The Return of the Ladies: San Jacinto

28 Oct 1995 - by Steve Eckert

Dee Booth, Bonnie Reusch, and Steve Eckert joined the Coachella Valley Hiking Club for their third annual "Cactus to Clouds Challenge" day hike. Dinesh Desai tipped us off that this climb was becoming a classic: The "Outlaw Trail" starts in Palm Springs (at the west end of Ramon Road just off Highway 111) and winds up through the desert to Long Valley (the upper end of the aerial tram). This trail is not maintained, but it's not illegal either. From the tram station, the angle of ascent tapers off and the trail becomes official. The Angeles Chapter's Desert Peaks Section, and the San Diego Peaks Club, also did climbs of the same route on the same day, for a reported total of 80 people! It was astonishing to those of us from the Bay Area that a day hike with over 10,500 feet of gain could draw such a crowd, but people in their 60's were slugging it out with best of us. By starting before dawn, we avoided most of the heat. The peak was cool (mid-40s) with high cloud cover and haze in the valley, but we enjoyed it just the same. For reference, the CVHC has 700 members, and is only 3 years old: That's an outreach program, eh? Anyway, on the way back down, we stopped at the top of the tram for an "Alpine Mudslide" - some concoction with Kahlua and whipped cream and who knows what else. It did knock the aches off the day.

The "Tam Times Two" hike is coming up on November 18th (Muir Woods to Mt Tamalpias to Stinson Beach to Mt Tamalpias back to Muir Woods). Any boys out there that want to try it, or shall we just concede that the fairer sex is tougher also? It's about 6000 feet of gain and 25 miles...

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