Ascent to San Gorgonio Mountain-Just above San Jacinto Overlook on 2013-06-10

Climber: Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach

Date:Monday, June 10, 2013
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:San Gorgonio Mountain - Just above San Jacinto Overlook
    Elevation:10138 ft / 3090 m
    Remaining Elevation:1361 ft / 414 m (100% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Nate and I started up the Vivian Creek trail at approx 7:18 - stopped twice on the way up for a quick breather and break. Nice day and perfect weather. We heard a lot of aircraft in the area, but didn't think much about it. Once we got to the San Jacinto overlook, we saw what appeared to be a (largish) fire the second ridge over from where we were at. I had been to the top before, but he hadn't. We continued up until we noticed a HUGE plume of dark, orangish smoke. Contemplated briefly about heading to the peak and then possibly taking another trail down if the fire was bad, but decided that we should just play it safe and descend. Bummed about getting to the top - and I'm sure we could have, just at the time we were there, it didn't seem safe. I know other groups made it - but oh well. We did what we thought was right. This was Nate's first SOTA peak (sumits on the air) - and while he didn't make it to the top, he was able to communicate with 6 people in a short 30-min timespan from the San Jac overlook, while I scrambled up the trail 20 minutes and back. Headed down and reached the car at 4:26 pm.
Total hiking time was approx 9 hours - but with breaks maybe 7:30 or so? Made it to 10,140 feet - so the distance is?? Perhaps 13 or 14 miles total, based on the Wilderness Miles on the San Gorgonio site. Solid training day for future hikes, good time at a higher elevation, and Nate made 6 contacts on his portable radio. And we didn't die in a fire = hooray!
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