Yucaipa Ridge Trip|
Leader: Bob Van Allen
Asst.: Larry Salmon
The schedule write-up failed to deter 33 hardy souls from participating in this most unusual trip. An early start from Mill Creek with empty water bottles got us up the first 800 or so feet in short order. At that point we picked up water sufficient to last us for two days.
It had been planned to lunch on Little San Gorgonio but plans were changed and we lunched 1000 feet below the summit. The change in plans was made after it took almost 2 hours to get the group up a relatively short distance of several hundred feet of loose, dangerous rock. Four people were injured (all completed the trip) by rockfall.
Over this stretch, it was necessary to move in groups of 5 and 6 working closely together. A fixed rope on the last 100 feet helped navigating with water-filled Kelty's. A rest break and first-aid period enabled most to recover in spirit as well as physically after assurance that the worst part of the trip was over.
Upon reaching the summit of Little San Gorgonio we took a short break, reassembling the group before the traverse to Wilshire Mtn. Much well-wishing and congratulations on Wilshire Mtn. - the 100th peak for Roger Mitchell. As it was getting late we camped several hundred yards west of Wilshire Mtn. Most people were glad to stop even though supper would be cold. No fires were allowed. It was on this trip we really appreciated an evening campfire - because we couldn't have one. Like many things, they mean most when you can't have them. Next day information which is usually given at the campfire - was given to the group surrounding the leaders' sleeping bag.
A 6:45 a.m. start put us on Wilshire Pk. shortly after 7:00 and the view was inspiring. We continued our backpack to Cedar, but on Birch we dropped our packs several hundred feet below the summit (along the trail). From a point by an old stump on the east side of the summit of Birch, there is an excellent view (good picture) of San Jacinto.
Although there would be some gain (500-600') on Allen, the big descent began upon leaving Birch. At this point all 33 had signed in on all 5 peaks. The truck trail junction provided another good place to drop packs and with lunch and water, 28 climbed Allen. From Allen, it is a long road walk out to Mill Creek. Then, the shuttle back to the road-head near Vivian Creek.
If you really want to feel the effect of this trip - ask any participant. Comments will range from "Great" to "I'll never do it again!" and from "It sure was interesting" to "I'll help if you want to lead it again".
To all who participated, my congratulations for your discipline and over all cooperation. To all who didn't participate in the trip - Sorry about that!