Leaders: David Eisenberg, Charlie Knapke
Eleven intrepid hikers met at 5:30 am at the Fish Creek Trailhead to begin the car shuttle necessary to pull this trip off. The caravan proceeded to the Forsee Creek trailhead where we began hiking at 7 am. Just before leaving, a search and rescue team drove up, informed us that there was a missing boy scout and asked us to keep our eyes open. At that time, there were no further details available.
We reached Trail Fork Junction at 11 am. We stopped for lunch, to fill our water bottles, purify the water, and drop our backpacks and ready our daypacks. We left at 12 for San Bernardino Peak arriving at 13:03. This was the westernmost reach of our trek. We signed in and were ready to leave by 13:16 and headed for East San Bernardino which we reached at 13:46. This time, we took a slightly longer rest and didn't leave until 14:02. Continuing east, we arrived at Anderson at 14:37. At 14:55, we departed, heading directly for our packs which we reached at 15:10. We took 15 minutes to reassemble our packs and were ready to leave when we ran into a ranger. We stayed and chatted for another 15 minutes. She told us the boy scout was still missing but had no further details. It took her almost 10 minutes to get around to asking for our permit.
We departed Trail Fork Springs at 15:40 and headed east for Shields. We dropped our packs at the base and ascended Shields at 16:10. David Michels took the lead as this was his 100th peak! It would have been too much to expect for him to have packed in champagne, but he did have a box of See's Candies which he passed around on the summit.
All good things must come to an end, so we departed Shields at 16:25 and headed for our camp at High Meadow Springs. It was almost too much for us to climb the 200' gain along the trail just before the junction to the campground. We reached the campground at 17:30. We had a permit for a campfire. However, the rangers gave a permit for 2 other groups for the same fire ring by mistake. We convinced the occupants of the campsite to let us share their fire by offering them a chance to join us in our happy hour. Cooking dinner was not necessary as there was so much food available to snack on.
Sunday am, we were packed and ready to leave by 7:03. We reached the takeoff point for Charlton at 8:00, dropped our packs and summitted at 8:24. We slid down the scree and regained the trail at 8:48. This was the first peak that was not climbed by all participants. Ruth Armentrout decided to sit out as she already had the peak.
Charlie took over as leader at this point. He wanted to lead until we reached San Gorgonio. We reached the takeoff for Jepson at 9:50, dropped our packs and scrambled up to Jepson, reaching the peak at 9:50. We stayed 10 minutes to sign in and 12 minutes to return to the trail. We took just enough time to collect ourselves and took off down the ridge to Dobbs. The descent to Dobbs was relatively easy and we reached the summit at 10:35. Unfortunately, it was uphill back to the trail and our packs. We left at 10:53 and reached the trail at 11:25. We left at 11:35 heading for San Gorgonio which we reached at 12:30. There were 2 sheriff's deputies on the summit. They were in charge of directing the local search teams and handling communications. They passed around a picture of Jared Negrette and asked us to keep an eye out. They suggested that we signal one of the passing helicopters with a mirror if we saw anything. Carol Breyde decided to sit out Gorgonio as she already had it.
We left Gorgonio at 13:05. We took the Sky High trail. At the start of the trail, we were overtaken by a sheriff's posse searching for Jared. We were to follow their trail all the way down to Fish Creek Saddle which we reached at 15:10. We dropped our packs and headed for Grinnell, leaving at 15:20 and arriving at 15:44. 11 minutes to sign in and look for the view and we returned to the saddle at 16:10.
After a day of climbing peaks without our backpacks, it was time to don our packs for the final climb over Lake. At this point, Ruth Armentrout and Stephen Bache decided they had had enough and packed out along the Fish Creek Trail. The rest of us left the saddle at 16:20 and arrived at Lake at 16:35, a good time with backpacks. We left Lake at 16:50 and headed for the saddle between Lake and 10K Ridge which we reached at 17:30. It was time to reward the tigers for their patience, so after a 5 minute break, we had a race to the top with Pete Doggett summitting first at 17:41. We took 10 minutes and then returned to the saddle and our packs. There was then the 1500' drop to the trail which we reached at 18:50. Finally, we reached the cars at 19:50, just before sunset.
Thanks to all participants for having a great attitude and to Charlie Knapke for doing a great job as CoLeader. Also many thanks to Roy Stewart for providing details on his previous trip, Karen Stewart for providing a copy of her trip diary, and Bill T. Russell for writing up a detailed trip plan which he graciously allowed me to use.
Participants were: Roy Stewart, Keith Martin, Stephen Bache, Carol Breyde, Ruth Armentrout, Jennifer Lambelet, David Michels, Carleton Shay, and Pete Doggett.