Ascent of San Bernardino Peak on 2007-10-20

Climber: Mark Habermeyer

Others in Party:solo assent
Date:Saturday, October 20, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:San Bernardino Peak
    Elevation:10649 ft / 3245 m

Ascent Trip Report

Well, this hike was certainly an adventure! I made a lot of personal mistakes (judgment errors) that could have cost me a lot more than "a run on my money" $$$(story to follow!). Where do I begin? Nothing like exposing your personal weaknesses to the world:

mistake #1: Hiking alone- I broke my #1 rule! I've done it before but I know that it could be risky if I had a problem which I did on this hike. Being diabetic can cause weird elevations of blood sugar which, because of the length of this hike, swung wildly as I hiked down the trail towards my car. I've hiked solo before but this hike was complicated by the length (17 miles), wind (25 mph sustained) and my physical preparation (I hadn't hiked since Mt. Whitney in July).

mistake #2: Lack of Communication- I had sent out an email to a couple of my friends earlier in the week as to my ultimate hiking itinerary when I was looking for a hiking partner but I failed to let my wife know where I was going or when I would return. Needless to say this caused a huge problem when I encountered difficulties on my descent and not returning on time to a couple of events I had planned for that Saturday evening. I had people ready to call out SAR to look for me in the mountains if they knew where I was! I did not make brownie points for this miscalculation! (It was nice to know that I was missed however!)

mistake #3: Driving when exhausted- When I finished the hike at 8:15pm I was completely spent and "out of gas"! I mean I had trouble putting one foot in front of the other which were both hurting by this time. When I attempted to drive out of the San Bernardino Trail head parking lot I made a wrong "turn" up and over the embankment into a ditch! I knew I was in trouble when my back tires spun wildly out of control when I put the car in reverse. I then had to hike back into Angeleus Oaks to look for help since there was NO ONE in the parking lot. After encountering a sign on the firehouse door that they "were out in the field" and to call 911, I decided to try my luck at the restaurant across the street. FORTUNATELY there was a tow truck in their parking lot. WOW! That was amazing! I had envisioned a night back in my car in the ditch waiting for morning for help to arrive! He said he was too busy and not from the area to really help but I insisted I needed a tow and to "name his price"! He said "it will be $100" to which I said no problem. Except I forgot that I had only $52 in my wallet at the time so I quickly went into the restaurant and pleaded with the nice lady behind the counter who took my CC for $100 cash. Another miracle! The driver went back where my car was in the ditch, pulled me out in 3 minutes and I was on my way home. Lesson learned- don't try to plan too much in a day when you are the ONLY driver! ( Driving 2 hours to the trail head then hike over 12 hours and then drive back 2 hours home just doesn't work!) I guess that works for Rick Kent but he is superhuman in my book and beyond anything I can do in a day. (He did 17 peaks last week and I did 1 on Saturday!!)

Other than my problems listed above I had a great trip! My times were super slow (maybe because I was way under prepared to do this long of a hike!):

San Bernardino Trail Head parking lot- 7:20am
Columbine Spring/John's Meadow Junction- 10:48am
Limber Pine Bench- 12:18pm
Washington Monument- 2:00pm
San Bernardino Peak summit- 2:43pm
Leave summit- 3:11pm
Arrive back at San Bernardino Peak Trail Head parking lot- 8:15pm

A great and beautiful day to hike! Unfortunately the forest is now closed due to high fire danger:
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4828 ft / 1471 m
    Round-Trip Distance:17 mi / 27.4 km
    Route:San Bernardino Trail
    Trailhead:San Bernardino Peak Trailhead  5821 ft / 1774 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Very Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:7 Hours 18 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:5 Hours 10 Minutes

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