Wednesday, July 11, 2012

San Jacinto - I Bagged a Peak!

San Jacinto Peak!  Francy and I climbed to the top.  Scrambled boulders to get to the sign so we could take pictures and prove "we did it"!

We drove to Idelwild and started at Humber Park.  We stopped at the ranger station, we were told we needed to buy a pass.  The station was closed so we filled out the from and dropped a copy in the slot.  This is a good idea, that is if any one doesn't make it down the rangers would have an idea who was there on any day.  (*More on this later...)  There isn't a sign telling you to do this.  I'm not sure we would have done this if we hadn't been told by a friend of Francys.

We checked our back packs and decided we had brought the right supplies.  We are both using hiking poles we call them our sticks.  Extra shirts, jacket, emergency supplies, including snake bite kit, bandages, sunscreen, lunch, snacks, scissors, matches and flash light, space blanket and we were wearing our hats.  We both had camel backs for water.

All dressed and ready to hit the trail.
Hiking partner

About half a dozen teenagers started just before us.  I asked how far they were going and they said Saddleback,  we aren't familiar with the trails and didn't know where that was. They asked how far we were going and we said "as far as we could"!

The views are beautiful!  My pictures may be out of order but I don't think it really matters.

The trail is easy to see and well maintained.

We couldn't have picked a more perfect day.  The temperature was great and we could see the blue skies between the trees.

This is a tree.  I love the different textures of the bark on the trees we were able to see.

We were both anxious to see if the higher elevation would bother us.  I consider myself a very shallow breather.  I need to remind myself to breath, yes I know sounds strange.  So I was curious.  When we first got out of the car Francy said she could feel a difference.  But, we started walking and never had a problem.  We drank water often which is supposed to help.

NOTE:  Call out to my 3 day Susan G Komen team leader Amy.   Hydrate, don't forget to hydrate!  Thanks Amy for the good training.

Our first stop for a snack.  Notice, you couldn't have wiped the smiles off our faces!

Francy, I love this picture of her.

According to this sign we've climbed 4 miles and have 7 miles to get to the top.

We ran in to the teenagers who had stopped before turning back down.  They gave us a holler and said "Hey, you made it".  We waved and continued on.  We were walking with a man who had done this hike several times.  He was nice and took our picture.
Francy and Pam

It's getting warmer and are able to take off our outer shirts.  We are still on the west side of the mountain, when we got to the east side we could see Palm Spring at the bottom.

Before getting to the top I lost cell service and before I knew it my cell phone had gone dead.  I was using Map my hike, a program that talks to you and let's you know each mile and your speed.  I think because I lost service the program was looking for the satellite and ran down the battery.

Lesson learned, turn off the program until you have service.

Pam's almost at the top!
 We are almost there!  This hut is provided for hikers who need to stay overnight. 
It's maintained my hikers.  It's clean and has 5 or 6 bunks, extra water and supplies you might need.

Pam inside the hut.
This is where it gets tricky.  I know there are boulders at the top and there is scrambling or boulder hopping to get where you need to get.

Not sure I can do this and told Francy I would probably just wait for her.  But, she said she just wanted to see if she could see the sign.  She didn't have to go far, "Pam, the sign is right here"!  So, I collapse my "sticks" and put them in my pack. And head out!

Not much boulder hopping or scrambling.  More like hands and knees and butt scooting.  But, I did it!
Pam, boulder hopping
When we reach the top we high fived and hugged.  We were so happy.  I'm still smiling.

Francy bags a peak!

Pam bags a peak!

We knew you couldn't stay long because of the time.  So we took our pictures and started down.

It's a rocky road
Most people think this is the easy part, but not for me.  I am so cautious stepping down that it takes much more time.  At the top there are more rocks on the trail which slows me down.

We started at 9:00am and was told it would be a 10 hour hike.  It took me 12 hours.  I have to say me because I know Francy could have done it faster than me, but friend that she is she stayed with me.  By the time we past the rocks on the path we still had 4 miles to go and it's getting dark, we are on the west side of the mountain and could see that we were losing day light, fast.

We've been walking all day...I will admit my legs are starting to turn to jelly.  It's 9:00pm when we hit the parking lot!  Pitch black.

*More on this later...

Now for the rest of the story.

Remember I'd lost cell service and my phone is dead.  Francy's phone was still working and we saved it for the calls when we made it to the car.  I call Jim and it goes straight to voice mail, which is odd for my house.  Francy calls her husband and checks in.

I call Jim back, he answers:

Jim:  "Ah Jim Ray".
Pam:  Hi we made it and...
Jim:  Pam are you alright?  You've been gone 12 hours, you said it would be 10 hours.  It's dark.  I haven't heard anything from you.  I called 911, they had me call the Ranger station.  It took forever to find someone.  The ranger I finally got, Ranger Russo, doesn't even know where Humber Park is he's looking for it now.  Are you guys alright what happened?
Pam:  We're fine everything is ok.  I lost cell service, did you get the email I sent before I lost service?
My email picture to Jim
 Jim:  I haven't gotten anything.  I was really worried.
Pam:  I'm sorry.  We are all right and are on our way home.

All's fine on the home front.  I must learn how to save batteries or bring extras.  I still have visions or the mounted police looking for us.

I will admit, everyone we've told this story to said they would have done the same thing Jim did.

My garmin even stopped with around 4 miles left to go.
SAN JACINTO PEAK by pamelaruns at Garmin Connect - Details