Wind! Monte Cristo Loop Trip Report
Gain: 4000 ft
Distance: 13 miles
Uphill: 745 ft/mile
Downhill: 672 ft/mile
Moving Time: 5.5 hrs
Average Grade: 15.4%, variance = +/- 12.2%
An excellent outing reaching lesser visited, but very pleasant peaks up the Angeles Forest Hwy. The main thing standing out from this outing was – no surprise – the wind! The Santa Anas were in full force.
A group of 8 started from the Monte Cristo campground and proceeded up the fireroad bisecting Rabbit Peak and Iron Mt #3.
Monte Cristo Loop – Iron #3 Roundtop, Granite, & Rabbit Peak #1 at EveryTrail
Rabbit Peak to the north:
We continued up the pretty steep fireroad heading toward Iron, then gained the ridge to its summit.
From the summit looking toward Granite Mt and the ridge we took up. The ridgeline crossing from center to the right leads to the next peak, Roundtop.
After heading back down Iron, we gain the ridge heading toward Roundtop. The ridge was pleasant at first, but soon turned into a steep ascent, just the way I like it.
The final portion of the ascent was 1400 ft gain in 1 mile. Living up to its name, Roundtop was very round, and the steepness gradually decreased after the first 1000 ft. I kept thinking the peak was near but was tricked repeatedly. Considering a good 0.4 miles was less steep, the first portion of this ascent was at a good 35%-40% grade!
Ofir appearing through the trees to the summit:
At Roundtop looking east
At this point the winds were howling fanatically, so we covered up for lunch with some tree protection
After eating we took the fire road between Roundtop and Granite. This was our first exposure to snow, but not a problem since we knew our north-exposed areas were on relatively safe terrain.
There are several reasonable places to drop off the fire road and head up Granite; we decided to head toward the northern ridge and head up. There were a bunch of fallen trees
On top of Granite. The winds out this point were ridiculous, as captured in the video.
Saw some distant snow-capped peaks:
Then on the way down toward Rabbit
It was interesting that the sediment on these peaks was definitely softer than on other mountains in the San Gabriels. This offered much more comfortable footing, and we also noticed these pieces in several areas, a sort of natural glass.
I mean, you’d have to trust a washer repairment who comes up here!
We descended Rabbit peak with some trouble easily getting to the fireroad, but after some exploration I found a faint use-trail. From there it was fireroad back to the campground.
This was the worst case of my gpsmap 60csx over estimating the elevation gain, by over 2000 ft! I am assuming the barometric pressure was fluctuating more due to the weather. This is a case where doing my own smoothing allowed me to get a much better estimate of the elevationg gain.
Most seemed pleased with the hike. It had its tough sections (especially up Roundtop) but not extreme overall. If one takes the ridge up Iron as opposed to the fireroad, that would change.
This entry was posted on Sunday, January 11th, 2009 at 7:56 pm and is filed under Trip Report. 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.