Leaders: Stag Brown, Bobcat Thompson, Joe Young
Eleven hikers participated in this successful outing on a day which ended with heavy rain throughout California. But the rain held off until after this hike was concluded, except for occasional heavy mist or sprinkles the last hour of the hike.
Because we were sure that Millard Canyon, Stag's usual choice for ascending Brown Mtn, would have much water, making stream crossings problematic, we chose to drive to Eaton Saddle to begin and end the hike. At about 8:45 AM Stag led the group from Eaton Saddle through Mueller Tunnel, past the San Gabriel/Markham Saddle, and down the Mt Lowe Road to the upper trail to Tom Sloan Saddle (where one participant checked out), then on to Brown. We arrived at the summit of Brown at 10:40 AM. The coolness of the day limited our lunch break to 20 minutes, and we departed at 11:00 AM. Back at Tom Sloan Saddle, Stag turned over leadership to Bobcat, who led the group on a trail to the Mt Lowe Road which connects the road near the site of Alpine Tavern. We chose to hike the east trail over Mt Lowe after traveling down the road a short ways. Bobcat led the group to the junction with the trail to the summit of Mt Lowe, at which point Joe led.
Hiking in snow 3-4 inches deep and in light rain, Joe led the group back to the San Gabriel/Markham Saddle and back to the cars, arriving shortly after 2:00 PM.
The only problem the group faced today was surmounting a ten+ foot high pile of snow (no doubt the residue of an avalanche this week) at the west end of Mueller Tunnel. Most hikers climbed on top of the snow pile, though some risked going around it in spite of the drop off from the road.
Seven of the hikers reconvened at Pepe's of La Cañada afterwards. We toasted Stag on account of his upcoming birthday and successful outing to Brown Mtn.