Leaders: Richard Schamberg, Marvin Brown
This was a busy Saturday for the La Cañada rideshare point, with four HPS groups to meet there between 8 and 9 am, and three thereof headed for the Islip Saddle area. First thanks to Marve Brown for volunteering to co-lead in place of Southern Courtney whose boots had taken an unexpected day off. On Hwy. 2 at the draw directly below Windy Gap (2 miles East of Islip Saddle) we unscrambled our group of 16 hikers from Bobcat and Julie Rush's gang who were headed for Copter Ridge. As Southern waved us off, we scrambled up the use-trail to then windless Windy Gap from where we started the clockwise loop trip over the two peaks.
Fine views were had of the Antelope Valley as we climbed the PCT to the junction with the South Hawkins trail. We followed that briefly southward before turning off east and upwards on the ridge to Middle Hawkins and a nutrition break there. Rejoining the South Mount Hawkins trail for the descent to the saddle just north of that peak, we found that segment particularly beautiful as we traversed the pine forest and a meadow-like area with brilliant yellow rabbit brush and other late bloomers. Our enjoyment was no doubt enhanced by knowing that we would not retraverse this lengthy stretch uphill. We reached the fenced in lookout of South Hawkins in time for a late lunch and great views of many of the HPS Listed peaks.
For the return to Windy Gap, we marched briskly down the South Hawkins dirt road for about 3 1/2 miles to its intersection with the Windy Gap Trail about one mile above its start at Pine Flat in the Crystal Lake area. Some of our hikers were challenged a bit by the final ascent on the Windy Gap trail in the afternoon sun. However, at Windy Gap, the offshore breeze soon restored us as well as the reputation of that venerable landmark.
The descent to the cars was both quick and dusty. Everyone had completed the scenic, two peak loop hike of 11 miles, with a total gain of 2600 feet.
In addition to the leaders, the participants were Bob Parker, Hugh Blanchard, Sol Sitzer, Sarah Korda, Jeff Dehik, Jack Miller, Karen Holzhayer, Joy McKinney, Dan Skaglund, Femma Mahdessian, May Hyams, Ron Band, Tai Lee and Elaine Boyd.