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Thunder Mountain, Telegraph Peak, Timber Mountain

4 October 1987

By: Wilma Curtis


Leaders: Wilma Curtis, Dotty Rabinowitz

Dotty and I planned this hike as part of the HPS Oktoberfest celebration at the Harwood Lodge. We planned to ride the ski lift up to Baldy Notch, then hike to Thunder, Telegraph and Timber and down Ice House Canyon. This was the longest Oktoberfest hike planned for Sunday and quite a few people decided on Saturday that they wanted to hike with us. However since these peaks are now included in the Wilderness Area, our limit was 15 and the hike was filled with a waiting list of two. Based on this experience I think it would be a good idea to have a couple of long hikes scheduled for Sunday next year.

An aftershock to the Whittier quake awakened many celebrants at 4AM Sunday. However the shock did not interfere with the serving or eating of a hearty breakfast. About 8:30AM, four of us in two cars went to Ice House Canyon to leave a car for the shuttle and to meet people who would be driving up for the hike while Dotty went directly to the ski-lift with the group from Harwood. After two no-shows and a couple of cancellations, thirteen hikers paid four dollars each and boarded the Mt. Baldy ski lift shortly after 9AM. It was a very chilly ride in the clear, crisp air - quite a contrast to the scorching heat of the previous day in the lowlands from which we had escaped.

At the notch we jumped from the lift chairs and went into the restaurant to gather for the sign-in. We started up the fire road to Thunder in bright sun, thankful for the cool air. Along the way we stopped many times for photo snapping. Every hiker with a camera had to have a few shots, any excuse to take a breather on the hot uphill. At the top of Thunder, we signed the register, barely stopping long enough for a quick drink and a raisin or nut, headed for Telegraph, appreciating the trail through this beautiful, rugged area. We reached the top of Telegraph around 10:45AM, had a snack, enjoyed the view and then hiked to Timber. We had lunch on Timber, which John Paulsen celebrated as his 25th peak. Congratulations, John!

We had a good trek down the ridge to the saddle and then down the trail, stopping at Columbine Spring for a short time. Remarkably in this dry year, the water was running cold and clear. This spring is one of the treasures of this area. May it always flow clear and refreshing. The Ice House Canyon trail is a lovely and pleasant descent, sometimes wet from springs alongside, with columbine blooming and the stream rushing over rocks. This is a good ending for fun hike. We were at the Ice House Canyon trailhead about 3:30PM. Some of us were anticipating going back to Harwood Lodge for a cold drink. However by the time we had shuttled back to the other cars, the Oktoberfest was over and most of the drinks, food, etc. had been packed out. Anyway, we had a good hike, the weather was perfect. What a great way to get above the heat wave. Participants were: Bryce Wheeler, Maura Raffensperger, David Beymer, Marie Swain, Walter and Julie Hall, Roy Stewart, Karen Nikisher, Julie Rush, Bill Brockman, and John Paulsen.

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