On Saturday morning Ruth and Frank Dobos led a hike listed as suitable for beginners. Once again we had a good group of 16 hikers, some newcomers and others that hiked HPS peaks before with us.
It was another beautiful day in the San Gabriels, clear skies and slightly warm. We did Mt Sally first due to the fact there is less shade on Sally. The on to Mt Mooney where we drove in on the dirt road to the trailhead, the road is in good condition right now for cars. Up to the peak we went and down it was an uneventful hike, warm but pleasant. We then went to the Visitor's Center at Chilao. It seems most of the group had never been to the Visitor Center before, they all enjoyed the visit. We had hoped to get water there but the Center has no water at this time due they say to a leak in the pipes that supply the water. So then we went to the picnic area for lunch under the trees and listening to the ravens as they talked to us. There was water coming slowly out of the pipe in the picnic area. We refilled our bottles and we can safely say the water was good, none of us got sick from it.
Next we did Hillyer, another hike without complications that they group enjoyed. On the trail we met some runners, they were running 30 miles with some cross country travel. Some of them were just walking by the time we saw them, it must have been the exhaustion from the heat. Back at the cars the leaders decided, with the consent of the entire group to drive up Vetter Mtn. We parked at the gate and hiked to the top. A really good decision on our part as the Vetter Mtn lookout tower has been newly restored and looks good. It was being manned by the gentleman who with his wife did most of the restoration work. The second person manning the tower was David Michel's brother Arnie Michel who we recognized instantly as they took very much alike. They have told us that they are planning to have volunteers man the lookout every weekend over the summer. Its well worth the trip to see the lookout and the view is beautiful. The volunteers keep a register, be sure to sign it. The other peaks have no register or register can, except Hillyer: it has can and book.
The group led by Frank and Ruth was a good group that included both old friends and people who have never climbed an HPS peak before. The included Ann Young, Donna Scrawling, Marilyn Brady, Dove Meeker, Josie Bouchard, Christa Vansbinder, Chris Wirchell, Jerri Blackwell, Denise Dietz, Ben Besly, Cheryl Gill and several other dedicated hikers.