Cactus to Clouds

Ultra Running. Ultra Hiking. Ultra Beautiful.

Hiking, Outdoors, Running

Various Hikes & Runs 2012

View from San Jacinto

View from San Jacinto

Dec 23 / Hermit to Boucher (Mom)

My mom and I did a pleasant mosey down the Hermit Trail, up Dripping Springs to the Boucher, and a ways down the Boucher. It was a beautiful, quite day and as always, full of Grand Canyon color and surprises.

Hugging Tree on Boucher

Hugging Tree on Boucher

One of my favorite parts of the day was this silly tree, which for all the world looked like a crazy monster on the attack — or as one of my friends said, maybe it just needed a hug.

Dec 22 / Flagstaff to Elden Lookout

I think we were in Flagstaff due to car issues, but honestly don’t remember. Did a quick hike up Elden Lookout to get a view of Humphrey’s. It was beautiful in the snow and cold. Just me and my sweaty self.

Dec 15 / Mt. Woodson Loop 3x

I’ve done this a gazillion times. Great training loop. Do a few laps, and you’ll definitely feel it!  The last time was for a training set I was doing for the Grand Canyon R2R2R.  I did three of these Woodson Loops for a total of 33 miles in 9:54, for an average speed of 3.53 mph.  Not speedy, but not too shabby.  Definitely crashed at the end — my first two laps were less than three hours each, and last loop was more than four. Oops!

Dec 1 / San Jacinto via Marion Mountain Trail with Mike

Ice at SJ Summit

Ice at SJ Summit

Climbed SJ again yesterday with my friend Mike. Great if slightly chilly “winter” day with fantastically sculpted ice in the trees.

Nov 17 / Whale Peak with Mike

Mike took me up Whale Peak out in Borrego for the first time. I remember being surprised that it is such a beautiful place, at least when it’s not too hot and dry out. On the way down, Mike fell head-first into a rock crevasse. I thought he was dead, but turns out he just couldn’t move with the pack holding him down. The walk back included a vast mud flat and pictographs.

Nov 4 / Cactus to Clouds (C2C) – 10:42h

Did C2C again today to see if I could improve my time and possibly do C2C2C, but not in both cases. Conquered by the dratted stomach! Argh. Definitely something I need to figure out soon. Just for my notes, I beat my time up to the tram by 1/2 hour, but then crashed and lost time, ending up 15 min behind my last R/T time. To help track & figure out stomach issues, I had electrolytes in water, 8 Gu Chomps, 3 Gus, 1 Justin’s Almond Butter, 1 Kit’s Organic bar, 3/4 of a sleeve of Ritz and Tatonka Bites jerky (about 3k Cal). Started feeling bad 3 hours in and never really got better, spending most of the time bloated and nauseated. Bah.

Oct 21 / Cactus to Clouds (C2C) First Time

SJ Peaks

SJ Peaks

See trip report.

Sep 5 / Kennicott and the Root Glacier Trail (Mom

Mom and I checked out the Kennicott Mine and then headed up the Root Glacier Trail.  Gorgeous day all around.

Sep 3 / Day Hike on Gulkana Glacier (Mom)

After doing this alone the day before, I took my mom up higher on the glacier. It’s such an easy approach and fantastic payback in terms of views, it’s hard to resist. There’s even a bridge across the only major river crossing. Not too shabby.

Sep 2 / Day Hike on Gulkana Glacier (Solo)

On our flight across the state avoiding rainstorms and winds and whatnot, Mom and I drove south along the Richardson Hwy from Delta Junction to Glenallen. Along this portion of the drive, we took two day hikes. This was the second of them, in the afternoon, which I did alone as Mom took some time out for photography.

We came upon the glacier entirely accidentally, but the Gulkana was such a clearly accessible glacier without the usual miles of lumpy terminal moraine and rock-ice hills, it was irresistible. The round trip from parking midway along the access road to the glacier, up on it a bit, then back, was just over 3 hours. The access trail is incredibly civilized and well-marked for Alaska. Which doesn’t make the Glacier or its massive lateral moraine any less impressive.

We did the same hike together (starting further up the road and going higher on the glacier) the next day (covered separately).

