Ascent of Cucamonga Peak on 2010-07-05

Climber: Matthew McPherson

Others in Party:Paula
Date:Monday, July 5, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cucamonga Peak
    Elevation:8859 ft / 2700 m

Ascent Trip Report

Slightly overcast, uncharacteristically cool morning. Stopped by Baldy Visitor's Center for wilderness permit, slightly disappointed to hear the bear who had been frequenting Icehouse was shipped off to a zoo(?) in Big Bear, but obviously for the best.

Parking a nightmare at the Icehouse Trailhead, parked on an incline more or less out of the road, hope the parking break holds up.

Icehouse Canyon super crowded, as expected on a holiday weekend. First trip up this season, more water than I've ever seen in the creek following a pretty heavy winter. Worked up through the Canyon at a leisurely pace, short break at wilderness boundary then flew through the boulder field and up the switchbacks. Impressive waterfall visible up near the end of the third long switchback, took long break at Saddle waiting for our party to reassemble. A bunch of Steller's Jays entertained while we waited.

Departed Saddle at about 12:45 for Cucamonga. Trail obviously less used than the Icehouse Trail, narrow and crumbly in parts, but nothing dangerous as long as you pay attention. The trail descends quite a bit as you round Big Horn's east face and views open up impressively to the northeast and the high desert.

Trail starts to climb back up as it bends to the southeastern flank of Big Horn, impressive views of Ontario's rugged south face and its multiple spires as you approach the Big Horn/Cucamonga saddle. Excellent place to set up camp.

The route really starts to climb as you cross over the col onto Cucamonga itself, virtually no shade for quite a stretch. Scree out of control at some spots, not so much a trail as it is just a gigantic pile of rocks. Can't imagine doing this stretch in winter.

The trail continues to switchback itself pretty much straight up the south side of the mountain, as you reenter the shaded area, you'll come across a junction with an obvious sign pointing you in the right direction (south). From here it's just a short but fairly steep switchback section up to the summit.

Had the summit to ourselves for a good 15 minutes, awesome views despite heavy marine layer, would be unbelievable on a clear day. San Bernardino range looked particularly nice poking up over the low clouds. Rested up for the long 6 miles back to the lot.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3959 ft / 1207 m
    Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:Icehouse Canyon
    Trailhead:Icehouse Canyon TH  4900 ft / 1493 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:0 Days 5 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:0 Days 3 Hours 0 Minutes

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