12-23-10 San Jacinto Snowshoeing

Much like last season, we started this one off after a big storm. This also worked out since Tim and I had Thursday off. During the holidays, the tram follows weekend hours. So we were able to head up on the first tram at 8am.

Here’s the track:

12-23-10 San Jacinto Snow Shoe at EveryTrail

Total mileage was 6 miles. But being one of the first out there, we had to partially break new trail. So the three mile journey to the peak took us about 5 hours. Of course we did go the longer route to get there because we took a wrong left turn and followed a not so broken trail. Two skiers and a snowboarder passed us up to break some trail. But even then, it wasn’t enough.

But over the course of those 5 hours, I kept thinking about how to make a next excursion easier.

  1. 1. Hiking poles with snow baskets – I’ve become a believer of using poles after this hike. I always disliked using hiking poles since my experience using them on Iron mtn. But I had brought along two just in case. Initially I was just using one. But being a little top heavy, my balance was thrown off so I started using two. This definitely helped with balance. As the day moved on, I started developing a technique which definitely saved my legs and quickened my pace.
  2. 2. Gu Gel – I primarily use these packs during my bike rides for a boost of energy. I used these once before on Baldy but didn’t really feel anything. However, on San Jacinto, once I got into a good rhyme, I had the energy to motor on. That is of course until those calories were burned. But then I popped another pack and was back.
  3. 3. Hydration – I had packed a 4 liters of Gatorade which was more than enough for this trip. I was making sure to sip often and drink up after every big push. For next time, my fluid rules are 1 liter for every 2 miles.
  4. 4. Lighter waterproof gloves – I used ski gloves the whole time, and the whole time, my hands were warm but wet. They didn’t breath and just trapped all the sweat. This meant that every time I would take off my gloves, my hands would get cold real quick. I would have preferred to go with bare hands, but the steeper and fresher the snow, the more likely the hand is going to end up in it. Better to have warm wet hands than cold numb ones.
  5. 5. Waterproof sack – Something cheap and lightweight. This is for when you’re tired and just want to sit without worrying about having your pants absorb what you just melted.

That’s all for now. I think I thought of some more tips, but I forgot.

Related posts:

Into the Brush - Ascending Monrovia Peak
San Jacinto 7 Peak Loop
Nonstop Up Big Iron

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 24th, 2010 at 10:18 pm and is filed under Trip Report, Winter Hiking/Mountaineering. 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.

2 Responses to “12-23-10 San Jacinto Snowshoeing”


Kevin December 25th, 2010 at 1:33 am

Is it recommend to try the San Jacinto Peak trail for snowshoe beginners (but in good hiking shape)? We are planning to arrive early morning and want to ensure to get back before sunset.



SocalHikes Hiker

SocalHikes Hiker December 26th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Hey Kevin,
I’ve only snowshoed twice and it was both this route and only right after a storm. I would say that this would be a good beginners route up until the start of the incline to San Jacinto.

The route we took here does get a little steep. So some caution should be taken when going downhill.

I would also try to start descending the peak before the sun gets too low and ices up the route down into the valley.
As for time, we took the first tram up and started at around 8:45am. We had to break some trail and route find, but were back at the tram by 5ish (the sun was already down). With an established route, you shouldn’t have a problem getting back by sundown.

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