A couple friends and I headed up to the San Bernadino mountains and San Gorgonio Wilderness for a long awaited return to backpacking! The plan was to drive up to Forsee trailhead and hike to Trail Forks and camp for the night. Then, hit the summit and see how many of the 9 peaks we could bag before camping at either Shields Flat or Trail Forks again. Next morning, quickly hike down and drive home. Things didn't go quite as planned.
The weather this trip was the most difficult I have had to deal with. It was lightly raining the entire drive up. Then at the trailhead, it was sunny and warm. We sweated the first several miles. Then a bitter cold wind started up. By dinner time, it was very cold (low 40's) and windy (~20 to 30 mph gusts). Thing is none us were really prepared for much colder temperatures. Night was nice for a while until the wind picked up again. We estimate it was mid 30's by morning. At the summit, it was even colder and we only stayed for a few minutes to take pix before rapidly heading down to find shelter among the stubby pines for lunch.
Everyone had forgot some piece of needed gear. I forgot my rain jacket (grabbed my rain pants by mistake) and took my warm weather quilt. I would have been fine in warmer base layers but don't own any; that might be my next gear purchase.
The Ray-way tarp did great. I pitched it perpendicular to the wind at the lowest I have pitched it. I avoided most of the wind and didn't get any flapping.
I carried my BV500 in my new Zpacks Arc Blast. It fit nicely and wasn't a bother. I think the arc in the pack does a great job of keeping the hard plastic away from your spine. I did get some rubbing along my hip bones but that always happens. Overall, the Arc Blast is welcome replacement pack.
I have been keeping in good shape during the lock down but nothing compares to alpine hiking. Rich and I bagged the summit and Jepson but were too beat to try any other peaks. The ups and downs along the ridge trail between Anderson and Dollar Saddle were tough. There were also many snow patches to cross which slowed us down some.
I found a great website for backpacking recipes run by a nutritionist: Backcountry Foodie. It is vegetarian focused which I am trying more and more. I also enjoy the thought put into each recipe and the instructions. I tried out the Garlic Parmesan Ramen and White Chocolate Coconut Pudding. They were very good. I highly recommend getting a subscription.
|Get the gear!
|Crossing a snow field
|Above the clouds
|At the summit
|Extra low tarp pitch
|Trying to keep our stoves out of the wind