Sep 1 / Hike on Unfinished Savage Alpine Trail

In what was to be a week or running from the rain, I took a quick hike from the Savage River Campground up the Primrose Ridge starting on the unfinished Savage Alpine Trail.  The rain rolled in within a few hours, however, and I turned around after taking a food break on the top of the first small summit.  Fun trip down in some heavy rain, but it would have been a nasty climb the rest of the way to to the top of the ridgeline and Mt. Margaret.  Mom came back early to pick me up — impeccably timing — and off we went to find a slightly dryer part of Alaska.

This is a beautiful, and unusual trail for Denali — if only because there are few actual trails in the park itself.  Most are near the entrance or Wonder Lake, and are more rambles than hikes.  This, like the trail up Mount Healy, offers one of the few established trails rising up into the lower peaks of the park, and the views it will offer when done are stunning.  Enjoy.

Sep 1 / Day Hike on Unknown Glacier (Mom)

This was a quick little hike up some lumpy terminal moraine on the XXX Glacier just south of the Black Rapids area on the Richardson Hwy (The pictures in this gallery include some images before and after the hike).

Aug 31 / Day Hike near Cantwell (Mom)

Mom and I took a quick hike a ridgeline north of Cantwell via an ATV trail, hoping the weather would break in our favor. No such luck, but it was still a beautiful hike up the ridgeline toward Windy River.

Aug 25 / San Jacinto via Deer Springs Trail with Wendy

Took another hike up San Jacinto via the Deer Springs Trail / lollipop route. Fantastic day with great weather, and my friend Wendy driving a hard pace all the way.

Jul 21 / San Jacinto via Dear Springs

See the trip report.

Jul 7 / Mt. Langley to Whitney Portal (Andre)

Madness with Andre. See the trip report.

Jun 22-27 / Mount Rainier (Well, Half Way)

See trip report.

May 11 / Mt. Baldy via Ski Hut Trail with Andrew, Leah and Joyce

Did this today with Andre, Leah and Joyce for the 1st time in about 20 years. Still a great hike. Great weather and views. Even better company.

Apr 7 / Tahquitz Peak and Tahquitz Loop

Tahquitz

Tahquitz

See trip report.

Mar 30 / Iron Mountain

I did a quick hike up Iron Mountain today, to get the cobwebs out.  Took about an hour and a half.  Great views in all directions, except for the haze.  One of the things I like about this trail is the rough switchbacks.  It sounds silly, but if you’re training for anything more serious, it’s nice to have more realistic conditions and the dusty, eroded switchbacks help.

Mar 10 / San Jacinto via Marion Mountain Trail (Met Mike)

See trip report.

Mar 3 / El Cajon Mountain

Feeling a little antsy on a Saturday (when I should have been skiing, clearly), I took a quick hike up to El Cajon Mountain.   I’d never done the hike before, so it was a great chance to see a new part of San Diego.

It was 12:20pm when I started the hike and about 80 degrees, so a late start on a hot day.  The guide books suggest around 6 hours for the 11 mile roundtrip from the staging lot on Wildcat Canyon Road to the peak, and generally refer to it is a “strenuous” hike.  All I knew was that it was hot (ish), so I took lots of water.

As a quick summary of the hike, I’d call it hot — you could really feel the 80 degrees, and there was little shade — and surprisingly strenuous — with much harder climbs than I would have expected.  I did the round trip in 4:15, including two stops for food and a 0.4m R/T side trail up to an old radio tower, but the biggest slowdown was the heat.  I don’t think I drank enough and spent the last hour feeling a bit wonky.  Yes, that’s the technical term.  I definitely recommend taking more water than you think you’ll need, and drinking all of it.  I finished with water left over, and that was just silly.

Highlights

  • Great climbs (good exercise and training) totalling about 4,000′
  • Nice views in all directions
  • Not that crowded

Lowlights

  • Hot and shadeless
  • Surprisingly bad signage

Jan 15 / Tram to San Jacinto with Lisa

Descending San Jacinto

Descending San Jacinto

Cool day hike from the Tram with Lisa. Lots’a snow. Not so good on the navigation. My first time up.

More Stuff

2011 Hikes & Runs | 2013 Hikes & Runs

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