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Sunset Peak

30 January 1993

By: Gabriele Rau

Leaders: Gabriele Rau, Gordon Lindberg

We had perfect weather the whole week, sunshine and blue sky. But came Saturday, the sky looked somewhat cloudy. Since the previous week had been so warm, nobody expected snow or ice on this peak (5,796'). We had the first surprise when the Glendora Road turnoff to the trailhead was locked. So we parked on the Mt. Baldy Road and decided to hike the one mile to the trailhead on the road. There was no snow in sight, and of course no cars. We started up the fire road and soon we could see snow patches along the north side, and shortly, we hiked on patchy snow. Somebody had plowed the road, probably not for us but to service some radio towers. The firebreak up to the peak looked very icy, so we stayed on the road to the saddle. Then we turned off on a trail with a small stretch of deep snow. The first ones reached the snow-free peak when the sun was shining through some clouds, but there was an icy wind blowing. We could see the whole basin with the clouded Santa Ana Mountains. Soon everybody was at the peak and we ate our lunch in a hurry, because it got colder by the minute. We returned the same way, but on the downhill, we encountered some cross between snow and hail that was luckily very light. At the trailhead, we found out that the gate to Glendora Road had been opened before noon, but we had to walk down to the cars. We did not get any rain until we were back in our cars and on the freeway toward home. 25 people participated on this invigorating hike, and we had an age span of 70! years: the youngest hiker being 7 years, the oldest, 77 years old. This must be some kind of record. Thanks to Gordon Lindberg for assisting on this hike.

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