(Originally scheduled for Kitching Peak)
Leader: Frank McDaniel
Asst.: Jon Hardt
When the leaders originally scouted Kitching, it looked like a good trip with opportunity for some trail maintenance. In the meantime, the wettest winter in umpteen years came. Parts of the access road were washed out, and additional scouting one week before the climb showed that the road was still impassable. Allen Peak was then selected as an alternate.
A goodly group gathered at Griswold's in Redlands early on Sunday morning and consumed a hearty breakfast. The assistant leader then dashed over to Banning, the original meeting place and brought back seven or eight cars to the alternate meeting place, the Yucaipa off-ramp of the freeway. We caravaned several miles to the roadhead, and through persuasive talking by the leader, obtained permission to leave our large group of cars on the premises of the Yucaipa Gun Club. Thirty-one members and guests signed in, and the hike began about 9:30. The ascent was quite uneventful, the trail having been badly washed out in only one place, and the approximate five-mile trail was covered in three hours.
Everyone made it to the top where an hour was spent in eating, resting and getting a different view of the San Gorgonio Ridge. The descent took about two hours and was marred by a slight injury -- a guest was hit on the leg by a rolling rock at the previously mentioned wash-out. Some of the group left for a climb of nearby Constance Peak, but the majority had had enough for the day.
This is a nice climb and provides spectacular views on a clear day. There is a shorter, more direct rout (mostly on a dirt fire road) up from Mill Creek Canyon, but we liked this more challenging way. We express our thanks to all who turned out, especially those who came from as far away as Ventura.