This hike and party was supposed to have taken place on June 17, but a very unseasonal snow storm on the 15th and 16th closed all the roads in the Wrightwood area. As it was, we were worried that there may still be too much snow up on top left over from all that had fallen this year.
We met at 7:00 AM at the Pomona rideshare point and caravaned up to Big Pines. After a brief stop, we drove the 7.2 miles of the Blue Ridge Road to the trailhead to Pine Mountain. It was about 9 when 11 hikers started out. The weather was beautiful and promised to warm later that day. The hike went smoothly. About three quarters of the way up on the tree shaded north slope of the ridge, we encountered some heavy clumps of snow. Fortunately, there were enough dry patches between them for us to weave our way up without tramping through too much snow. At about 10:50 Walia let out a yell when she spotted the cairn with the register.
What a relief for her. All this spring she had needed just 10 more peaks. Unfortunately, a lot of them were high peaks that were covered with snow. And the snow kept failing and failing. We'd get a week or two of good weather and then more storms would move through. What was complicating things for her was the fact that she was retiring from her teaching position at Glendora High School and would be leaving for Germany on June 27. She was returning to her home to care for her mother. She climbed her first HPS peak (Sunset) back in 1978. During the last four years she worked hard on the list. She wanted very much to join the exclusive club of List finishers before she flew back home. Fortunately, the weather was fine over the Memorial Day weekend and she was able to climb eight of the peaks she needed and do the ninth on June 3.
Now she had made it. Two bottles and some paper cups appeared and we all celebrated her achievement. Lots of pictures were taken, including a video, so she'll have a lot to reminisce over.
Five of us went on to do Dawson and found that part of the hike easy. A bit of a grind though climbing back up to the top of Pine. We were back at the trailhead by 2:15.
Dave Eisenberg had driven up that morning to help celebrate. Dave parked in a nice shaded area a half mile or so back down the road where he waited for us to come and set up the party. And what a nice party it turned out to be. Several had brought salads. Walia had brought wonderful big sandwiches, chips, dips and drinks. We had a great time celebrating again.
When it was over, some left for home while five others stayed for the easy hike to Wright mountain. That took just over an hour.
Those who had participated were Dave Eisenberg, Bonnie and Cesar Michael, Mike Fredette, Rosemary Campbell, Southern Courtney, Minor White and his friend Craig, Walia's son Frank, and yours truly.