Zé’s Most Cursable Hikes

Which hikes have you done that you think you were the most angry / swearing the most?

Obviously the anger could happen for different reasons for everyone. Maybe it was the hot day, exposed trail. Maybe the steepness of the trail. Or the lack of stability of the trail. Or the brush. Or simply the length / elevation gain. Or the altitude. Or getting lost.

But in the end it comes down to the feeling.

#5 Cactus to Clouds. The only hike I’ve “hit the wall”. The 9,000′ of elevation gain was fine. But around 9500 to 10000 ft high, I hit the wall. I started slowing down a lot, and so did others.

One could claim it was the altitude, and I’m sure it had a little to do with it, but I think this was just about exhausting my fuel reserves. I’d been up that high many times before and never felt like that. An the trail was not steep at all. So I was pretty pissed!

#4 Rabbit and Villager Peaks. It’s long and tough yeah, but it’s more about the terrain. Lot’s of rocky stuff to annoy the feet (right John and Jen?). And the cholla. Don’t forget the cholla (and Poland). I got stabbed by multiple cholla which came from seemingly nowhere, and each cholla stabbed me multiple times, and stabbed me when trying to pull them out.

#3 First ascent of Iron Mountain #1. Link to 2nd ascent. Probably on everyone’s list. For this one I had better knowledge of what to expect the trail to be like. But still the combination of being stabbed by yucca, loose terrain, and steepness led to some swearing. Plus I was pushing my pace, and that last mile is of course cursable.

The pounding going down the first 3 miles is pretty bad, and I didn’t have poles, so any slip and I went into a yucca. I hate yucca!

#2 My first attempt to ascend Monrovia Peak. Link to TR for second. What a pain. I think this was my first try of a route described from Sierra Club’s HPS list without knowing how brushy it would be. It was really foggy that day, so when we starting ascending the ridge, we kept going through a bunch of brush on steep trail, with no end in sight. We had no idea how long it would last!

To make things worse, the group had enough just below Rankin Peak, so we turned around without going to Monrovia. Then, on the way down, we went down the wrong ridge, and had to descend into canyon via some “trail” someone literally made with a chainsaw.

So yes there was definitely swearing on that one.

#1 Getting up to Bighorn Ridge
Easily the most swearing. All the main elements were there; tons of brush & steep, unstable, and exposed trail. So much breaking through brush, crawling through brush, dust in the eyes and the like. I was swearing, getting angry at the brush, and taking my anger out on the brush. And I was pretty exhausted after.

And this was only getting up the ridge and to 5800′!. We still have to go back and go all the way up to Baldy.

Honorable mention:
Ascending Telegraph Peak via ridge from Telegraph/Thunder saddle (a pain, but short)
Baldora and Widco Mines (trail from saddle brushed over and washed out).
Sugarloaf from Falling Rock Canyon (unstable rock and scree)
SW ridge of Muir Peak (brush)
Brushed over ridge around Montara in the Bay Area

Related posts:

Hopping Our Way to Rabbit Peak
Understanding Altitude Sickness
Newb on the Trail?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 9:22 am and is filed under Entertainment, Trail Information, Zé’s Guide to Hiking. 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.

5 Responses to “Zé’s Most Cursable Hikes”

v Olivier

v Olivier April 11th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I like this post! My #1 was first time Twin Peaks bec. I just just so hang over and new to Ze’s infernal rhythm. #2 Rabbit Peak bec. no coffee to start with at 5 am and no lamp. And just steepness added to length.
#3 I swear the most last time up to Iron Mountain. But I think it was because no one could hear or witness me (I hope at least)!

SocalHikes Hiker

SocalHikes Hiker April 12th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

The first time up Iron was it for me. The last 1/2 mile I was a cuss factory.

Second would be on the return from Will Thrall. Eff that whole ridge. Can’t wait to do it again.

Third would have been Rabbit, except I was with Jen and didn’t know her then. So I kept it to a minimum.


Taco April 17th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Let’s hope you add Bighorn Ridge to this list.

Joe Menard

Joe Menard June 3rd, 2010 at 8:23 am

Most cursable hike was up from Cattle Canyon up to the very lowest point on Bighorn Ridge just about half mile up from the truck trail .Went up the ridge to about 5100′ and then beeline down the mountainside to Cattle Canyon only to get hung 300′ above by the cliffs. Had to do major circumvent up Cattle Canyon to safely descend to the river.


June 3rd, 2010 at 1:20 pm

lol nice. were you trying to hike up the ridge, or just check out part of it? there used to be a trail that might have circumvented the cliffs. heading a bit further up cattle canyon like we did avoided cliffs (but not brush!).

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