group to reduce my own load. For some reason I feel the need to be self-sufficient and don't want to be stuck without gear that I 'should' be carrying. If the group sticks together though, I guess that wouldn't happen.

Originally Posted By: Steve C

Your group was wise in waiting for you. There is NO gain for anyone when they leave a slower person behind. In fact they open up the possibility of even more trouble, leading even to the need for a rescue. It is really great that the group consensus was to stay together. The aid they gave you likely was the reason all were successful.

99% of the time, I agree with you 100%. I wouldn't leave someone in my group behind, so not exactly sure why I expected them to leave me behind. In this instance though, we were past the "dangerous" part of the hike and there were lots of other hikers on a well defined trail. There were others in our group that weren't planning to summit, so I guess I figured that I would be fine and wouldn't really be alone. Maybe my familiarity with this trail make me feel more comfortable and self-sufficient that I should.


Originally Posted By: Steve C
It sounds like you gained invaluable experience in several areas on this hike. Sure glad it worked out!

Thanks! I definitely figured out who not invite on future hikes.
_________________________
HikingGeek.com

Top
#44803 - 11/12/15 08:56 PM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Chevy,
Honestly, the most amazing part I found was that you guys started at 3 AM. laugh Seriously, I'm always amazed at the crazy hours people wake up for C2C. I can barely drag myself out of bed before 6 AM. Of all the Skylines I've done this year, I don't think I've ever started before 9 AM. Maybe that's why I can never find anyone to join me for Skyline...

You should give some of the other classic SoCal hikes a go such as the Iron Baldy Traverse, 9 Peak Traverse, etc. The Villager/Rabbit combo in Borrego is also very pretty. The elevation gain and mileage is not the same as C2C but I feel the difficulty is similar due to the more rugged terrain. Drop your Skyline time down some more and visit the routes on San Jacinto's north side. Very beautiful and you won't find another soul. I've stayed away for over a year now due to multiple accidents and injuries but hoping to get back into the shape I was for next year.

You might want to check out Cornell and Miller next time for a nice detour. The valley below Cornell seems to be a congregation area for deer. I've never crossed that area and not seen groups of them. You can head up the old trail which intersects the current one only yards away from Miller.

Top
#44804 - 11/13/15 09:43 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 2600fromatari]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari
Chevy,
Honestly, the most amazing part I found was that you guys started at 3 AM. laugh

Lol! When people started saying they wanted to hike Skyline, I surely thought they'd rethink it when I started setting up the "mandatory" training hikes. Most required that they get up by 2AM so that we could be on the trail, or headed to the trail by 3AM. Surprisingly, there were no complaints or arguing from any on them! I know that as I 20-22 yr old, I wouldn't have been getting up that early to go for a hike - heck in NY last call was around 4am IIRC.

Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari

You should give some of the other classic SoCal hikes a go such as the Iron Baldy Traverse, 9 Peak Traverse, etc. The Villager/Rabbit combo in Borrego is also very pretty.

SnackingBear is hiking Iron to Baldy tomorrow. I was hoping to join him, but couldn't work out my schedule. We are hoping to hike Villager/Rabbit this winter or spring. I've been eyeing 9 Peak Traverse, but not sure about it now with the trail closures.

Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari

You might want to check out Cornell and Miller next time for a nice detour. The valley below Cornell seems to be a congregation area for deer. I've never crossed that area and not seen groups of them. You can head up the old trail which intersects the current one only yards away from Miller.

