Leaders: Luella Martin, Gordon Lindberg
Nine of us decided that an adventure on Mount Sally was preferable to a party and pig-out on Mount Hillyer. But congratulations Ron and Lou - we thought about you and your party.
We climbed Mount Sally first, as a warm up from Shortcut Saddle. It's about a 400 foot gain and 3/4 mile one way. The views were excellent. I could see Palomar Mountain in the distance to the southwest, while the views of Twin Peaks and the Wilson area were very good. Heading down the Shortcut Trail (Bill Hueback claims its only a creek), we had very good views of the Wilson area. Mount Markham is especially dramatic from this angle framed by Eaton Saddle. The Shortcut Trail is well marked at the Angeles Crest Highway; however, the jog to the right up the fireroad could be confusing if one hasn't spotted where the trail takes off below the fireroad. This junction is very visible from the Mount Sally firebreak.
After doing this hike I was glad that I planned it down and then up, because the trail in the lower portion of Shortcut Canyon is not very clear. The trail junction in the West Fork Campground is unmarked, but if you go to the Gabrielino Trail junction at the lower end of the campground and then walk due north through the campground, you will come to the Shortcut Canyon trail within 500 yards. Go up the left side of Shortcut Canyon for about another 500 yards and the trail takes off to the right side of the Canyon. The fall colors of the sycamore, big leaf maple, and the willows were nice. In places the colorful leaves obscured the trail tread. Ladybird beetles were swarming over some of the fallen logs on the trail.
The upper portion of the trail is in better shape. However, it is a bit overgrown in places. I picked up a tick just before we climbed back out to the Angeles Crest Highway and our cars. I asked Gordon to see what was biting me on my shoulder. He said it was just a mole. I think he needs new glasses. It took me twenty minutes to get the beast out of my shoulder once we got home.
The other non-party animals were Robert Wheatly (Bob's grandson), Kathie Bantz, Bill Whities, Bill Hueback, Jim Peterson, Caron Doup, Karen Nikisher, and my able, if not somewhat myopic assistant, Gordon Lindberg.