Sunday, May 12, 2013

San Jacinto; Round Valley Camp. Richard and Brita's elevation training.

Richard, Brita, Josh and I arrived at the Palm Springs Tram mid morning on Saturday. We loaded up and took the 8500 foot ride from the Valley Station to the Mountain Station in San Jacinto State Park.

The change in temperature was welcome as we stepped out of the Mountain Station and did our final adjustments before heading out to confirm our permit with the ranger. It was a perfect sunny day.

Once our permits were approved we took off down the trail for our 2.1 mile trek to Round Valley Camp at 9100 feet.

We arrived at camp around 1:30pm and searched for the appropriate tent sites. The sites are supposed to be marked with a wood post with the camp name on it but we failed to find such places with all of the downed trees. We did our best to find a minimal impact area and pitched our tents for the night.

After camp was set Josh and I decided to attempt the peak. We left a little after 3pm and arrived about 5pm. We bypassed the cabin and headed straight for the peak. My head was pounding from the fast gain in elevation and I had to rest a few times even just below the peak. There were a few people up there waiting for the sunset. As always, the views of the desert and my mountain; San Gorgonio were stellar and Josh bagged another big peak. Good Times! 

We ate some snacks, Josh sang Frank Zappa songs while he made yellow snow (which he was very proud of) and I started to get REALLY cold. We decided to descend a bit and check out the cabin just below the summit. I left a Saint Bernard card inside to protect my fellow climbers. Saint Bernard is the patron saint of backpackers and mountaineers. I was pleased to see a dime left as an offering on the mantle. For those of you who don't know me, my mom taught us growing up that when you find a dime, it is God's way of telling you you're on the right path. I find them in the weirdest places!

We finally decided to take the walk down as we watched the night creep in over the meadow below. We had our headlamps but didn't need them. We arrived back in camp around 7pm and cooked some dinner. Josh used the cat-can stove which I think is so cool but scares me! I used the jet boil as always and the cat can was only a bit slower, surprisingly.  
Brita used her new mini stove just before we arrived back and said it was awesome. It is super cool how small it gets.
After dinner we all zipped up in our respective tents and called it a night. 

The next morning we awoke to bird calls around 6am. It was a long night in my tent! I tossed and turned getting used to my new sleeping pad and Josh had an epic hamstring cramp in the night. Needless to say, we were a bit punchy.
Time for coffee, breakfast and plan the day.

We decided the peak was a bit technical for this trip and chose to trek a mile up to Wellman's Divide as our summit adventure.
We donned light day packs and began the hike!

We reached Wellman's Divide an hour or so later and pulled up a boulder to enjoy the view. You could see all the way to Palomar and Mount Laguna!

After enjoying the views we packed up and headed down to wrap up camp. There were a lot of day hikers on the way up. While packing up camp, Josh was visited by another deer. This one was alive, however. Lots of deer medicine on this trip!

During the trip, Josh and I continued to see silly faces in the rocks and trees formations. 
Here are some of them.

We arrived back at Long Valley around 2pm and did the steepest climb of the trip; the walk up the ramp to Mountain Station. It is TOUGH! We looked back at the distance we had traveled and were happily pooped as we took our final pictures at San Jacinto State Park.

We fought the crowds and rode down the tram into the hot desert below. I was a bit... disheveled. 
Get outa my space humans! I stink! 

We made it to the car and headed out for greasy mexican food in Cabazon and visited the Golite store where Brita bought a new pack like mine!

It was a great weekend with three of my favorite people. Richard and Brita are always amazing with the goals they set and achieve. 
Josh's knees and joints were doing much better and he learned a lot about his gait which is helping keep his body from painful over use injuries. I did a lot of thinking and tried to sort out my brain from the vibes in the air that were sometimes weird! Got to be the solar eclipse and Saturn stirring stuff up in the cosmos.
Good Times.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this info, really appreciate it. I am heading up there May 15 2014, heck almost a year later than you did with my son, He is 27 yrs and well I wish him well on this one, pushing the Old Man up the Slide. Starting from Humber so it should be fun. thanks again.