Leaders: Monalisa Ward, Louis Quirarte
Everything went just fine. A group of seven beginning hikers left La Cañada at 9:00AM and all made it to the trailhead by 10:30AM. We proceeded up the pine shaded trail slowly, as advertised, but we were on top long before noon. The endless view that surrounded us was framed by the desert below and by snow speckled Baden-Powell above. It was so nice that we just had to take pictures, blow soap bubbles, and dawdle a good long time.
After a while we witnessed a seemingly endless line of overburdened Sierra Club backpacking students clanking past us. Unable to even smile as they passed, the poor things were determined to drag their loads up to the next summit at nearby Pleasant View Ridge no matter how much fun they weren't having. They reminded me of my first climb (my next one was better because I left the six-man tent, extra boots, Webster's Third International, and the Coleman cooler at home - but not the beer!).
This trip we had all the luck. Throughout the day we encountered a good deal of deliciously fragrant Spanish Broom. The trail was festooned with snow plants and pine cones. Even the weather was perfect with little puffy clouds in a clear deep blue sky, a warm sun and a gentle breeze. We were singing doo waa ditty - both up and down. We all need one of these every now and then.