I'm hoping to camp up there this winter and hit some of the other 10k peaks. I have that zero degree quilt I've got to put through the wringer grin


BTW - I just purchased an A6000 this week (on it's way via FedEx). That's the camera you bought, right? I sold my '66 Nova Wagon, so I've got a little bit of toy fund money to play with whistle
_________________________
HikingGeek.com

Top
#44805 - 11/13/15 09:55 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7584
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
I sold my '66 Nova Wagon, so I've got a little bit of toy fund money to play with whistle

So... do we need to change your handle? grin

Top
#44806 - 11/13/15 10:12 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: Steve C]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
I sold my '66 Nova Wagon, so I've got a little bit of toy fund money to play with whistle

So... do we need to change your handle? grin


Lol, nope! I still have the '63:

_________________________
HikingGeek.com

Top
#44807 - 11/13/15 10:42 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com

BTW - I just purchased an A6000 this week (on it's way via FedEx). That's the camera you bought, right? I sold my '66 Nova Wagon, so I've got a little bit of toy fund money to play with whistle


No, last year I bought the A5000 but I've used it all of one time. It's too bulky for what I'm looking for. Compared to a DSLR it's small, but I'm looking for a unicorn. I want a camera that takes crystal clear pictures but must fit into my front chest pocket or easily hang from my gear sling. It must also be "rugged" and water/freeze resistant, etc.

The A5000 is actually a good camera and would be great if I was only hiking, but gets annoying during the climbs. I'm not looking for all the extra doodads such as built in GPS, wifi-whatever...just something I can easily use with one hand with minimal hassle. Since you're the camera guy/pro, if you have any suggestions on point-and-shoot cameras, I'm all ears.

Top
#44808 - 11/13/15 11:57 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 498
Loc: Saugus, CA
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com

Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari

You should give some of the other classic SoCal hikes a go such as the Iron Baldy Traverse, 9 Peak Traverse, etc. The Villager/Rabbit combo in Borrego is also very pretty.

SnackingBear is hiking Iron to Baldy tomorrow. I was hoping to join him, but couldn't work out my schedule. We are hoping to hike Villager/Rabbit this winter or spring. I've been eyeing 9 Peak Traverse, but not sure about it now with the trail closures.


Goldscott is coming too on Sunday. It's going to be a monster with a chance of sno!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

Top
#44843 - 11/20/15 02:19 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 2600fromatari]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2243
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari
9 Peak Traverse, etc.

Is this the Poopout to Angelus Oaks via San Gorgonio, Jepson, Dobbs, Little Charlton, Charlton, Shields, Anderson, East San Bernadino & San Bernardino?
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

Top
#44851 - 11/20/15 11:35 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: wagga]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Those are the peaks. Pick whatever direction you want to do it, and whatever entry and exit trailhead you want though.

Top
#44878 - 11/23/15 05:59 PM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 2600fromatari]
fusial Offline


Registered: 05/18/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari
Drop your Skyline time down some more and visit the routes on San Jacinto's north side. Very beautiful and you won't find another soul. I've stayed away for over a year now due to multiple accidents and injuries but hoping to get back into the shape I was for next year.

Speaking of this, what's a good way to train for Skyline if I can't just do it every weekend? Stairmaster, running?

Top
#44881 - 11/23/15 09:00 PM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: fusial]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Hard to say. I don't jog, but my friends who do find that while it great for the heart, jogging on the streets doesn't prepare your leg muscles for the incline on something like Skyline.

Stairmaster...I would die if I only had access to that or a treadmill. Those things are for dedicated and disciplined folks IMO. I get bored in about 5 minutes.

Find something local and smaller, and do laps. Luckily for me, I live close to a 900 ft mountain in San Diego and do laps on there and an adjacent peak. Good exercise and great for stress relief after work.

Skyline is hard, but I think way overrated. If you're serious about attempting something like Williamson now in the snow as I see from another thread, Skyline will be no problem for you.

Top
#44882 - 11/23/15 09:34 PM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 2600fromatari]
fusial Offline


Registered: 05/18/15
Posts: 24
Loc: Seattle
I've done Skyline several times. Actually, I've read a ton about training and just wanted more advice to throw in the pot. My most recent time was 6 hours with moderate effort, which was a little disappointing since it was only 10% faster than my time a year ago, and I've done a lot of running and weighted hill climbing laps after work in the interim. Ah well.

