Leaders: Alan Coles, Martin Feather
These three peaks are usually not favorites, but under the right circumstances they can be very enchanting. The last time we led them only 4 showed up at the trailhead but we were well rewarded with fine weather on the north side of the San Bernardino's. Doing them in December makes good sense for short days when shadows are very long in this high desert region of Joshua Trees and unusual rock formations.
This time the weather was clear and cool. Eight people showed up at the trailhead and caravanned in 2 high clearance 4WD vehicles to Hesperia and on up towards the Bowen Ranch. We met Martin and Cristy near the start of Round and began our hike around 9. Light powdery snow was on the ground in large 6" deep patches as we hiked through and around them up the ridge to the summit, reaching it in a little over 30 minutes.
The top was cold and a little breezy, but there was no sign of the predicted storm for that day. We retraced our steps back down to the cars and drove over to the Oak Springs Road which was slippery but otherwise driveable to the Rattlesnake starting point. We consolidated into the 2 4WD vehicles from there to the starting location for Luna. Taking the standard route, we reached the summit by noon and had lunch with a fine view.
We returned to the cars around 1 and drove back to the location in the peak guide for Rattlesnake and began the final hike on this route which was different from the way I usually have done it. It is a bit longer and there are several false summits, be we finally reached the top around 1:30.
This peak having more trees also had more snow and our boots were getting rather wet since most of us planned for none. Nevertheless, it was an easy hike and we were back shortly after 2.
Many thanks to a congenial group which discussed everything from the music (?) of John Cage to mathematical group theory. They were: David Goltzman, Vi Grasso, Richard Schamberg, Ann Kramer, Bruce Hemphill, Irwin Goltzman, Harriet Edwards, Cristy Bird. Thanks to Martin for co-leading.