Ascent of San Gorgonio Mountain on 2012-10-07

Climber: Matt Holder

Others in Party:Mike Johnson
Ken Sprague
Date:Sunday, October 7, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:San Gorgonio Mountain
    Elevation:11499 ft / 3504 m

Ascent Trip Report

Woke up at 3am and after picking up Ken and Mike we were on the road, out of Orange County at 4:45. We parked at the Vivian Creek trailhead and we were on the move at 6am sharp. It was still dark out and with headlamps we began our hike up the road, crossing the dry river and up the first tough mile to 7,200 feet. It was pretty tough, but it got the blood flowing and the heart rate up. Ken is a very strong hiker and was constantly setting the pace and way ahead. I’m a slow hiker so there was a big separation between us two. Mike was between us bridging the gap. After three hours we took a snack break at High Creek for about 20 minutes. After this point the real grind began. Switch backs and constant elevation gain for the next 2,300 feet elevation gain. The elevation and the constant incline affected me more than I anticipated. It was a grind for the next couple of hours, but with constant breaks and putting one foot in front of the other, I finally got to the trail crossing where I knew that the main elevation gain was over. The last 100 yards to the summit is the final incline. I made it to the top at 12:15 – 6.25 hours after starting. I stayed up there for 35 minutes until 12:50 and wanted to get to a lower elevation to eat my lunch. Mike and Ken stayed at the top a little longer and accidently fell asleep. Their nap lasted only about 20 minutes. The good news to “it is uphill all the way to the top” is that is all downhill to the bottom. We were not going down as fast as we hoped, legs weary and steep downslope. We got to the bottom at 5pm about four hours after we left the top. Total trip time was 11 hours. All of my liquids where finished when I got back to the car, I started with one gallon plus two liters. There was some water on the first three miles of the trail that could have been filtered and after that there was nothing. We had perfect weather conditions – cold in the dark morning (in the 30’s), but steadily warming up with a high in the low to mid 60’s and not a cloud in the sky, until late in the afternoon.
Views from the top were spectacular and there is such a great view of San Jacinto.
This was a tough, tough hike for me
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5499 ft / 1676 m
    Round-Trip Distance:18.6 mi / 29.9 km
    Route:Vivian Creek Trail
    Trailhead:Vivian Creek  6000 ft / 1828 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Perfect weather
Ascent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 

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