Cactus to Clouds – Palm Springs to San Jacinto Peak
UPDATE: October 2008 Trip Report
Time: 4:00 AM at the Museum Trail in Palm Springs
Distance: ~ 22 miles (16 miles up, 6 miles down to tram)
Elevation Gain: ~ 11,000 ft
Gain / Mile: 680 ft / mile
Estimated Time: ~ 12-13 hrs
Terrain: Trail, Unmaintained Trail
Since will be starting so early, it is a good idea to spend the night out in Palm Springs. Rachelle and I – and probably others – will be staying at the Palm Springs Motel 6.
We will definitely be starting out in the dark. While there should be moonlight (just past a full moon), you should have at least a flashlight or headlamp (even better).
Well it’s time. This is the culmination of the big peak hiking season. After the success of the Iron Mountain hike, I think a bunch of people are ready for this. What is C2C? Well, according to this magazine it is the 5th hardest dayhike in the U.S. We start in Palm Springs – at the bottom of the mountain – and hike all the way up!
Most people take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up and hike up 3 miles to the top. We will only be taking the tram down. The elevation gain is a killer, but as those who hiked Iron Mountain know, not having to do the downhill is a major benefit. And once we descend from the peak to the tram, there is a restaurant where we can feast immediately.
One of the main difficulties with this hike is dealing with the weather. It is so hot in Palm Springs during the summer months that people so easily get dehydrated as it stays hot even at higher altitudes. If we waited until the winter, then the top several thousand of feet would be covered in snow and ice making successful summiting difficult and dangerous. So, it is generally accepted that October is one of the best times to try this hike. It should cool off enough to make the heat reasonable without snow.
I have not done this hike, but it is well-documented, and we will be well-prepared. For those attending, I’ll expect a group effort in preparation for this including logistics of 1) how to get there, 2) where will we stay, 3) nagivation with GPS, 4) water supplies, etc…
In a section below I will be providing links to information about this hike. I expect all who are attending to read this information, as well as let me know if they find out any more info.
Who is Ready?
Well if you’ve been on my hikes before, I think you understand the need to be strict on the requirements of who can do these hikes, as people often overestimate themselves (and some underestimate). We cannot have this problem on this hike! And based on recent successful summits, I don’t think we will.
The pace of this hike has a goal to summit in 10 hrs. This is a little over a 1,000 ft per hour. Who can do this pace? Well my specific prediction will be based on time to ascend the Original Baldy Trail
From Mt Baldy Village to Mt Baldy:
One way distance: 6 miles
One way elevation gain: 5600 ft
Cutoff Time: 4 hrs!
If you want to do this hike, you must be able to ascend Baldy from Baldy Village in 4 hrs or less. Keep in mind this is using an ideal pace with minimal breaks. I am choosing this hike as an example because it is of sufficient elevation gain to be predictive of the longer C2C hike.
One week prior, I will organize a hike, most likely up to Baldy – though it may be another hike – that will contain 6,000 ft of elevation gain, and those who want to try C2C must attend. If you can’t, I think John Quan might organize a hike 2 weeks prior of similar magnitude.
Several of you don’t need to worry about this, you know who you are. Everyone will only be allowed to RSVP “No” but indicate interest, and I will sign those up immediately that I can vouch for.
Otherwise, it’s time to ramp up the training! If you want to improve your time, you should start doing moderate to intense cardiovascular training 3 times a week. In 3-4 weeks, this will make a marked difference in your performance.
To discuss this stuff as group (and for future hikes), I’ve create a simple message board. Please use it!
What to bring:
WATER! We will at least need water to carry up the first 8,500 ft. [4-6 L, depending on weight, is a good quantity for October]
The rest of the 10 essentials
A will of Iron!
Zé’s picture of San Jacinto from Gorgonio.
We need to get to Palm Springs Friday night. More on logistics later.
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 at 9:07 pm and is filed under Trail Information. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.