2/2/16 A rare snow storm amidst a few years of drought meant a chance for snow trekking that I couldn't pass-up. This time a quick San Jacinto summit from Long Valley. A fun, but cold, day.
1 Heading out of Long Valley on a beautiful Tuesday morning. I took one of the first trams up and was on the trail by 11:00am.
2 The creek is under about a foot of snow here.
3 Round Valley with fresh snow still in the trees.
4 Round Valley covered in virgin snow.
5 A typically deceiving picture. This is a steep climb out of Round Valley that is a common shortcut in the winter. It cuts almost a mile off the route by skipping the section out to Wellman Divide and heading straight uphill instead.
6 I came across a guy on the way down that had evidently lost confidence in his ability to summit. He definitely seemed pretty nervous and said he had just fallen into a "big hole" a little further ahead. I welcomed him to join me for as I far I was going to go. He followed for a little ways and then decided to head back down because he was getting too tired. Here is the hole he fell into. A pretty typical posthole alongside a big rock about crotch deep. Definitely enough to get the adrenaline going, but a fairly common occurrence out here. Probably best that he turned around.
7 Looking down at the Cochella Valley far below. A slip here could mean a long slide back to Round Valley.
8 Probably the toughest section of trail in the winter. A long, steep traverse with no broken trail.
9 Made it to the hut! The clear, calm weather down below is now cold and very windy up here with low visibility.
10 Inside was definitely a welcome break from the wind and cold. Time was getting tight, so I just nibbled on a quick snack and then headed for the summit.
11 Made it! Summitted at just after 3:00pm. Notice the snow hanging horizontally off the left edge of the sign from the wind.
12 The normally outstanding summit views aren't quite visible today. Though I still find this view to be outstanding.
13 Another summit view.
14 More snow and icicles growing horizontally from the wind.
15 Attempted selfie on the summit. It's the first trip that I've had to use the baclava in quite a while, and it definitely helped.
16 360 video from the summit. For best performance, you can view on YouTube.
17 The thermometer always makes for one of my favorite pictures. -4.2 degrees including wind chill.
18 On the way back down now. Different lighting on the Cochella Valley below as the afternoon wears on.
19 Panorama of the late afternoon view.
20 Back down the steep slope (which looks almost flat here).
21 Heading back through Round Valley as the sun is getting low.
22 Back to the tram station just as it's getting dark around 6:00pm. I don't usually like city views, but this one is always pretty impressive. Another fun day in the books!