I may just do an exploratory trip for Williamson this time since I'll be solo, maybe going up to snowline (~12k) and walking around, in light of M. Meyers's ascent.

Top
#44892 - 11/24/15 08:21 PM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: fusial]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Not sure what type of training you've been doing, but if you've been using a lot of high intensity training, you might actually want to scale back and give your aerobic system some work. I used to split my time between relaxed hikes, strenuous runs, and weighted hikes (up to 100 lbs on my back at the height of my fitness). I was at my fastest, but it took it's toll on the body with a lot of aches and pain. I got into two biking accidents, and one climbing accident back to back that put me out for quite some time and I haven't gotten back to where I was.

The point is that while I couldn't do strenuous weighted activities or runs, I could still hike and climb. I missed the strenuous stuff and was trying to find ways to keep my endurance up. I found this book when I was out of commission:

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/new-alpinism/108760240

I think it's worth every penny. There's a long discussion about it and people's results in the forum above. The authors are professional athletes and coaches. Steve House and his partner did the Infinite Spur on Mt. Foraker in 25 hours while the previous fastest ascent was 7 days.

If you've reached a plateau, give the book a read. I think it'll be worth your while. It's very easy to read and informative. It talks about everything from your physical training to nutrition to the effects of altitude. Following the principals in there has kept me in shape while not beating my body up.

EDIT:
Here's a trip report from a guy who used the book with great results:

http://www.summitpost.org/the-long-way-up-the-owen-spalding/958810

"Preparation:

Training for the New Alpinism. There’s no alternative and no reason to read anything else. This book turned me into a monster compared to what I was before."


Originally Posted By: fusial
I've done Skyline several times. Actually, I've read a ton about training and just wanted more advice to throw in the pot. My most recent time was 6 hours with moderate effort, which was a little disappointing since it was only 10% faster than my time a year ago, and I've done a lot of running and weighted hill climbing laps after work in the interim. Ah well.

I may just do an exploratory trip for Williamson this time since I'll be solo, maybe going up to snowline (~12k) and walking around, in light of M. Meyers's ascent.


Edited by 2600fromatari (11/24/15 08:27 PM)

Top
#44900 - 11/25/15 09:53 PM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: 2600fromatari]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 202
Loc: New York
Nice job!

I have to do that hike one day...I could have a slot of time to do it in early March, but I am assuming there will be too much snow above 8000ft then huh?

Top
#44923 - 11/29/15 11:09 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: nyker]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
There is never really too much snow on Skyline. During March, there will be a lot of people up there weekly and a well beaten track will be put in. Just don't go during or after a storm unless you know the way.

The worst snow I've experienced was after a storm once and the snow level reached down to the 4,000 ft level. Since it was a weekday, I broke trail with snow hip deep at times, but you probably (emphasis on probably) won't experience anything worse than that. If you go on a weekend, the very fit locals go routinely and will 99% of the time have broken in a nice trail for everyone.

Originally Posted By: nyker
Nice job!

I have to do that hike one day...I could have a slot of time to do it in early March, but I am assuming there will be too much snow above 8000ft then huh?

Top
#44944 - 12/03/15 09:22 AM Re: Cactus to Clouds – October 24 2015 [Re: nyker]
Chris B Offline


Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 69
Loc: Denver, CO
I did it in late March in 2014, and obviously a bit later in the month, but there was still plenty of white stuff above 9k. There was some spotted snow on the sides of Skyline, but even at 8k, the direct sun in most places and temperatures probably melt it quickly. A few shaded spots near the end where the snow was lingering (including a little on the trail in spots), but not bad.

What was bad was the trail above the ranger station on the way to the summit. It was completely covered with snow and ice. When we were there mid-day headed up it was slightly slushy from temps just above freezing, but by mid-afternoon, as the sun sank behind the mountain, the temps dipped below freezing rapidly and the entire trail was ice. Microspikes were enough, but it was cold and slick.

Top